ImageAfter many failed attempts, the "eternal fourth" managed to grab their second-ever bronze medal (the first was back in 1949) and fifth overall in Eurobaskets, after they beat Slovenia 57-56.

Greece scored the first five points of the game, but they were quickly matched by Bostjan Nachbar who was hitting from distance. Giannis Bourousis got in early foul trouble and was replaced by Sofoklis Schortsanitis who was meant to be the go-to-guy for Greece for the rest of the game. He scored 8 points in the first quarter to give Greece a small lead (16-13) by the end of it.

In the second half Greece's lead grew to ten points before Uros Slokar and Erazem Lorbek cut it to just seven for the break (31-24) in a very low scoring game, as the shots were not falling for either side.

The same pace continued in the second half, both teams were pretty dry from behind the arc and as Spanoulis was out of rhythm, Slovenia further cut the lead to five by the end of the third quarter (42-37).

Schortsanitis was dominant in the final quarter and kept scoring for Greece as the Slovenians tried to come back in the game, behind big baskets by Jaka Lakovic.
   Big Sofo was finally tired and was replaced at the moment that Lakovic hit a three-pointer to come within a basket's range with 2' to go. It was then time for Fotsis to step up as he hit a three-pointer himself with 31" to go, after an offensive rebound by Nikos Zisis.
   The game was not over however, as Lakovic scored 5 points quickly, with an intermission of one Greek freethrow to cut Greece's lead to just one point (57-56), but the Slovenians could not do anything more to win the game.

Greece 57 – 56 Slovenia

Greece: Kalambokis, Bourousis 9, Zisis 6, Spanoulis 3, Calathes 4, Fotsis 5, Printezis 4, Glyniadakis, Kaimakoglou, Koufos, Perperoglou 3, Schortsanitis 23

Slovenia: Slokar 9, Lakovic 16, Udrih 5, Brezec 4, Smodis, Klobucar 1, Nachbar 9, Dragic, Jagodnik, D.Lorbek, Golemac, E.Lorbek 12

Game quotes:

Jonas Kazlauskas (Greece Coach):

"I am very proud of my players, they did great in the short time we had. I had only three players here with experience at this level, but they still did a great job winning a bronze medal. Today's game wasn't maybe very nice for the fans, but it was a match where the result was the most important thing."

Antonios Fotsis (Greece):

"It was a very hard game.  We usually struggle in this kind of game, because of the disappointment of being eliminated in the Semi-Finals. But this time the team was very focused in winning a bronze medal, and we got the result we wanted."

Jure Zdovc (Slovenia Coach):

"I want to congratulate Greece for their win. I also want to congratulate my players, because they found the energy after a very tough game last night. It was a great 14 days and we can be proud of our performance.  With Dragic and Smodis we would be on a different level, but we'll have to wait and see, who will be available for us next summer."

Uros Slokar (Slovenia):

"Despite our injuries we went into the game against Greece brave and tough. Unfortunately we did not make it to the third spot and did not win any medal, but we must not forget that we made a step forward in comparison to the previous championship. I would like to say thank you to all our fans who supported us here. We could not have made it this far without you."