Greece will be heading to EuroBasket 2015 with the taste of trophy success after the team defeated Lithuania to win the Acropolis Cup. The warm up tournament for the European Championships has been held in Athens and with home comforts the Greek’s claimed a 67-62 to claim the top prize. Both nations will now turn they attention to the EuroBasket competition that tips off later in the week.
Greece will be heading into the showpiece tournament of FIBA Europe in good form after winning its last three games. The hosts started strong here and midway through the first quarter had amassed a 12-3 lead. However, Lithuania hit back with a 1-9 run and trailed by just a point after 10 minutes (16-15). Lithuania continued to push through the second quarter and carved open its first lead at 29-31 with a minute left in the first half. Greece managed to net a single bucket to tie proceedings at 31 apiece through the long break.
Lithuania opened a lead during the third act, but the home team put together a 9-0 run that gave the Greek contingent a 46-41 lead through thirty minutes. Lithuania tried to find another gear at the start of the fourth stanza, but Greece killed the game once and for all with a 10-2 run and held on for victory.
“We made up for our disadvantage on the boards by forcing them to make mistakes,” said Greece head coach Fotis Katsikaris.
“The game was tough, it was a like an official knock-out game.
“We still have weaknesses but we will be ready by next week for the EuroBasket.
“One aspect of that is the systems and plays we will use, also in relation to the opponent.
“The other aspect is that every player feels happy with their role.”
Georgios Printezis will be a key component for Greece during EuroBasket 2015 and here was the standout again with 14 points, while Giannis Antetokounmpo logged 10 points.
Jonas Maciulis scored a game high 15 points in the losing effort, but was outdone by the games only double-double courtesy of Jonas Valanciunas’ 13 points 10 boards.