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Eurobasket 2007 > Greece advances to semi finals September 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.

If Greece plays like it did over the final 92 seconds of its 63-62 win against Slovenia, it just might beat Spain to reach its second straight European basketball championship final.

Greece progressed to the semi finals of the European Basketball Championships with a close-fought 63-62 win over Slovenia.

The holders mounted a thrilling fight back in the final quarter to set up a semi-final showdown with world champions Spain. They trailed by 16 points midway through the fourth quarter but stormed back to win thanks to a two-pointer from Theodoros Papaloukas with 41 seconds remaining to spark wild celebrations. Papaloukas scored a game-high 17 points and pulled down five rebounds.

“If anyone has a heart problem this wasn’t the game for them,” said Greece coach Panagiotis Yannakis. “Slovenia played better most of the game but we didn’t lose our courage or spirit to keep fighting to the last seconds. “I want to thank the players. They have shown great personality and a love for the team and that’s why this game was won.”

Saturday’s semi-final sets up a repeat of last September’s world championship final in which Spain crushed Greece 70-47. Slovenia looked to be home and dry as the fourth quarter got underway with Radoslav Nesterovic, who finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, dominating in the zone. But they started to lose their fluency and nerve as Greece came back.

“It’s a very hard moment for me and my players. We played well for 37 minutes but in the last three we made mistakes and lost some balls. We lost crazy game,” said Slovenia coach Ales Pipan.

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