Credit: FIBA Media
Credit FIBA Media

Greece (1-1) downed China (0-2) by 80-105 (14-28, 18-24, 27-24, 21-29) to secure a place in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament semi-finals, held in Canada. Rick Pitino's men took second place in their group behind the hosts and will face Turkey on Saturday night (the exact time is to be confirmed). In the other semifinal, Canada will play the team that emerges from the Uruguay - Czech Republic encounter, to be played at 02:35 GMT.

Player of the Game
Giannoulis  Larentzakis
EFF
15
Giannoulis Larentzakis
Points 21
Accuracy 6-15
Rebounds 1
Assists 4

On the other hand, the team coached by Feng Du was the weakest link in their group and stood no chance of settling for anything more than the last place. This will be the first time that China men's basketball will not be competing in the Olympics since 1984. Overall, Greece have won each of their seven games against Asian teams in the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments by an average margin of 30 points and scoring 100+ points in four of those games.

Giannoulis Larenzakis had his best scoring performance with the national team, pouring 21 on 6 for 15 from the field. Kostas Sloukas (14), Dinos Mitoglou (12, plus 7 rebounds), Leonidas Kasselakis (12), and Dimitris Katsivelis (11) followed the guard of Olympiacos Piraeus. Charis Giannopoulos was the only one who went scoreless for the winners, while China relied mainly on Qi Zhou (15 points, 10 rebounds), Qian Wu (14 points), and Mingxuan Hu (16 + 5 assists). In fact, the guard playing for the Guangdong Dongguan Bank scored a total of 40 points in the tournament, without capturing a single rebound in two games!

British Columbia and the Victoria Memorial Arena welcomed their first spectators since March 2020. Greece started with determination, keeping their opponents to 5 points after as many minutes into the game. The "blue and white" managed to build a double-digit margin early on (10-24).

China had to overcome a bad shooting night, going 3 for 15 in the first quarter. Pitino's rotation didn't hurt his team's performance one bit, as players like Kostas Antetokounmpo and Leonidas Kasselakis contributed on both ends, increasing the lead up to 22 (18-40). Once more, Feng Du saw his countrymen lose most battles inside the paint, as Greece easily outrebounded the Asian team. The second quarter turned into a slam dunk contest for the two-time EuroBasket champs and, by halftime, they were up by 20 (32-52).


Kostas Sloukas was the most efficient on the court, scoring 13 points without missing in less than 8 minutes. Qi Zhou proved to be the deterrent power for China, at a point where they got to run in transition and capitalize on some fast-breaks. Bad playmaking choices and poor ball circulation kept Greece somewhat low on the scoreboard in the third quarter. The lead was cut down to 16 (44-60), but Katsivelis's hustle helped Greece recover in no time (54-76). However, Wu and Hu made sure that the quarter would end on a good note for their side. China went on a 7-0 run, while Larentzakis was taking the lion's share in Greece's shooting attempts.


Greece geared up before the finishing line, with Papagiannis taking on Qi Zhou. Pitino's squad increased their lead to 26 (66-92) with five minutes to go. That's when China called it quits for good.

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Kinijos rinktinÄ—
Graikijos rinktinÄ—
39%
24/62
Field goals
55%
37/67
35
Rebounds
37
17
Assists
26
7
Steals
8
40%
6/15
3-pointers
43%
12/28
1
Blocks
7

Best players

Mingxuan  Hu
16 PTS
3/8 FG
9/10 FT
Giannoulis  Larentzakis
21 PTS
6/15 FG
6/6 FT
Qi  Zhou
10 REB
9 DREB
1 OREB
Konstantinos  Mitoglou
7 REB
6 DREB
1 OREB
Mingxuan  Hu
5 As
3 TO
29 MIN
Nick  Calathes
8 As
2 TO
21 MIN
Qi  Zhou
17 EFF
71% 2P%
0% 3P%
Giannoulis  Larentzakis
15 EFF
43% 2P%
38% 3P%