Photo: FIBA

There exist situations of challenge, and then there’s the difficult position that Greece found themselves in when facing New Zealand.

Greece was trailing by 15 points initially, but they managed to recover spectacularly in the second half at the Mall of Asia Arena.

This remarkable turnaround allowed them to win the match with a score of 83-74, securing the final spot in the Second Round from Group C.

This victory for Greece prevented them from experiencing their worst performance ever, as they had always progressed to at least the Sweet 16 phase in their previous eight appearances at this level.

Now, with this win, they’ve achieved this feat for the ninth time.

In Okinawa, there was celebration due to New Zealand’s loss, because Australia’s advancement to the next round meant they secured the Oceania spot for the Olympics in Paris.

Ioannis Papapetrou seems to have a special affinity for playing against New Zealand. In his past World Cup performances, his highest-scoring game was 16 points against New Zealand in 2019.

He once again played a crucial role in this match’s first half, and during the fourth quarter, he made significant shots that contributed to Larentzakis’ team’s efforts.

Papapetrou concluded the game with the highest score for his team, amassing 27 points by making 8 of his 15 attempts, including 4 out of 7 shots from beyond the three-point line. Additionally, he secured 6 rebounds throughout the game.

Watch the game highlights between Greece and Zealand in the First Round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023: