|4||I. VOUGIOUKAS||Did not play|
|9||A. FOTSIS||Did not play|
|10||V. KHRYAPA||Did not play|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||*||Starters|
ANKARA (2010 FIBA World Championship) – Russia pulled away in the third quarter to build a substantial lead and held on in the end to beat Greece 73-69 and secure second place in Group C.
David Blatt’s men will face either Spain or France in the Eighth-Final Round in Istanbul.
Russia got off to a quick start, leading 12-2 thanks to a 9-0 run capped off by Andrey Vorontsevich’s three-pointer with 4:27 to go in the first quarter. Greece eventually got going, but still trailed 20-10 at the end of the period.
They rallied back thanks to Sofoklis Schortsanitis and Konstantinos Kaimakoglou who spearheaded a 10-2 run that cut the deficit to 22-20.
Sergey Monya made four free-throws for a 26-22 advantage before Greece rallied once more and tied the score at 30 after Nikos Zisis converted a three-point play.
Timofey Mozgov, who visited with FIBATV.Com after the win, dunked for a 36-34 edge midway through the third quarter, Ioannis Bourousis then knocked down a three-pointer to edge Greece in front 37-36 who went scoreless for four minutes thereafter.
Russia made the most of their opponents’ struggles to go on a 13-0 run for a 49-37 cushion.
Efstratios Perperoglou ended Greece’s drought with a jumper before Sasha Kaun converted a three-point play. Vorontsevich buried a corner three and had a breakeaway dunk that put the Russians up 59-43 heading into the final frame.
Anton Ponkrashov sliced his way to the basket and then chased down an outlet pass to feed a trailing Sergey Monya for a lay-up that gave Russia their biggest lead of the night, 63-43.
Greece got within 66-58 on Dimitris Diamantidis's three-pointer before Vitaliy Fridzon answered with a long bomb of his own and drove to the basket to make it 73-63 with 1:18 left to play.
Diamantidis struck again from beyond the arc in the final minute but Greece ran out of time.
You can see the complete highlights on FIBATV.Com.
David Blatt (Russia head coach): “Very proud to be the coach of the Russian national team. Our players have great pride and desire to play hard and get better every day. They don’t have the big contracts of other players, but they want to play every game and do their best. They try their best and that’s showing respect for the game. Experience counts for a lot. We don’t have much of it but one thing we do have is heart and we will keep playing our hearts out in this tournament.”
Alexey Zhukanenko (Russia forward): “We played a really good game. We were good on defense in general except for a few mistakes. It was our day. I think that our win shows that we did a good job in the rebounding battle. We were very good in the pick and roll.”
Jonas Kazlauskas (Greece head coach): “We had problems dealing with the pick and roll defense and that’s part of why we lost this game.”
Dimitris Diamantidis (Greece forward): “We didn’t play our best. At the start of the game, as a team we were a bit loose and we desperately tried to catch them and close the deficit. But they managed to get a 20 point lead and we couldn’t get all the way back after that. Now we have to concentrate on our second round game. We don’t know our opponents yet but we have to make sure we’re ready whoever we face.”