Greece crowned U18 champ at home

Greece

Greece snapped Turkey’s hold on the FIBA U18 European Championship by grabbing gold in the final of the 2015 tournament. The victory will be even sweeter as the country is the host nation of the competition, which was held in the city of Volos this year. Turkey has won the last two editions of the U18 European, but fell short as Greece picked up a 64-61 win to take their second title, the last coming in 2008.

Turkey looked on course to claim an historic three-peat, the champs held a commanding double digit lead through halftime, with the scoreboard reading 25-37. Greece woke up in the third quarter to close the gap to 41-48 through thirty minutes before turning the tide in the fourth act to win the game. The turning point came when the Greeks finally shut down Furkan Korkmaz, who was Turkey’s danger man once again. Korkmaz was leading the Turk’s on 15 points with 27 minutes of the game played, but the hosts started doubling on him and simply shut him down. In the final 13 minutes of the contest, Korkmaz scored no points, allowing Greece to mount a comeback in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter.

Greece took a 57-54 lead in the fourth and didn’t look back as the game wound down, while Turkey crumbled and missed five consecutive three point attempts. Vasileios Charalampopoulos has been in hot form all tournament for the Greek team and he was a fitting recipient of the competition MVP. Indeed, Charalampopoulos provided the catalyst for the comeback in this game and finished with 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Georgios Papagiannis followed with a double-double of 12 points and 15 boards.

Korkmaz managed to top Turkey with 15 points, but his dry spell as the clock wound down and the team’s ability to cope cost the visitors the game.

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