Group B: Russia 2-0, Greece Down Turkey

07.07.2007

Russia remained undefeated at 2-0 in Group B of the U20 European Championship Men after holding off Lithuania 69-61 in Nova Gorica.

In the other game Greece surprised Turkey 63-62 to leave the other three sides even with 1-1 records.

Maxim Krivosheev led the way for Russia with 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Alexey Shved had 15 points and seven rebounds while Pavel Sergeev added 12 points.

Tomas Cerneckis paced the Lithuanians with 15 points and Ernestas Ezerskis added 12. But big man Povilas Butkevicius struggled offensively after his 26-point showing against Turkey with just three points. Butkevicius did rebound well, grabbing 13 boards after 16 on Friday.

Alexey Shved (Russia)
Alexey Shved led Russia with 15 points


"It was bad game today. The loss yesterday against Turkey was still in our minds. We just did not play well on offence. And Butkevicius who played very good against Turkey did not play good today," said Lithuania coach Linas Salkus, referring to his team's over-time loss to Turkey on Friday.

Russia meanwhile remained perfect and dominated Lithuania at times. Andrey Maltsev's team used a 14-0 run in opening a 23-9 lead after the first period. Lithuania were able to close to within eight but Russia led 36-23 at half-time.

Trailing 18 points - 49-31 - with 3:32 to play in the third, Lithuania worked hard defensively to get some stops and get back into the game. Cerneckis hit two three-pointers and Gytis Maciulevicius had two driving lay-ups in a 16-0 run to close the quarter down just 49-47.

A three-point play and long range bomb pushed Russia back ahead 55-47. Lithuania pulled to within five in the fourth but failed to convert a series of important offensive possessions.

In the group's second game, Dimitrios Verginis hit a number of big shots and Alexandros Sigkounas provided a huge lift in Greece's 63-62 victory over Turkey.

The result leaves Greece, Turkey and Lithuania all even with 1-1 records going into Sunday's final Preliminary Round games with Turkey playing Russia and Greece taking on Lithuania. The top three teams from each group move onto the Qualifying Round with the fourth-placed finisher going to the Classification Games for relegation to Division B.

The Greece-Turkey game was very even in the first quarter with Greece controlling the tempo and leading the whole way until Birkan Batuk drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Turkey a 16-15 lead.

Nihat Izic's Turkish team extended the lead to eight points with the first seven points of the second quarter. But Sigkounas took over for Greece, scoring 13 of his 18 points in a 15-5 run to grab the lead 30-28 before Turkey evened just before the break.

Two three-pointers by Verginis helped Greece pull ahead 39-32 and Manos Manousselis's team led 49-46 going into the fourth period.

Another Verginis trey pushed Greece up 63-62 with 53 seconds left.

Caner Oner missed a three-point attempt with 29 seconds remaining and Verginis was off on a three with five seconds to play. The Turks had one final chance to win the game but Can Altintig's 18-foot jumper from the right wing did not even hit the rim.

Verginis scored 16 points for Greece, while Turkey were led by Bora Pacun's 14 points and 13 points from Cemal Nagla. Captain Oguz Savas scored just two points on one-of-seven shooting with six rebounds in 24 minutes.


RELATED NEWS

Greece, Latvia Smile, FYROM, Hungary Go Down14.07.2007
Group B: Russia, Turkey Advance, Lithuania Stun Greece08.07.2007
Group B: Turkey Knock Off Lithuania, Russia Down Greece06.07.2007

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