EUROBASKET: GREEKS ADVANCE DESPITE LOSS

Russia rolled past Greece 83-67 to maintain their fine form at EuroBasket 2011  in Vilnius.

The Greeks were already assured of a quarter-final berth before the tie and in a first half which saw the lead bounce back and forth, they trailed 42-39 at half-time.

However Russia, inspired by a game-high 19 points from their NBA centre Timofey Mozgov, used a 6-0 run in the third to pull away, building a 67-57 advantage which they comfortably extended in the final quarter.

Kosta Koufos hit 15 for Greece.

Macedonia 68 Slovenia 59

Slovenia’s hopes of reaching the EuroBasket quarter-finals are now on thin ice after a 68-59 reverse to Macedonia on Saturday in Vilnius.

Bo McCalebb did another good job for the winners, who can top Group F with a win over Russia on Monday, with 19 points and 4 assists.

The Slovenes suffered a blow when Todor Gechevski picked up an arm injury in the third quarter as the Macedonians surged seemingly out of sight.

And although Slovenia did manage to close the gap to six in the fourth, they were out-classed.

“We won another game, but we’re not going to be cocky,” Macedonia centre Predrag Samardziski said.

We gain more respect from teams now, and it can felt on the court. Nobody thinks we’re a weak team and they play hard against us. Slovenia is a very good team with a lot of good players, but we played hard and did a very good job on defence. That’s how we won every game so far and that’s how we won this game. We don’t think about a medal yet, but we certainly can do it, because we come to every game trying to win, and we have a chance against pretty much all the teams here.

“We want to go far, make our fans happy and our country proud of ourselves, but we don’t think too far. We have a game against Russia for the first place in the group and we’re focusing on that now.”

Finland 87 Georgia 73

Finland kept their slender hopes alive of reaching the EuroBasket quarter-finals by breezing past Georgia 87-73.

Weakened by the loss of both Zaza Pachulia and George Tsintsadze, the Georgians saw their attempts to come back from a 36-33 half-time deficit fall apart with some poor outside shooting.

Finland opened up a healthy 61-52 lead by the close of the third and when Kimmo Muurinen and Shawn Huff nailed back to back three-pointers at the start of the final period, it proved enough.

“We have played against our brothers from Georgia so many times and we always enjoy it because they are a great basketball team,” said Finland Head Coach Henrik Dettmann.

“We knew coming into the game they had to adjust to missing two of their key players. We had to focus on getting our own rhythm back and playing to our own style again. I thought the guys did a great job.”

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