Russia advanced to the semi-finals of Eurobasket for the first time since 2011 after beating Greece 74-69 to set-up a meeting with either Italy or Serbia on Friday.
Greece will certainly feel hard done by though, in the ascendancy for so long and up by as many as 13 points at one point, they allowed the Russians back into the match and as a result, they managed to lead for the majority of the fourth to seal the win.
Alexey Shved led Russia with 26 points, five assists and three steals. Last season’s EuroCup MVP went 7/22 from the field, scoring ten of his game-high haul from the foul line. Timofey Mozgov added a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Nick Calathes led Greece with 25 points as they led for the majority until the latter stages of the third quarter onwards. Ioannis Bourousis had 10 but there was no other scoring option moving forward.
Both teams struggled to break away from the other to start, until Greece found freedom driving to the basket later on, as a lay-up from veteran Georgios Printezis handed his side a 23-17 lead with 1:19 left in the opening period, en route to a 24-17 cushion heading into the second.
It was there where Greece pulled clear as a jumper from Kostas Sloukas gave his side the 13-point advantage that turned out tone their biggest of the game. Russia would gradually cut the deficit, going on a 7-0 mini run later on in the half but the Greeks still had the advantage until the final stages of the third.
A lay-up from Shved tied the scores at 51-51, only to be answered by Bourousis on the next possession. And with just over seven minutes left, a basket from Vitaly Fridzon gave Russia a 60-59 and from there, they never looked back.