Greece kept their perfect record as they beat Germany 84-76 behind 20 points of Vassilis Spanoulis, in a game that was tougher for the Greeks than expected.
Greece got on court nervously which allowed the Germans to stay close from early on in the game as they were trailing just by six after the first quarter (19-25). Same picture in the second quarter, with the Greeks trying to pull off and the Germans effectively staying in the game thanks to three-pointers and hard defense. It was a low-scoring second quarter (14-16) with the Greeks going to the locker rooms with an 8-point advantage (33-41).
The Greek defense relaxed in the third quarter which allowed Germany to come as close as 4 points after five minutes. The Greek side answered however, with points in the paint including a dunk by Sofoklis Schortsanitis that nearly brought the entire basket to the floor and set the margin again at 12 (45-57). *[see video below]
Germany tried to fight back several times in the fourth quarter and they actually managed to cut Greece's lead to mere four points (66-70), but the Greek side had the game under control and quickly raised the margin whenever needed leaving no chance to Dirk Bauermann's team.
Vassilis Spanoulis led the Greeks with 20 points and 7 assists, Sofoklis Schortsanitis added 14 and Zisis, Fotsis 12 each. The Germans were lead by perfect Heiko Schaffartzik who hit 3/3 2pointers, 5/5 3pointers, 2/2 freethrows along with 3 assists to amass 23 points. He was followed by Robin Benzing who made 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter.
GERMANY 76-84 GREECE
Germany: Staiger 3, Schaffartzik 23, Schultze 3, Ohlbrecht 4, Wysocki 2, Hamann, Greene 6, Pleiss 4, Harris 4, Femerling 8, Benzing 16, Jagla 3
Greece: Kalambokis 5, Bourousis 2, Zisis 12, Spanoulis 20, Calathes, Fotsis 12, Printezis 8, Glyniadakis, Kaimakoglou, Koufos 4, Perperoglou 7, Schortsanitis 14
Heiko Schaffartzik: "We played very well and we could have won the game, but at the end they kept making shots and always had answers for what we did,"
Jonas Kazlauskas (Greece coach): "Germany played a great game and gave us a lot of problems. The inside game was very difficult for both sides, and it shows they were very ready for this game. They controlled the tempo, which made it very difficult for us to play them."
Dirk Bauermann (Germany coach): "We executed our game plan very well, as we wanted to play as smart and aggressive as Greece does. Maybe we were too aggressive in the first minutes, and it cost us with a lot of quick fouls that allowed Greece to open a gap, and when you allow Greece to take such lead, it's very difficult to come back. I think starting too aggressive was the only major mistake we made today."
Nikolaos Zisis: "In the start of the third quarter for no reason our defense relaxed. 'We let them score some easy baskets on pick-and-roll and one-on-one situations, and that allowed them to come back into the game."
Robin Benzing: "It was a really good game for both teams. In the end we made some stupid mistakes that cost us the game. They just hit their shots in the right time and that's why they won the game."