Greece Grind Out Win Against Poland

03 August 2009

by Paul Nilsen

Greek coach Dimitris Bakogeorgos was far from happy despite his team tipping off their Qualifying Round campaign with a comfortable 50-37 victory over Poland.

Center Artemis Spanou was played for forty minutes yet again by the play-caller and she delivered as usual with a massive 17 rebounds and 11 points but coach was still very angry with his side after a below par performance.

"During this tournament, we have been bad in all areas of the statistics - very bad."

"I don't believe at times we can win because we lose far too many balls and the three-point shooting is also bad."

"We are only winning because of our defence but we have to also now make sure our offence is better."

"We just can't keep missing these bad shots from very good positions on the court."

"Our shooting has always been bad since we arrived."

Despite not being happy with his team, Coach Bakogeorgos was still confident that his team would improve net time on the floor in a tough looking match-up with France.

"We play against lesser teams and my team plays badly - always."

"When we are against the bigger teams then I know my team will always be better and this is the situation that will happen with France in our next game."

"I know that my team will be better like we were against Russia in the first game."

Greece were coming into the game having finished their last outing against Czech Republic with a 17-0 surge but they couldn't continue that slick run at the start of this contest.

Both teams struggled to get their offensive games going but it was Greece that eventually edged themselves ahead by the end of the first at 12-8 despite yet more poor outside shooting. They managed to jack the ball up seven times from spots right around the perimeter but without any success.

Elisavet Politopoulou finally got Greece off the mark from the arc by getting on to drop midway through the second quarter but Poland kept pace. Katerina Puss drained a trey from the corner after some nice passing around the key to move to within one point of the Greeks at 22-21 by the end of the period.

With neither team able to make a move after the half-time break Katerina Puss tied the game up from the line at 29-29 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. It proved to be a fundamentally critical couple of minutes for both teams.

12. Artemis Spanou (Greece)
Artemis Spanou coralled 17 rebounds to go with 11 points to spark her team in the win

Poland were playing a very dangerous game by not defending the perimeter, perhaps a defence dictated by the presence of Spanou inside. With Greece having thrown up plenty of bricks perhaps they thought it might continue to work but , triples by Politopoulou and Chatzigiakoumi both dropped to help Greece open up a 37-31 advantage going into the last period.

The Polish defence then had to seriously consider making an adjustment when their opponent opened up with another trey to start the fourth, Anastasia Slouka the scorer and Greece quickly underlined their new found dominance with a double figure lead at 42-31.

The Greek team were not allowing any easy lay-ups, stopping penetration and forcing Poland into jump shots with only the impressive Puss managing to land a baseline jumper in five minutes of action.

That trend continued and Poland couldn't make any more shots on a consistent basis and with Artemis Spanou dominant, Greece strolled to their first win in the second stage of the tournament.

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