Greece Crush Israel

09.09.2009

By Yarone Arbel

Game Summary

Turning point: Late in the second quarter Israel cut the lead to three, 43-40, and plot to forge a lead by the half time break, but a time out by Coach Jonas Kazlauskas and a 13-2 run led by Ioannis Kalampokis put Greece up by 14 at the break and from there it was never a close game again.

Hero: There was not one specific player on the Greek squad who stood out in this win. Sofoklis Schortsanitis used the rest of Ioannis Bouroursis got to better his averages and show his dominance with 16 points in 15 minutes to mention the most impressive stat line of the Greek side.

Stats: Greece scored 11 three balls in 50% to reach a total field goal percentage of 62%. In a game they scored 106 points and rested Ioannis Bouroursis it says how much the Greek offense is ready for the Qualifying Round.

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Greece remained perfect at the end of the Preliminary Round in Group A at Poznan after a 106-80 win over Israel in the last day of the championship.

The game had no influence on the final standings whatsoever and as a result Coach Jonas Kazlauskas chose to rest Ioannis Bouroursis towards the Qualifying Round where Greece will carry two wins in a great pole position for the Quarter-Finals.

"When you come to EuroBasket you don't know what to expect, you just come to play well in every game and hope to win, but I'm very happy we are 3-0 now," said Vasilis Spanoulis of Greece following the win.

"This is a young team and we still learn things, but it's very encouraging we're playing much better than we did in the preparation, and I hope we'll be able to keep it in the next round as well," added the Greek guard.

Israel is ranked 13-16 where they were ranked only once in history in 1993, yet this is the first ever EuroBasket Israel travel back home without a single win.

Greece used a late second quarter run to open a gap Israel couldn't put in danger, and sealed to the win in the second half.

Spanoulis led five Greek players in double-digits with 18 points and five assists. Antonios Fotsis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis added 16 each, Ioannis Kalampokis added 12 and Knostantinos Kaimakoglou had ten.

Israel saw 21 points and eight rebounds by Lior Eliyahu and 15 by Raviv Limonad.

Without Bourousis in the line-up Greece struggled in the early minutes.

Halperin shinned for Israel to set a 13-7 lead, but Spanoulis answered at the other end with a 16-4 run in which six different Greek players scored.

Greece maintained the lead to finish the first quarter up 31-25, but saw a stubborn Israel stay in the game.

Eliyahu collected points and Kaimakoglou gathered buckets again and again, to keep Greece on top.

Kazlauskas called for a time-out with 3:21 to play in the first half, and saw Gal Mekel score right after the huddle to make it a 43-40 game but Kalampokis scored seven points in a 13-2 Greek run until the break that set the gap on 14 entering the second half.

Spanoulis pushed the gap higher and Schortsanitis used his big body to dominate the paint as the margin extended beyond the 20 point line.

Early in the last quarter the team from Jerusalem managed to cut the lead down to a single-digit but the Greek answer was quick and decisive, to set a tournament high of 106 points.


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