Greece Grind Out Quarter-Final Win

16 August 2013

U16 MEN

Ioannis Michaloutsos (Greece)
Ioannis Michaloutsos and Greece found it hard to score against a tight France defence but dug out the necessary baskets at the end

Greece survived a brutal defensive battle with France with their unbeaten record intact as they progressed to the semi-finals of the U16 European Championship Men.

Greece, held to just 13 points in the first half, had trailed by double digits midway through the third quarter but then turned the tables on France, who scored only 13 points in the final 15 minutes of the contest.

Vasileios Charalampopoulos scored 14 points for Greece while Georgios Papagiannis had eight with 13 rebounds, but Greece shot only 17 of 61 (27.9%) from the field and never looked comfortable.

Charalampopoulos scored all seven of Greece's first quarter points but did not register again in the second quarter as they trailed 20-13 at half-time, Greece shooting less than 20% and France not much better.

France's lead was 25-15 when Arthur Leboeuf sank a three-pointer with 7:29 to go in the third quarter was back to on Kevin Cham's jump-shot with 5:37 left.

But Greece finally began to show some signs of life as the period drew to a close, with back-to-back baskets from Charalampopoulos and Antonios Koniaris closing the gap.

That proved to be the start of an 8-0 run that put them in front on Koniaris' lay-up early in the fourth quarter.

The teams continued to trade blows but Greece took the lead for good when Vasileios Mouratos capitalised on a French turnover to give them a 38-36 edge with 4:35 left in the game.

Almost four minutes passed before either team scored again, the tension almost unbearable on the benches as straightforward lay-ups and open looks were missed at either end.

Koniaris went to the line to break the drought with a pair of free throws 51 seconds from the end padding the Greek lead.

Leboeuf responded in kind seven seconds later and when Charalampopoulos missed a lay-up for Greece, France had another chance.

However, Leboeuf's jump-shot bounced off the rim with four seconds left and Charalampopoulos grabbed the rebound, drawing a foul and nailing both free throws.

Stephane Gombauld led France with nine points and 12 rebounds.


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