France wins, Greece celebrates

ImageIn a parody of basketball where both teams tried to lose the game, in order to avoid Spain in the quarter finals, France managed to beat Greece due to a buzzer beater by De Colo, a basket which was anything but celebrated by the French players.


Although the Greek media advertised the 26 years that Greece remained unbeaten against France, which is fact wrong as France beat Greece in 2006 Stankovic Cup, France managed to repeat their feat by winning the game 71-69.

Greece started the game hot and with good long range shooting took the lead 13-4. Tony Parker took France on his shoulders and with individual baskets made the score at the end of the first quarter 21-18, to Greece.

Second quarter belonged to France as they managed to control the rebounds (France had 10 offensive rebounds in first half whereas Greece had 9 defensive). Alain Koffi with 14 points in the first half led France with a 10-0 run to make the score 28-23 to France, then 41-32 and at the end of the first half it was 41-34 for Les Blues.

France took a double digit lead in the beginning of the second half, 45-34 but Greece managed to cut their lead down to three, 45-42. France regained control of the game and re-established a safe differene, 54-46 but Spanoulis made the final score of the third quarter 56-53, to France, with a threepointer from half court.

Grece was better in the last quarter, mainly due to the fact that France did not really want to win, hence keeping Parker on the bench. Of course the same applied to Greece as both teams seemed to prefer to face Slovenia or Turkey rather than Turkey. Fotsis gave the lead to Greece after a long time, 64-63. Nando De Colo was the only one trying hard from France and gave his team the lead again, 69-66. Spanoulis tied the game with 8" to go but De Colo, again, gave the win to France with a buzzer beater.

FRANCE 71-69 GREECE

France: Diot 3, Batum 8, Jeanneau 2, Koffi 14, Parker 12, Bokolo 10,  Pietrus 2, De Colo 6, Diaw, Turiaf 4, Traore 10
Greece: Kalampokis 2, Bourousis 8, Zisis 4, Spanoulis 16, Calathes 7, Fotsis 9, Printezis, Kaimakoglou 4, Perperoglou 7, Schortsianitis 12

Game quotes:

Nikolaos Zisis: "Congratulations to France. It was an important game for both teams trying to win the group. We didn't make it. Now we have to prepare to Quarter-Finals to achieve our goals."

Alain Koffi: "The game was very important for us as well for the same reasons that Nikolaos mentioned. We are now looking forward to the Quarter-Finals."

Jonas Kazlauskas (Greece Coach): "Both players told you everything. We are prepared very well. To win such games, apart from skill, you need to be lucky as well."

Vincent Collet (France Coach): "We have to wait to know who our opponent is. Perhaps some of them will be easier to beat. We will try to go as high as possible. We played the fourth quarter without Tony Parker because first of all we were playing good in that period and second of all we knew how important the next game would be so we wanted key players to rest."