Greece tipped of the games in Group F with a 97-88 win over Italy in the OMNITEL U18 European Championship at the Lietuvos Rytas Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania on Monday afternoon.
The win gives the Greeks a big advantage in a group that started all tied, and now hold a 2-1 record while Italy dropped to 1-2.
|Linos Chrysikopoulos was red hot for the Greeks with a double double and 5 assists|
Linos Chrysikopoulos was unstoppable with 25 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists. Spyridon Motsenigos added 20 points behind 6 three pointers, Georgios Mavrogiannis added 18 points and Anastasios Antonakis added 12 points in only 11 minutes.
Alessandro Gentile topped Italy's list with 21 points while Marco Ceron had 18 and Fabio Mian scored his tournament high with 17.
Defense didn't play a big role in this game, and both teams showed a high level of execution around the rim as Greece scored in 64.3% from two-point range and Italy stopped at 65%.
The dominance of Greece in the rebounds, with a 41-30 advantage, played a key role and made the difference between the sides.
Italy showed a good team effort as 5 players scored to create a 10-13 lead, but Greece scored twice from the arc and got easy points off the offensive rebound to take a 26-19 margin after 10 minutes.
Motsenigos joined the game and hit three times in a row from the arc in less than 3 minutes, to create a 43-30 gap, and at the break there were 14 points dividing the teams, 50-36.
Gentile started to collect points, but couldn't bring his team close, and a technical foul helped Greece stay on top with a safe lead.
Ceron stepped up and with 9 points in 3 minutes closed the gap to 72-69 with 8 minutes on the game clock.
A jumper by Gentile even made it a tied game, but just in the most important moment Greece found the way to step up.
Motsenigos hit another three pointer and Chrysikopoulos added points to open a quick 7 point difference, 81-74 inside the last 5 minutes.
Time allowed Italy to make another come back attempt but Chrysikopoulos on defense and play calling and Motsenigos with another visit on the perimeter sealed the deal.
Tomorrow Greece and Turkey will go head to head while Italy will face Croatia.