In the most important game of the night Turkey downed Greece showing unparalleled passion on defence and being pushed by a crowd of 11000 fans.
The game set off in a fast tempo and both teams scored rather easily, both under the basket, especially Turkey, and from outside. With Ilyasova overpowering all his opponents Turkey took the early lead, 13-9. Kazlauskas opted to gamble with Schortsianitis, who was obviously out of rhythm, as was Fotsis. due to their suspensions. Unfortunately for Greece and fortunately for Turkey it didn’t work and Turkey expanded their lead to eight points, 22-14. Greece could only cut it down to 22-15 before the end of the first quarter.
Although Turkey was keeping the difference close to double digits, 27-20 Greece managed to run a little comeback and made the score 30-28. Still Turkey did not lose their head, like they did in previous tournaments and later on with a 7-0 run made the score 41-33. Of course neighr did Greece give up and with two back-to back threepointers configured the final score of half time at 41-39.
At the third quarter Turkey stepped up their game and for the first time raised the difference to double digits, 53-43 with five minutes to go. Turkey’s bigs continued dominating the paint on both ends of the court and the difference kept growing, 62-50. As that wasn’t enough Ilyasova put the final nail on the Greek coffin and the two teams headed to their benches at the end of third quarter with Turkey deservingly leading 65-51, the biggest difference of the game yet.
The fourth quarter started off as a copy-paste of the third quarter end and Ilyasova draining his sixth threepointer (6/6 at that point) skyrocketed the difference to sixteen points, 70-54. At that point Kazlauskas decided to withdraw Spanoulis, who was outplayed by Omer Onan, and put in Calathes. That improved the Greek offence which resulted the reduce of the difference from eighteen to eight points with just four minutes to go.
At that point Turkoglu proves why he is earning his bread in NBA for so many years and with a killer threepointer ended all Greek hopes, if there were any. That play pretty much sealed the game until the final score which was 76-65 with Turkish fans giving standing ovation to their players with less than a minute to go.
Special consideration must go Ersan Ilyasova who destroyed any competition from the Greek side scoring 26 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.
Score by quarters: 22-15, 41-39, 65-51, 76-65
Turkey: Ilyasova 26, Asik 12 (2 blk), Erden 10, Turkoglu 8, Tunceri 7, Onan 6, Arslan 5, Savas 2, Guler, Gonlum (8 rbs)
Greece: Bourousis 15, Schortsianitis 9, Diamantidis 8 (3 stl), Fotsis 7, Calathes 6, Kaimakoglou 6, Spanoulis 5, Perperoglou 4, Zisis 3, Tsartsaris 2,