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15.06.2013, 18:30h
15.06.2013, 18:30h
69-57
21 - 1522 - 1214 - 1712 - 13
21 - 1522 - 1214 - 1712 - 13
Venue: Byron (Athens) |
Spectators: 500 |
Referees: Marco Giansanti (ITA), Haris Bijedic (BIH), Milan Brziak (SVK)

GAME REPORT


Greece Hold Off Israel On First Leg

Greece scored only 26 points in the second half of their semi-final first leg clash with Israel in the EuroBasket Women 2015 1st Qualification Round, but held on for a 69-57 win and have the first say in the tie.

Playing at home, the Greeks showed great intensity right from tip-off and made the most of their superiority on the glass to lead 21-15 at the end of the first quarter.

Israel looked set to balance the encounter when they came within two points, 25-23, on a Liron Cohen lay-up midway through the second frame, but suffered a monumental collapse in the final five minutes of the period.

The hosts used an 18-4 run in that stretch to transform the slim two-point advantage into a comfortable 43-27 cushion at half-time, having out-rebounded Israel 19-9 up until that point (38-26 at the end).

Greece returned to the court after the interval determined to strike the fatal blow and took their biggest lead in the game, 51-29, on a Pelagia Papamichail lay-up with 6:38 left to play in the third quarter.

Michal Epstein and Shay Doron however took the initiative for the guests and quickly reduced the gap by half, 55-44, with 22 seconds on the clock to the end of the frame.

Artemis Spanou scored Greece's last points in the encounter from the free throw line with a little over three minutes remaining to the final buzzer, and while the Greeks did not have much more left in the tank, they forced Israel to waste vital possessions and prevented them from reducing the gap to single digits.

Spanou paved the way for the winners with a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds, Katerina Sotiriou finished with 13 points and eight boards, whilst Olga Chatzinikolaou also added 13 points.

For Israel, Epstein had 19 points and five rebounds in defeat.

The return leg of the tie takes place in Israel on Tuesday.

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Greece vs. Israel

Greece head coach George Dikaioulakos
"We got the win against a really tough team. Although we were shocked after Dimitrakou's injury, we played to perfection in the first half. But we were sure that Israel would make its come back, because as I already stated it's a tough team. They got us confused in the second half and it's our responsibility, because we stopped taking care of the little details as we did in the first half. We hope that we are not going to go to Israel to defend the 12 points margin, but to win the game."

Greece forward Olga Chatzinikolaou
"This win is really important of us. It's essential that we are leading now in this double encounter against Israel. We did everything well in the first half, we did everything as we planned. In the second half we didn't do the same. Things didn't turn out as we expected. Now, we are already focusing on the second game against Israel. We have to play again with passion; we have to be focused, in order to advance to the next stage."

Israel head coach Eli Rabi
"Greece played really well and much better than we did. They were well prepared and they were ready to respond to our plays. At the same time they were sharp in shooting. We travelled in Athens aiming at a positive result, but as the game turned out, I must say that I am happy that we lost only by 12. In the second game we'll see what will happen. We ‘ll prepare ourselves for a better battle from our side in order to advance to the final."

Israel player Michal Epstein
"As the game turned out we could say that we are happy that we lost only by 12. We hope that in the next game, back in our home, with the support of our fans, we'll get to play better and that we are going to be able to advance to the final. We didn't perform well against Greece today, especially in defense. We gave a lot of space to the Greek team to run and we gave them a lot of open shots. We must not repeat the same mistakes in the next game."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

48.2%

27/56
FG
M/A

48.1%

25/52

54.8%

23/42
FG2P
M/A

58.5%

24/41

28.6%

4/14
FG3P
M/A

9.1%

1/11

61.1%

11/18
FT
M/A

54.5%

6/11

38

10/28
RT
RO/RD

26

3/23

13

AS

8

14

TO

15

11

ST

11

0

BS

1

16

PF

20

69

Pts

57

PHOTO GALLERY

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