In an unexpectedly tight game Greece needed it’s usual cool-headed guards in the end of the game to overcome a determined Chinese team who had cornered Greece with just a few minutes to go, but eventually gave in to the European bronze champions.
Greece started the game on fire with Bourousis being the protagonist with back-to-back three pointers and took the lead 11-2. Then it was Zisis who joined him and Greece took their first two-digits lead over the Asians 23-12 in just six minutes of play. The substitutions of Bourousis and Tsartsaris by Printezis and Vouyoukas slowed down the Greeks and China took advantage and cut the lead down to seven points, 25-18 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter Greece again pulled away, 36-24 but with Jianlian Yi being literally unstoppable cut down the difference down to eight, 43-35 and eventually the two teams headed to the locker rooms with the Europeans being up front 47-37 rather comfortably.
The second half started with three threepointers by Greece (Zisis 1, Diamantidis 2) and the difference reached a maximum of 13 points, 56-43. But China hadn’t given up and with a 11-2 run turned the score to 58-54. At that point the local Turkish fans made their opinion about the Greek team known and pushed the Asians even more and as a result the third quarter ended by Greece being in front with the fragile 65-62.
China even took the lead at the beginning of the last quarter and in delirious celebrations by the Chinese internationals the score became 65-66 to China. But that fact rather woke up the Greeks who made a 9-0 run taking full advantage of the rather strange zone defence player by China and regained a comfortable lead, 74-66. Still the game had a lot to offer as China answered with threepointers as well and made the score 81-79, cutting the difference down to a basket. Still the Greeks ran a last 6-1 and ended the game at 89-81.
It is worth mentioning that Greece registered only 10 players for the game as both Fotsis and Schortsianitis were banned and used all ten while China used only eight out of their 12 players.
Score by questers:
Score by quarters: 25-18, 47-37, 65-62, 89-81
Greece: Bourousis 21 (8 rbs), Zisis 21, Spanoulis 19, Diamantidis 11 (6 ass), Tsartsaris 6 (3 blk), Perperoglou 6, Kaimakoglou 3, Calathes 2, Vouyoukas, Printezis
China: Yi 26 (14 rbs), Z. Wang 15, Sun 15, S. Wang 13, Liu 7, Yu 3, Ding 2, Zhou