Greece 79 Ukraine 73

07.09.2003

Sleepy Greece didn't wake up until the second half, was trailing 20 points behind Ukraine but managed to close the gap in the third quarter and win it in the fourth. Final score 79-73.  
   
Greece must have underestimated Ukraine or maybe two tough games against Croatia and Turkey was the reason. In today's game Greece started out very slow and uninspired. Ukraine was the better team from the beginning and after four minutes they had a 6 point lead.

Greece had huge difficulties hitting the basket and scored only 6 points in the first eight minutes, two shots from 2-point range and two free throws.

Ukraine started the second quarter with a 13 point lead and continued to play well. The Greeks not only had problems hitting the basket but also in rebounding. High man-to-man pressure from Greece had no effect and Ukiraine could increase their lead even more.

Half time stats showed that Ukraine had grabbed no less than 22 rebounds compared to 12 for Greece. And the Ukranian superiority was also showing in the shooting efficiency, 45% for Ukraina against 18% for Greece.

It's easy to guess that Greek coach Yannis Ioannidis had one or two things to tell his fighters in the intermission. And it worked. Greece started the third quarter stronger and quicker than before.

Five minutes into the third quarter Ukraine's 20 point lead had been reduced to an 8 point lead. It was a great comeback from Greece and with two minutes left of the quarter the score was even. At the end of the third quarter, Ukraine had 55-54 but it felt like they were a beaten team.

In the last quarter Greece controlled the game. After 30 seconds, Greece was in the lead for the first time in the game, 56-55. Ukraine couldn't do anything to stop the Greek victory. Greece was better in both shooting and rebounding in the second half. Dimosthenis Ntikoudis led the scorers with 21 point.

The Eurobasket adventure is over for Ukraine. They did well in BorĂ¥s and fought hard and were in the lead in every battle. But they couldn't last a whole game.  


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