Greece Bring Home Seventh Place


By Paul Nilsen

Quarter final losers Greece and Czech Republic fought it out for seventh spot and it was Greece who emerged the victorious with a hard fought 59-54 win.

Greece had been in control of the game during the first half and found themselves 28-23 in front at the break. They looked even more dominant when a three-pointer by Chatzigiakoumi put them 35-27 in front but the Czechs came racing back. They produced an impressive 12-1 run to take the lead off the back of some good work by the classy Vyoralova.

13. Anthoula Chatzigiakoumi (Greece), 8. Pelin Bilgic (Turkey)
Anthoula Chatzigiakoumi put up 16 pts for victorious Greece

That set up a tense final quarter and the Czech team were in control with three minutes remaining at 53-47 only for Chatzigiakoumi and Kampouraki to bury three successive triples between them to put Greece in front with just over a minute remaining - a lead they kept.

As the final buzzer sounded, you couldn't help but think how things might have turned out for Greece had they found their perimeter game more consistently during their time in Naples.

For Czech Republic, a remarkable roller-coaster ride has ended. They have harvested some terrific wins and while blown out in a few games, Richard Fousek would certainly have swapped an eighth placed finish on day two of the tournament when his team sat rock bottom of their group with back to back losses.

Finland finished their time in Naples on a high as they claimed ninth spot with a 76-63 success over Poland. Finland controlled the game from tip to buzzer and after a 13-0 run which put them 19 points ahead at 32-13, the game was over for the Polish team. Evita Iiskola rounded off her hugely impressive tournament with 21 points and 12 rebounds while fellow starter Annika Holopainen weighed in with 18 points. Poland meanwhile finished in tenth place but will at least head home with memories of their great Qualifying Round win over Russia which sparked one of the most vigorous celebrations of the tournament.

Finally, Serbia claimed eleventh place as they pushed Lithuania into twelfth spot with a nail-biting 50-47 victory. The game was still very much undecided heading into the last minute as Vita Zilinskaite made a lay-up to get Lithuania to within one point at 48-47 but Maria Radosevic made three foul shots down the stretch for Serbia. Center Ivana Brajakovic grabbed a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds while for Lithuania a near double-double of 12 points and 9 rebounds was the highlight.

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