In the opening day of the 24th annual “Acropolis Cup” held every August in Athens Serbia started off with a tough win over Slovenia in the dying seconds while Greece literally butchered Canada setting a new record.
Serbia-Slovenia game was the first game of the tournament and it was decided by two free throws (by Velickovic) with five seconds remaining, with the Serbs taking the dramatic win 82-81 in the end.
Yet it were the Slovenians who were leading in the largest part of the game, being up with as much as 15 points at one point. At that point two technical fouls to their coach Memi Becirovic and with the Serbian defence getting tougher gave the chance to Serbia to cut the difference down to two.
From that point on Serbia used its frontline of Krstic and Velickovic to their advantage and managed to get the win. On the other hand Dragic was amazing with 27 points, but simply not enough.
Score by quarters: 21-27, 38-51, 61-65, 82-81
Serbia: Tepic 11, Milosavljevic, Bjelica 7, Markovic 2, Raduljica, Krstic 17 (7 rbs), Perovic 3, Velickovic 21, Macvan 3, Keselj 5, Teodosic 11 (4 ass), Rasic 2
Slovenia: Slokar 6, Lakovic 8 (4 stl), Klobucar 9, Nachbar 11, Dragic 27 (7 ass), Jagodnik, Zupan 4, Vidmar 5, Z. Dragic, Brezec 11, Rizvic, Muric
In the next game of the night the hosts Greeks smashed Canadians setting a new point difference record, with an unbelievable score of 123-49… yes that’s a 74 points difference. The Greeks simply confirmed their terrific form and destroyed yet another team which was unlucky enough to get in their way.
The Canadian coach blamed the long trip from Canada, jet lag and lack of energy while Greek NT coach Jonas Kazlauskas played down the amazing win.
Sofocles Schortsianitis set a new personal scoring record with Greece NT, stopping at 24 points, until the mid-third quarter (with the score at 84-32) when he got injured, with reports saying it’s nothing serious. This was the second injury for Big Sofo who was also injured in the opening game in Cyprus and stayed out of trainings for a week.
Schortianitis was supported by Calathes who almost reached a double double registering 9 points and 10 (!) assists.
On other news Kazlauskas is still unsure whether Ioannis Bouroussis will be ready to play at all in the World Championship while confirmed that all the candidates for the 12 spot of the roster (Vassileaides, Papanikolaou and Pappas) will get playing time during Acropolis tournament, in turns.
The game was held in OAKA where a small number of Panathinaikos fans booed Spanoulis for his choce to move to Olympiacos this summer.
Score by quarters: 27-6, 58-20, 84-32, 123-49
Greece: Vassileiades 14 (3), Kaimakoglou 6, Zisis 6, Spanoulis 2, Calathes (10 ass), Fotsis 12 (2), Printezis 12 (2), Perperoglou 12 (2), Tsartsaris 5, Diamantides 9, Vouyoukas 12, Schortsianitis 24