Russia finished a perfect Qualifying Round with a 69-52 win over Greece in Group F of the OMNITEL U18 European Championship at Lietuvos Rytas Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania on Wednesday night.
Following the win Russia have the honor to finish their group in the top spot with a 4-1 record, while Greece dropped to the 4th spot despite having a positive 3-2 balance.
Greece finished last in a three-way tie with Serbia (2nd) and Croatia (3rd) and will face the strong Lithuania team in the quarter-final.
Russia lost the first game in the championship after double-overtime but since then won all their encounters and arrive to the final round with great momentum where they'll take on France on Friday.
Vladislav Trushkin had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks for Russia, Dmitry Kulagin added 11 while Sergey Karasev finished with 10.
Sokratis Psaropoulos hit 18 points for Greece and Spyridon Motsenigos added 16, while Linos Chrysikopoulos had a bad day and finished with 3 points and just a single field goal in 6 attempts.
The Russians started strong and held a double-digit lead already in the first quarter, and after stopping Greece on only 4 points in the 2nd period had an easy time to cruise for the win.
The blitz started right from the tip off and in less than 4 minutes the score was already 12-2.
Chrysikopoulos scored his first and last field goal in the game, to shake up his team and Motsenigos made it just 16-12 but Tamirlan Bekkiev scored quick 5 in a 7-0 run that put Russia above by 11, 23-12 after the first quarter.
Greece was out of focus and turned the ball over 6 times only in the 2nd quarter and Russia used every chance to run and score easy baskets.
Without the ball in their hands, the Greeks failed to score more than a pair of baskets until halftime, and saw Russia sprint to a 38-16 lead at the break.
Psaropoulos stepped up and scored 7 points in a row for the Greek side after the break, but Loginov and Varnakov were efficient and maintained the big lead.
Entering the closing quarter down by 19, the Greeks didn't see a way back while Trushkin scored 5 more to reach yet another game in double-digits.