Greece defeated Turkey 76-72 for the second time in three days, this time harder than the last (70-56) in a friendly game at the Ulker Sports Arena, Istanbul on Friday.
The combined talent of center Giannis Bourousis who scored 16 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, point guard Nick Calathes who scored 11 points and dished out 3 assists, and forward Georgios Printezis who scored 13 points and got 6 rebounds, was the MAIN difference in yesterday’s game and the top reason that Greece ended a series of strong friendlies with a win before the start of the Mundobasket next week.
On the Turkish side, guard Emir Preldzic led the scoring for the team with 18 points, along with 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Center Omer Asik finished the game with 12 points and 7 rebounds, while point guard Ender Arslan scored 9 points and produced 3 assists and small forward Cenk Akyol had 8 points and 3 rebounds to his name.
Turkey took the lead early in the game and kept it till the end of the quarter, when after a time-out the Greeks organized their play and with a 10-0 run equalized the score (23-23). Same exact story in the 2nd quarter when the Turks lifted their performance and blew the difference up to 9 (35-26). The Greeks with cautious attacks and great defense managed to re-equalize and send both teams to the locker rooms having scored 39 points.
In the second half the tables turned, the Greeks were the ones that went ahead (51-57) while their neighbors chased them down to equalize again with two well aimed three point shots (57-57) just at the end of the 3rd quarter. In the final period the Greek national team went ahead again but this time the Turkish side found no solution which resulted in Greece’s fifth win in this mini series of eight friendlies.
The Greek basketball team will now travel to Spain and specifically Sevilla, Andalucia, where they will play their first round of the Mundobasket games.