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Olympic Games 2004 - Men Basketball


Play-Off bracket1

Olympic Games 2004 logo

Final Standings

1.Argentina
2.Italy
3.USA
4.Lithuania
5.Greece
6.P.Rico
7.Spain
8.China
9.Australia
10.N.Zealand
11.Serbia/M.
12.Angola

Group
Eliminations
Standings

Group A

1.Spain 5-0
2.Italy 3-2
3.Argentina 3-2
4.China 2-3
5.N.Zealand 1-4
6.Serbia/M. 1-4

Group B

1.Lithuania 5-0
2.Greece 3-2
3.P.Rico 3-2
4.USA 3-2
5.Australia 1-4
6.Angola 0-5

Stats Leaders
All Stats
Points
1.Gasol, ESP 22.4
2.Phill Jones NZL 21.0
3.Yao Ming, CHN 20.47
4.Ginobili ARG 19.3
5.Arroyo PUR 18.0
Rebounds
1.Yao Ming, CHN 9.3
2.Tomasevic SRB 9.2
3.Duncan, USA 9.1
4.Bogut, AUS 9.0
5.Gasol, ESP 7.3
Assists
1.Jasikevicius, LTU 5.6
2.Arroyo, PUR 5.0
3.Dickel NZL 4.5
4.Pozzecco, ITA 4.3
5.Heal, AUS 3.5

Argentina celebrating gold medal at the Olympic Games '04 (Photo: FIBA)

   Ginobili voted MVP of the Olympic Tournament - Aug 28, 2004 - by Eurobasket
Emanuel Ginobili (198-G-77, agency: Interperformances) was voted as the Most Valuable Players of the Olympic Basketball Tournament of ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games.
The other players, who received votes were: Luis Scola (206-F/C-80) (ARG), Pau Gasol (214-F-80) (ESP), Giacomo Galanda (211-F/C-75) (ITA), Walter Herrmann (207-F-79) (ARG), Ruben Wolkowyski (206-C-73) (ARG) and Alejandro Montecchia (180-G-72, agency: Interperformances) (ARG).



Luis Scola
Scores 25
to Bring
Gold to
Argentina

   Argentina Defeats Italy for Gold - Aug 28, 2004 - by Arthur Volbert
Argentina - Italy 84-69

Argentina: Sanchez 3p+4r+5a, Ginobili 16p+6r+6a, Montecchia 16p+2r, Fernandez 1p, Sconochini 2p+2r, Scola 25p+11r+1a+1s, Nocioni 7p+9r, Wolkowyski 13p+3r
Italy: Basile 9p, Galanda 7p+2r+3s, Soragna 12p+4r+1s, Marconato 6p+4r, Pozzecco 12p, Righetti 3p, Rombaldoni 10p+1r+2a, Bulleri 5p, Chiacig 3p+4r, Garri 2p+6r+1s
Reversing the result of its 76-75 preliminary-round loss, just as the USA reversed its earlier loss to Lithuania, Argentina won the gold medal with an 84-69 triumph over Italy.

With Fabricio Oberto out with a broken hand, power forward Luis Scola (206-F/C-80) played 37 minutes, scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to pace the Argentine victory.  The 2002 second round draft choice of the San Antonio Spurs, who for salary cap reasons will play another year in Europe, hit 10 of his 13 shots and all five of his free throws.

Alex Montecchia scored 17 points and San Antonio's Manu Ginobili scored 16, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 6 assists. Ruben Wolkowyski scored 13 points and grabbed 3 rebounds.  Matteo Saragna and Gianmaro Pozzecco scored 12 points for Italy and Rodolpho Rombaldoni scored 10.  These were the only Italians in double figures.

Argentina only hit 3 of 14 three-pointers, to 11 of 31 for the Italians, but Argentina outscored Italy 46-20 in the paint and had 14 fast break points to only 2 for Italy.

Argentina led 23-16 at the end of the first quarter but Italy narrowed the Argentine lead to 43-41 at the half.  Argentina opened up a 6 point lead, 60-54, at the end of the third quarter and outscored Italy 24-15 in the fourth.

   USA Wins Bronze, Defeats Lithuania 104-96 -- Greece Fifth, Spain Seventh - Aug 28, 2004 - by Arthur Volbert


Shawn
Marion
Stars for
USA
Against
Lithuania

3rd Place Game: USA - Lithuania 104-96
USA: Iverson 15p+3a, Marbury 14p+5a, Wade 9p+6a, Boozer 7p+8r, Anthony 3p+4r, James 6p+2a+2s, Marion 22p+6r+3s, Stoudemire 4p, Duncan 6p+8r, Odom 14p+7r+2a+3s, Jefferson 4p+5r
Lithuania: Ginevicius 3p, M. Zukauskas 8p+2a, Macijauskas 24p, Stombergas 13p, Siskauskas 13p+3a, Songaila 5p+4r+2a, E. Zukauskas 4p+2r, Jasikevicius 17p+3r+4a+2s, Javtokas 9p+6r
The United States initially brought the wrong uniforms to today's bronze medal game.  But the right team showed up, the one that beat Spain two days ago, and it defeated Lithuania 104-96.  The USA has now defeated both of the undefeated preliminary group leaders in the final round and neither Lithuania nor Spain will go home with a medal.

On the other hand, Italy, which lost to 11th place Serbia-Montenegro 74-72, and Argentina, which needed a last-second shot to beat the Serbs 83-82, will be going for the gold later today.  Note that China beat Serbia-Montenegro 67-66.  So, as I have said, these teams are all on a similar level, except for Angola, and anyone can beat anyone on a given day.

The USA won today's game even though Lithuania hit a record 21 of 37 three-pointers, breaking the Olympic three-point record which Italy set yesterday.  But the USA scored 36 points in the paint to 18 for Lithuania and, with superior quickness and leaping ability outrebounded the Lithuanians 40-26.

The United States can beat any team in the tournament when, as today, it brings its A game and lose to any team, save Angola, when, like yesterday, it brings its B game.

The game was tied 24-24 at the end of the first quarter and the USA forged ahead 49-44 at the half.  The score at the end of three quarters was 74-71 in favor of the United States.

Shawn Marion (201-F-78, college: UNLV) of the Phoenix Suns was the star for the USA, scoring 22 points, grabbing 6 rebounds and making 3 steals.  He hit 9 of 15 shots and both of his free throws.  Lithuania could not contain his inside play.  Allen Iverson added 15 points for the USA while Lamar Odom and Stephon Marbury each scored 14.  Tim Duncan, held to 24 minutes of playing time by foul trouble, scored only 6 points but hit two critical free throws with 40 seconds left in the game.

Arvydas Macijauskas led Lituania with 24 points.  Sarunas Jasikevisius scored 17 points while both Saulius Stombergas and Ramunas Siskauskas added 13.

5th Place Game: Greece - Puerto Rico 85-75

Greece: Papaloukis 6p, Zisis 6p+4r, Papanikolaou 2p+2r, Spanoulis 7p+2r+3a, Chatzivrettas 17p, Tsartsaris 5p, Diamantidis 7p+8r+3a+1s+2b, Papadopoulos 15p+3r+1a, Kakiouzis 20p+6r+3a+3s+1b
Puerto Rico: Ortiz 13p+6r+2a+2s, Casiano 5p, Hatton 5p+2r+2a, Arroyo 12p+4a+3s, Ayuso 14p+2r, Hourriitiner 10p, Santiago 7p+9r
Scoring 50 points in the paint and 18 on fast breaks, Greece defeated Purto Rico 85-75 to gain fifth place in the Olympic tournament.

Michael Kakiouzis scored 20 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, dished out 3 assists, made 3 steals and blocked a shot to lead Greece.  Nicholaos Chatzivrettas added 17 points and Lazaros Papadopoulos netted 15.  Dimetrios Diamantidis scored 7 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and also had 3 assists, a steal and 2 blocks.

Elias Ayuso led Puerto Rico with 14 points.  40-year-old Jose Ortiz scored 13 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, had 2 assists and made 2 steals.  Carlos Arroyo of the Utah Jazz scored 12 points, handed out 4 assists and made 3 steals.  Rolando Hourritener added 10 points.

Greece jumped out to a 25-15 first quarter lead and was ahead 44-36 at the half.  It led 66-56 after three quarters and maintained that 10-point lead at the end of the game.

7th Place Game: Spain - China 92-76

Spain: Gasol 37p+7r+2a+1b, Comas 3p, Navarro 9p+2r+1a, Caldaroni 2p+6r+1a, Reyes 6p+6r+2a, Jiminez 0p+4r+2s, Yerba 2p+2r, Duenas 7p+3r, Fernandez 2p+2r, de la Fuente 4p+2r+4a+3s+1b, Garbajosa 20p+6r
China: Liu 3p+6r+2a+4to, Guo 11p, Zhu 4p, Li 16p+3r, Yi 8p+4r+1b, Mo 4p, Yao 14p+7r+3a+1b, Bateer 5p+1r, Du 11p+1a
Pau Gasol scored 37 points and Yao Ming, Mo Ke and Yi Jianlian fouled out of the game as Spain defeated China today, 92-76.  Reacting to its disappointment at losing to the USA in the quarterfinals, Spain was determined to show it was one of the best teams in the tournament.

China, however, did not fade away and lost to Spain by fewer points than it lost in the opening game of the tournament.  It lost by 25 in the opener while today it lost by 16 and never trailed by more than 20.  This tournament was a learning process for China and Spain taught the team a few more lessons today.  China fell behind 25-21 at the end of the first quarter and trailed 42-32 at the half.  Spain extended its lead to 65-50 after three quarters.

Jorge Garbajosa had 20 points and 6 rebounds for Spain and Juan Carlos Navarro had 9 to support the outstanding performance by Gasol.  Li Nan led China in scoring with 16 points and Yao had 14 points and 7 rebounds.  Guo Shiquang and Du Feng both scored 11 points.  Yi Jianlian, despite fouling out, had his best game of the tournament with 8 points, 4 rebounds and a block.  Zhu Fangyu continued his disappointing performance scoring only 4 points and missing all 4 of his three-point shots.

   Italy, Argentina Go For Gold as USA, Lithuania Seek Bronze - Aug 27, 2004 - by Arthur Volbert


Gianluca
Basile
Scores 31
as Italy
Upsets
Lithuania


Semifinals: Italy - Lithuania 100-91
Italy: Radulovic 2p+5r, Basile 31p+4r, Galanda 16p+5r+2b, Soragna 12p+2r+2a, Marconato 6p+9r+3a+1b+1s, Pozzecco 17p+2r+3a+3s, Bulleri 12p+5r+2a, Chiacig 4p+5r
Lithuania: M. Zukauskas 8p+2r, Macijauskas 26p+5r+1a+1s, Stombergas 12p+2a+2s, Siskauskas 4p+7r+4a+1s, Songaila 6p+2r+1a, E. Zukauskas 10p+5r+2a+1b, Larinovic 15p+3r, Jasikevicius 9p+5r+9a+2s, Salenga 1p
As expected, Lithuania will face the United States tomorrow in a rematch of their exciting preliminary round contest.  Unexpectedly, the game will be for the bronze medal as Italy and Argentina will be playing for the gold.

Italy defeated Lithuania today 100-91, a result every bit as surprising as Argentina's earlier 89-81 victory over the USA.  Italy and Argentina will also be playing a rematch of an exciting preliminary game, a contest which Italy won 76-75.

Gianluca Basile (193-G-75) scored 31 points, hitting 7 of 11 three-pointers and all 8 of his free throws to lead the Italians against Lithuania.  Gianmarco Pozecco scored 17 points, Giacomo Galanda scored 16, while Matteo Soragna and Massimo Bolleri both scored 12.
Arvydas Macijauskas poured in 26 points for Lithuania, hitting 6 of 10 three-pointers.  Kristov Larinovic added 15 points, Saulius Strombergas had 12 and Eurelijus Zukauskas had 10 for Lithuania.  Sarunas Jasikevicius added 9 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals.

This was a game of scoring streaks.  Lithuania jumped off to a 26-20 lead at the end of the first quarter and extended this margin to 34-23.  Then Italy went on a 21-point run to take a 44-34 lead and maintained a 49-43 margin at the end of the first half.

Italy led 73-63 at the end of the third quarter. Then Lithuania went on a 15-point run to begin the fourth quarter to convert this deficit to a 78-73 lead.  But Italy battled back and outscored Lituania 27-14 the remainder of the game to achieve its final 9-point margin of victory.



Ginobili
Scores 29
as
Argentina
Defeats
USA
 

   Argentina Beats United States 89-81 in Semifinal - Aug 27, 2004 - by Arthur Volbert
Argentina - USA 89-81
Argentina: Sanchez 4p+7a, Ginobili 29p+3r+3a, Montecchia 12p+2a+2s, Oberto 6p+4r+4a, Herrmann 11p+4r, Fernandez 1p+3r, Scola 4p+4r+2s+2b, Nocioni 13p+5r, Wolkowyski 3p+4r
USA: Iverson 10p+2r+3a+2s, Marbury 18p, Wade 2p+2r+2a+2s, Boozer 8p+9r+3s, James 3p, Marion 9p+5r+3s, Duncan 10p+6r, Odom 14p+8r+3a+2s, Jefferson 7p+2r
The erratic United States team, bereft of most of its superstars and showing its unfamiliarity with the style of international play, lost to Argentina today, 89-81.  Argentina, finally playing up to the potential of the team that almost won the world title in 2002, had five players in double figures, including 29 points from Emanuel Ginobili (198-G-77, agency: Interperformances)

Andres Nocioni had 13 points, Alex Montecchia had 12 points, Walter Herrmann had 11 points and Luis Scola had 10.  Point guard Pepe Sanchez had 4 points and 7 assists.  Fabricio Oberto had 6 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Tim Duncan of the United States was in foul trouble most of the game, unfamiliar with international officiating, playing less than 20 minutes and fouling out with 5 minutes left in the game.  With Shaquille O'Neal, Ben Wallace, Brad Miller and Jermaine O'Neal not on the team, power forward Carlos Boozer served as the backup center.   Boozer, as a restricted free agent, recently became a member of the Utah Jazz when the Cleveland Cavaliers refused to match Utah's offer sheet.

Argentina hit 11 of 22 three point shots.  The United States, as suspected unable to put together two good shooting games in a row, only hit 3 of 11 three-pointers.

Argentina jumped off to a 24-20 first quarter lead and was ahead 43-38 at the half.  It led 70-57 at the end of the third quarter en route to its 8 point victory margin.  Argentina led by 5 points or more the entire second half, demonstrating its superiority today over the USA team.

I would like to comment on yesterday's controversy after USA Coach Larry Brown called a timeout with 23 seconds left and his team leading by 11 points.  While such a timeout is considered extremely bad manners in Europe, it is very acceptable, even encouraged, in the NBA.  There, because of poor overall foul shooting and the propensity of the trailing team to foul immediately on defense and throw up quick three-pointers on offense, such a timeout does indeed have tactical value.  Also I believe that coaches are encouraged to use all their time outs in the NBA so that the television broadcasters can get in all their commercials.  While this may be extemely frustrating to spectators and TV viewers, it is extremely profitable for the NBA clubs and their league.

   Day Five Games Summary - Aug 23, 2004 - by Eurobasket
In the last day of group eliminational, there were some interesting results.
World Champions (Serbia/Montenegro) are already out of the competition. They lost in the "last chance game" to China, and Asian champion made it to the quarterfinals instead of Serbia/Montenegro. China will face in the quarterfinals Group B leader, undefeated Lithuania.
USA also had to win their game to make it to the quarterfinals. But the opponent was Angola, which is considered as the weakest team of the tournament. So Americans had no problem to get 36-points victory. They will play against undefeated Spain in the quarterfinals.
Spain faced unpredictable New Zealand. And that was not an easy game. However Spaniards secured 88-84 victory and will face USA in the quarterfinals.
Italy similarly like China managed to get 1-point victory against Argentina. Both teams had already secured their place in the quarterfinals, where Italy will face Puerto Rico and Argentina will play against host Greece.
In other games Greece crushed Puerto Rico by 20 points and Lithuania did not have bigger problems to beat Australia by 15 points.

Group A

Spain - New Zealand 88-84
Spain: Calderón 3, Navarro 10, Jiménez 6, Gasol 14, Garbajosa 17; Comas 3, Reyes 4, Dueñas, Fernández 15, De la Fuente 3, Iturbe 3, Yebra 10
New Zealand: Dickel 8, Jones 23, Camerón 18, Rampton, Marks 13; Penney 6, Henare 2, Boucher 6, Book 8
Spain makes a perfect record to the quarterfinals - by Juanjo Martin
Spain stopped speculations and reached the victory in the last match of Preliminaries. Head coach Mario Pesquera utilized his usual starter players in this match, proving that he don't want to lose any match in the event. This triumph allows to keep invict in the Olympic Games. A loss would have knocked out Serbia, a tough rival in the final phase although they aren't in their best moment right now. The Spanish team had the chance to send them back home, but it won against New Zealand, which is mathematically out of Quarterfinals. Many people remembered the Eurobasket'99 when Spain depended on Yugoslavia's victory over Russia to get the bid for quarterfinals but they lost. Today the fair play has imposed and the forth classified of Pool A will be the winner of Serbia-China.

One of the faults of Spain in this Olympics is the 3-pointers. In the four disputed matches Spain has a poor 15/65 (11th in the ranking, only above USA). In this match seemed to be solved: 14/26 from the perimeter (9/14 in the first half), contrasting with New Zealand's record: 9/35. Navarro started to show signs of life (two 3-pointers in the first minutes) and his partners joined to the party. Jorge Garbajosa  completed once more a great game, leading Spain in the second period with seven points in a row and a later shot beyond the arc. Rudy Fernandez had more minutes in the court and could managed them with very good numbers: 15 pts with 3/3 in 3p. The scoreboard showed 48-37 for Spain in the break.

Oscar Yebra, who had hardly played in the opening match, continued with the offensive job in the second half, making 10 pts. Spain let up in this period due to the match was irrelevant for them, what was utilized by Phill Jones (23 pts) to narrow the score. He was accompanied by NBA Marks and mainly Pero Cameron (18). Garbajosa came back to the floor to defend him and stopped his scoring streak. Jones continued on fire and together to several Spanish turnovers, the score was tied at 81 with more than 2 minutes to play. Gasol hit from the arc and scored two free shots to get Spain ahead. Cameron narrowed the score again (86-84). Spain missed the next move with an open 3-pointer, but New Zealand did the same, finishing their hopes with that failed 3-pointer.

Italy - Argentina 76-75
Italy: Bulleri 16, Soragna 6, Righetti 14, Galanda 1, Marconato 2; Radulovic 16, Pozzeco 17, Rombaldoni, Chiacig 4, Garri
Argentina: Montecchia 5, Ginobili 19, Nocioni 6, Oberto 4, Wolkowyski 5; Sánchez 5, Fernández, Sconochini 6, Scola 19, Delfino 6
Comments by www.athens2004.com
Gianmarco POZZECCO, Guard (ITA)
"I was asked in the mixed zone it this was a strange game. In a way it was. The win of China over Serbia/Montenegro worried us a little, but we are here to win. Calculations are just a distraction for us. There is a possibility that we face Greece in the quarterfinals. If so, it is going to be a very tough game, against the team with the home advantage and its public, and we know how warm the Greek public can be. But this is really their only advantage over us. My only concern is about the referees possibly feeling psychological pressure in fornt of this audience. But I think it won't happen, referees have shown that they are honest."
Carlo RECALCATI, Head Coach (ITA)
"This was a real game, and this is very important. Both teams played openly. I heard many talk about us facing the United States or Greece, and this is indeed highly probable. But players must keep themselves out of that reasoning. The game was very close to the character of both teams. We fought hard all the way through. We tried to rebound well and keep the score low, and we won. We also spared (Gianluca) BASILE for the quarterfinal. He is recovering well, and we are very happy about that. (Michele) MIAN is going through X-rays tonight or tomorrow morning and we'll see how bad his situation is."
Emanuel GINOBILI, Guard (ARG)
"It was a very tough game, as we expected it to be. Italy plays great Basketball, with solid defense. We started well, but then made too many mistakes and Italy caught up on us. Any team could have won, but unfortunately it wasn't us."
Ruben MAGNANO, Head Coach (ARG)
"We are still unable to maintain a consistent level of performance. We allow our opponents to get into the game, and this is something we must keep working on. Now the first round is finished, and we don't know yet who we are facing. In any case the game will be crucial for us, marking the future of our team in its attempt to move on."

China - Serbia / Montenegro 67-66
China: Liu Wei 2, Zhu Fangyu 6, Li Nan 14, Mo Ke 6, Yao Ming 27; Chen Ke, Guio Shiquiang, Zhang Jinsong, Yi Jianlian 12, Du Feng 12
Serbia / Montenegro: Bodiroga 6, Radmanovic 2, Vujanic 12, Drobnjak 17, Tomasevic 9; Popovic 2, Rakocevic 5, Scepanovic 9, Avdalovic 4, Krstic 4
China edges Serbia/Montenegro, makes quarterfinals - by Arthur Volbert
After trailing most of the game, China rallied at the end of the fourth quarter to convert a 60-53 deficit to a 67-63 lead and defeated Serbia-Montenegro 67-66.  Du Feng hit two free throws with 3.2 seconds left to seal the victory.  The win sets up a quarterfinal match for China against Group B champion Lithuania.

Yao Ming led China with 27 points on 9 of 12 shooting, making 9 of 10 free throws.  He also grabbed 13 rebounds, handed out 2 assists and blocked 2 shots.Li Nan contributed 14 points and Du Feng had 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals.  Mo Ke had 6 points and 4 rebounds.  Point guard Liu Wei only scored 2 points, but had 3 assists, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and no turnovers.

The Chinese team only committed 12 turnovers, the same number as Serbia-Montenegro.  China outrebounded Serbia-Montenegro 33-31.

With Yao's superb performance today, Chinese officials will ignore his outburst in the press conference after China's opening loss to Spain.  The only effects from that outburst is that Yao has not spoken at later after-game press conferences.  This outburst will not affect China's future relationships with the NBA.

Today Mo Ke was the first spokesman for the team:
 "We are very happy about the result, which gave us our berth to the quarter-finals. We didn't play well in defense so far in this tournament, and we said before the game that first of all everybody has to give everything defensively. In offense we tried to play with Yao who played an excellent game and carried us until the end.  These three final minutes, when we fought back and we took the lead are our best memories so far in the Games. I wish we can make it also to semi-finals."

Yao added:

“It’s a day of great joy. In 1996, when I saw the Chinese team qualify for the quarterfinals (in Atlanta), I was impressed. It was a great deed, and we did the same. Coach gave us a lesson of life. His ‘never give up’ motto was the watchword for us. This win is a treasure for the future generation of Chinese Basketball players. It was the fruit of our labours. We just didn’t want to pack and go that early.”

I would like to thank the official Olympic site www.athens2004.com for the quotes.

Group B

Lithuania - Australia 100-85
Lithuania: Vidas Ginevicius 5, Arvydas Macijauskas 2, Ksistof Lavrinovic 18, Dainius Salenga 4, Robertas Javtokas 23; Mindaugas Zukauskas 8, Saulius Stombergas 12, Ramunas Siskauskas 5, Darius Songaila 10, Slanina Donatas 2, Eurelijus Zukauskas, Sarunas Jasikevisius 11
Australia: Andrew Bogut 21, Jason Smith 9, Shane Heal 11, Glen Saville 19, Matthew Nielsen 11; Anthony Ronaldson 2, Brett Maher 8, Martín Cattalini, John Rillie 2, CJ Bruton 2, David Andersen
Boomers relegated from the play-offs - by Chris Athanasopoulos
The Olympic dreams of the Australian men’s basketball team were dashed by Lithuania on Monday after the Boomers were defeated by the powerful European team by 15 points in the final round.

Unlike many of the games in this tournament, the Boomers didn’t jump ahead and were never in the lead.  They were forced to fight from behind for the entire game.

Australia’s crown prince of basketball, Andrew Bogut (207-F/C-84), really stood up in this game and showed the world what he had to offer.  He came out firing and made an impact at both ends of the floor in the first half.  He finished the game with 21 points and nine rebounds.

With the score line looking abysmal towards the end of the first half, Matthew Nielsen threw up a one-armed hook shot from three-quarter court which sank on the buzzer for three points.  It helped the deficit slightly, but the Australians still went to the change rooms 24 points in arrears.

The massive points differential at the halftime break was helped along by a 23-0 scoring spree by the Lithuanians, the Australians struggled to contain the inside post of Javtokas. However a good run by the Australians in the third quarter helped them back to within seven points of the Europeans and they were down by only nine at the final break.

All players were given their share of court time throughout the match as head coach Brian Goorjian experimented with different combinations to try and give his team an edge.

Goorjian’s experiments were not enough and the Lithuanians pushed their lead back out to 15 points with six minutes to go in the final term.  Although Bogut and Glen Saville worked hard to reduce the deficit the Europeans ran out victors by that margin, 100-85.

Bogut showed determination throughout the closing stages of the match.  He chased down every ball and threw himself around the court in the name of his team and perhaps for a chance with professional teams around the world whose scouts are watching his every move throughout this tournament.

The Boomers will now play New Zealand on Tuesday in a play off for 9th position.

If the Boomers are victorious in their match tomorrow night they will equal their performance at the Munich Games in 1972.  If they are not successful and come 10th in the competition it will be Australian men’s basketball’s worst Olympic result since Melbourne in 1956, their first Games, when they came 12th.

USA - Angola 89-53
USA: Iverson 10, Marbury 2, Odom, Jefferson 7, Duncan 15; Wade 9, Boozer 11, Anthony 6, James 11, Okafor, Marion, Stoudamire 9
Angola: Cipriano 9, Costa 9, Monteiro 20, Muzadi 2, Moussa 2; Angelo Victoriano 1, Gomes 4, Almeida, Mingas 6
Comments by www.athens2004.com
Carlos BOOZER, Forward (USA)
"We had a good team effort, played with intensity in both ends of the court. All players contributed to the win. We are getting better as a team, as we get more comfortable with each other and look more comfortable on the court as well. We are ready for a big win on Thursday."
Larry BROWN, Head Coach (USA)
"It was a fun game. It was an opportunity to give minutes to all the guys. Angola was banged up and that was a factor, but we played pretty unselfishly. However, we had many turnovers. Angola did not use a tight 2-3 zone. They played almost no zone at all; even when they did, it was pretty extended. I don't anticipate seeing much of a man-to-man defense against us in this tournament. Defense causes more problems to us than offense.
We got to win three games in three days against very talented and well-coached teams, but since our players play in the NBA they may play 4 games in 5 nights in different cities, so they can dig deeper than most of these teams. Also in Puerto Rico we played ten games in ten days, usually late so people see us on TV.
We improved from our first game to the last one, and I feel better now than after the Puerto Rico game. I didn't like a lot of the things my players did on the court, but this is what young guys do. But anyway, I'm happy I got to play a lot of the guys because some of them are not used to sitting on the bench."
Olimpio CIPRIANO, Forward (ANG)
"It was a great game, very competitive. We came here to do our best, but we had three injured players. We came out with nine and tried our best to just play. For the people of Angola it meant a lot that we played well against Lithuania and Puerto Rico."
Mario PALMA, Head Coach (ANG)
"Without three starters, with a guard that will undergo a knee operation when we get back home and another guard with back pain, we are not playing under normal conditions. If we were in good physical condition, the outcome of our games would have been different. If the US had lost three guards, they would not have been able to win either.
Angola was a Portuguese colony that gained its independence in 1975. In 1980 we won our first African Junior Championships, in 1986 we played in the World Championship in Spain, in 1989 we started winning African Championships. Then we've been to four Olympic Games in a row, and we did all this with no more than 20 players. In our country there are games played in open cement courts, and there are no more than 10 competitive games a year. Here we played against very strong teams, and we had very tight games. We only started losing by big margins when we lost our players to injury. Still, all coaches here have complimented our team and the job we have done."

Greece - Puerto Rico 78-58
Greece: Spanoulis 6, Chatzivretas 4, Diamantidis 2, Fotsis 7, Papadopoulos 13; Alvertis 12, Papaloukas 3, Zisis 6, Papanikolau 3, Dikudis 6, Tsartsaris, Kakiuzis 16
Puerto Rico: Arroyo 10, Ayuso 11, Casiano 5, Ortiz 2, Santiago 8; Hatton 9, Dalmau 2, Fajardo 6, Ramos 5
Comments by www.athens2004.com
Michail KAKIOUZIS, Forward (GRE)
"We completed the first round with a win, and we accomplished our goal to get to the top 6. We are getting better after a bad game against Lithuania. We are 100% ready to give all we have against Argentina. It is sad to have something hanging in the air about Puerto Rico not playing full out. In any case, we chose to play good Basketball and that's what we'll try to do to get to the final four."
Peter John RAMOS (PUR)
"Both sides played hard, and the fans were great tonight. We tried to win but did not succeed. We didn't have any preferences for our next opponent, we tried our best but it was not possible to win the game."
Julio TORO, Head Coach (PUR)
"We played our worst game so far. Maybe someone can help me by telling me how you can win without scoring. We missed many easy shots and shot 40% from the free throw line. However, we must give credit to Greece. They played well and did a good job in offensive rebounding. I hope we learn from this game and get prepared, because the next game will be the hardest one. It's no time to put the blame on anyone, we rather should think positive about the future. Only this could give us a chance to fight for the medals. I did not choose our opponent, or anything like this. There's no meaning in choosing between Italy and Argentina, when the difference between them is so minimal, as we saw in the previous game."
Panagiotis GIANNAKIS, Head Coach (GRE)
"Another win in the Olympic Games is something important. We controlled the pace and the boards against a team that pulled a big win on the first day of the tournament and came here to aim high. For the next round there is no opponent one can take lightly; just remember what Angola and New Zealand did in this tournament. All the players are waiting for the next game with great anticipation. They certainly have a strong motive to write their names in the history of Greek Basketball.
It never crossed my mind to choose an opponent. If you are not playing well, you can't beat anybody. I have followed Basketball for a long time, and whoever chose opponents had it turned against him in the end. I don't believe that Puerto Rico chose not to play to win. I know of no team that plays to lose."

   Day Four Summary - Aug 21, 2004 - by Eurobasket
Another disaster day for USA team (2-2) as they lost already 2nd game in the Olympic Games, which gives them a poor 2-2 record, way below any expectations. This time they were defeated by Lithuania 94-90. Lithuania is definite leader in the group with perfect 4-0 record.
In other games of group B Puerto Rico (3-1) beat Australia (1-3) in a very important game, and host Greece (2-2) shut down Angola (0-4) in 32-points victory.
In Group A China (1-3) lost the last hope of any decent performance as in the game between last two teams in Group A, they were crushed by Italy (2-2) by ...37 points.
Argentina (3-1) managed to get a victory over New Zealand (1-3) 98-94. But that only confirms that New Zealand's performance at the last World Championships was not one-time flash, and they deserved their place among top 10 (even higher) teams teams in the World.
Spain (4-0) is still undefeated leading in the group after they beat Serbia and Montenegro (1-3).

Group A
Spain - Serbia & Montenegro 76-68 (18-14, 31-31, 51-52)
Spain: Calderon 15+4reb, Gasol 14+5reb, Navarro 13, Jimenez 11, Reyes 10+6reb, Garbajosa 8, Comas 3, de la Fuente 2, Fernandez 0; Coach: Pasquera
Serbia and Montenegro: Bodiroga 14, Drobnjak 13, Radmanovic 10+6reb, Vujanic 10, Tomasevic 9+9reb, Rakocevic 6, Krstic 3, Avdalovic 3, Pavlovic 0, Scepanovic 0; Coach: Obradovic
Spain assures Group A leadership - by Juanjo Martin
Spain will be the first classified of Pool A in the Preliminaries of Olympic Games. The reaminder match against New Zealand doesn't have consequences for Spanish NT... although for the other NTs does. A loss will drop Serbia out of Quarterfinals, which depends on other results to get the bid for next phase.
Today's match has been a real battle, Serbian NT has played very tough and aggressive (ask Garbajosa or Gasol, for example). Obradovic was very nervous, conditioned by the bad results that can eliminate Serbia of medal's fight, and protested at every referee's decision due to the impotence of watching a team lacking of order in the court (only the good job of Rakocevic is all right). It's a pity than a so powerful NT than Serbian, full of very talented players, have to resort to force and dirty play to win the matches: Tomasevic hitting every player who is near (with or without ball), Vujanic throwing himself when he fells any contact of rival guard... a series of actions that downgrade the sport of basketball. They are great players, but tournament by tournament they show us a deplorable spectacle. The worst thing of all is that they don't need to do this kind of play. Why don't the players behave in the NT like in their respective teams and only think about playing basketball?
The match in itself was a levelled game. Like in other matches, Gasol took many yime to score due to the defense on him, but the points of Jimenez and Felipe Reyes put Spain ahead 25-17. Jose Manuel Calderon (15) is pacing Spain to the victory perfectly in each Olympics match, like today. SRB forced to shot from the perimeter (an awful 1/14 in 3p) and got closer thanks to Drobnjak (13) and Tomasevic (9p 9r) to tie in the intermission at 31.
A starting 6-0 in the third period, with Spain running and Gasol making his first points, put some distance in the scoreboard, but Bodiroga and Radmanovic (two 3-pointers) dealt with the comeback before the forth period, in which Tomasevic made a flagrant foul to Gasol and continued provoking to Spanish players, who thought only of themselves to reach the victory. Again Carlos Jimenez with a 2+1 play plus one basket, together with the free shots of Navarro (better than the first matches but he isn't still the 'Bomb' that everyone wants) were the keys to achieve a new and elaborate triumph.

Argentina - New Zealand 98-94 (23-25, 47-42, 76-71)
Argentina: Scola 25, Ginobili 19, Oberto 14+9reb+5ast, Fernandez 11, Nocioni 10, Sanchez 8, Wolkowyski 4+5reb, Sconochini 4, Herrmann 3, Montecchia 0+5ast, Delfino 0; Coach: Magnano
New  Zealand: Jones 25, Cameron 21, Penney 13, Dickel 11+7ast, Book 11+6reb, Marks 6+5reb, Boucher 5, Olson 2, Henare 0, Rampton 0; Coach: Baldwin
Comments by www.athens2004.com
Fabricio OBERTO, Center (ARG)
"We knew that it was going to be a tough game, because of New Zealand's style of play. We needed a long time and a lot of energy to adapt to their defense; they switch all the time and then play the quick transition. Now we must focus on the next game against Italy, and continue creating and building up our game through vistories. Italy is a strong team that desperately need to win, so this is our next goal, and then we can think about the quarterfinals."
Pero CAMERON, Forward, Team Captain (NZL)
"We just couldn't stop them on defense, and this went on to the end. We are improving, but in some parts of the game I'm afraid we're getting worse. Their big guys scored 65 points, we've been humbled by them. We need to get more confident as a team. Against Spain, we will play to get a result. Anything can happen in this tournament."
Ruben MAGNANO, Head Coach (ARG)
"We played against a great team, which has its own special way of playing and creates many difficulties for every opponent, no matter who the opponent is. They have great heart and they are restless; we knew that from (the 2003 World Championships in) Indianapolis. Congratulations to them, they played a great game. As I have mentioned before, it's too early to speculate on the next round. Our next game is against Italy, and this will be our focal point. But we are ready for whatever opponent in the quarterfinals."
Tab BALDWIN, Head Coach (NZL)
"We played against one of the best teams in the world, which I am sure will reach the medal round, and I really believe we had a chance. We had the right mentality, but were defensively vulnerable, so we didn't get the job done. Today's loss is kind of a disaster for us but it's not the end of the world. But nonetheless we have some hopes left, if we succeed again in winning the right game at the right time, as we did in Indianapolis."

Italy - China 89-52 (22-11, 44-26, 60-39)
Italy: Galanda 22, Chiacig 14, Pozzecco 10+4reb+12ast, Mian 10, Basile 8, Soragna 7+5reb, Garri 5+4reb, Radulovic 4, Marconato 4+4reb, Bulleri 3, Righetti 2, Rombaldoni 0; Coach: Recalcati
China: Yao Ming 9+6reb, Li Nan 9+4reb, Zhu Fangyu 7+5reb, Guo Shiqiang 7, Liu Wei 7, Mo Ke 4, Yi Jianlian 3+7reb, Chen Ke 2, Zhang Yunsong 2, Zhang Jinsong 1, Menke Bateer 1+4reb, Du Feng 0; Coach: Harris
China Blown Out by Italy - by Arthur Volbert
Playing its first truly horrible game of the tournament, China was destroyed by Italy today 89-52.

But if China regroups rather than sulks, it still has a chance to make the quarter-finals if it beats Serbia-Montenegro on Monday and New Zealand loses to Spain.

Spain is undefeated in tournament and pre-tournament play and would like to finish the preliminary round undefeated so it has a good chance of beating New Zealand.  Serbia-Montenegro, which is without NBA players Peja Stojakovic, Vlade Divac, Marko Jaric and Darko Milicic, lost to New Zealand, a team which China defeated. But if China gives up, Serbia-Montenegro will blow the team out just as the Italians did.

China quickly fell behind to Italy 22-11 at the end of the first quarter and then lost heart, trailing 44-26 at the half.  It rallied to narrow the margin to 50-36 in the center of the third quarter, but when the Italians came back China lost its poise, leading to the final 37 point margin.

China continued its awful shooting, hitting only 20 percent of its two-point shots, making 8 shots out of 40.  It actually hit 6 of 13 three-pointers, a very good shooting percentage for those shots.  But China is learning to play ball the international way, and that means taking two-point opportunities to set up its three-point shooting.  In previous years, the team would merely hoist up three-pointers and win games against inferior teams when its shooting was on.

We must remember that a medal in 2008 is the ultimate goal of China.  It is better for China to lose games while trying to play correctly than to win games playing the old way.  If China perseveres in its new style of play it has a chance of a medal in 2008, and of making the quarterfinals Monday.  If Chinese nay-sayers cause the team to revert to its old style of play, all is lost.

Yao Ming scored nine points today on 3 of 12 shooting.  Li Nan also scored 9 points.

Group B

Puerto Rico - Australia 87-82 (13-23, 41-51, 65-68)
Puerto Rico: Santiago 20+4reb, Ayuso 18+4reb, Arroyo 16+7ast, Fajardo 11+4reb, Casiano 10, Ortiz 7+6reb, hatton 3, Houruittiner 2; Coach: Toro
Australia: Nielsen 20+7reb, Bogut 15+11reb, Heal 12+6ast, Smith 11+6reb, Bruton 10, Saville 7+8reb, Andersen 7+7reb, Maher 0, Rogers 0; Coach: Goorjian
Boomers' finals dreams fades - by Chris Athanasopoulos
The Olympic finals hopes of the Australian Boomers men's basketball team are slowly fading after the team was defeated by Puerto Rico in the fourth round of the Olympic tournament on Saturday 87-82.
After leading for most of the game, the Boomers were unable to hold off a final-quarter surge by the Central Americans who outscored the Aussies 22 points to 14 in the final term.
With less than a minute on the clock, the scores were close and Boomers coach Brian Goorjian used both his time-outs as he tried to get his team over the line.
In the dying seconds, a three-point attempt by captain Shane Heal rimmed out and the hearts of Australia’s basketball fans dropped as the seconds counted down and the Puerto Ricans ran out five-point victors.
Matthew Nielsen was outstanding for the Boomers with 20 points and seven rebounds, but again he couldn’t finish the game, fouling out in the final quarter.
Teenage sensation, Andrew Bogut, was a stand out for Australia with 15 points and a massive 11 boards; nine of them at the defensive end.
Wollongong hero Glen Saville continues to play an integral role in the Boomers’ game with seven points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes on the court.
The Boomers face Lithuania in the final round of the preliminary draw on Monday at 11.15am (6.15pm AEST).
Puerto Rico beats Australia - by Raiza Zapater
Puerto Rico after winning their third game on this Olympics 2004 assures their pass to the second round. Puerto Rico has only lost once and it was against Lithuania.
During this game, Puerto Rico was led by Daniel Santiago (216-C-76, agency: Priority Sports, college: N.Mexico) who netted 20 points, Larry Ayuso scored 18 and Carlos Arroyo had 16. Sharif Fajardo had a better performance in this game scoring 11.
Next game for Puerto Rico befor going to the second round is against the host of this Olympics, Greece on Monday.

Lithuania - USA 94-90 (23-26, 44-49, 67-69)
Lithuania: Jasikevicius 28+4ast, Stombergas 16+10reb, Siskauskas 14+6reb, E.Zukauskas 11, Macijauskas 8, Songaila 7, M.Zukauskas 4, Lavrinovic 3, Javtokas 3+4reb, Salenga 0; Coach: Sireika
USA: Jefferson 20, Duncan 16+12reb, Iverson 11, Odom 11+6ast, Boozer 10+5reb, Marbury 8, Wade 6, Anthony 5, Marion 3+5reb, Wade 3, James 0, Stoudemire 0; Coach: Brown
USA lost again !!! Lithuania is a new Dream Team - by Eurobasket.lt
Lithuania national basketball team is a new Deam Team. USA basketball team lost against Lithuania in the group B on Saturday night!!! After heavy fight Lithuania triumphed 94:90.
USA lead almost all the game but in the last quater Sarunas Jasikevicius made 10 points in a row (3-three pointers + 1 free throw) and Lithuania was ahead by 5 points.
When the clock showed 5,1 sec., Ramunas Siskauskas went to shoot two free throws. Ramas made second shot and result became 94:90 - victory for Lithuania!
Lithuania stands 4-0 now and they are sure for the 1st place in the group B.
It was the 4th lost for USA basketball team in Olympics history.
Comments by www.athens2004.com
Richard JEFFERSON, Forward (USA)
"We controlled 98% of the game. Then down the stretch we made some turnovers and let some calls we didn't get bother us. Lithuania also did a good job knocking down three-pointers. We played as a team, and we are getting better. I don't see the fact that I got out of my shooting slump something to build on. I'm a team player, the coach shows me confidence and stays with me, and when my shots don't fall I just can pass and find the open teammate."
Larry BROWN, Head Coach (USA)
"It's a disappoint loss to say the least, but we are getting better. We realize now that we shouldn't let calls affect our game. Lithuania connected shots when we didn't and handled the ball much better in the second half. We missed 11 free throws, some of them in crucial stages of the fourth quarter, and gave up over 90 points, too much to beat a great team.
JASIKEVICIUS is a great player, but I don't think he would make it in the NBA with the kind of screens set there. I am a fan of international Basketball, but I believe that even its best players would struggle in our league.
We got our open shots today, I just hope some time our guys remember that they hit them in the NBA. Our main plan anyway is to get the ball to (Tim) DUNCAN's hands, which is difficult if opposing defenses pack it in the paint.
I don't think having a foreign coach in our staff would change a lot, since we are talking about a team built within days, not exposed to the international style of game and asked to play against the best teams in the world. If someone can change all that, he is welcome to come and take over my job in Detroit."
Sarunas JASIKEVICIUS, Point Guard (LTU)
"I am happy that we beat a great team. It's a big win in terms of psychology, but the essential is to win the quarterfinal game which will bring us closer to the medals. I don't remember if I had done something like this (hitting two three-pointers and a four-point play within one minute) in the past, but I think not. I just used some terrific screens by my teammates to hit my shots.
About the NBA, I can't just walk into a team's locker room and say, 'Hey, I came to play in your team.' I had no propositions at all from the NBA so far, and since those guys know what they're doing, I supposed I'm not able to play in the NBA.
USA are still the favorites, but it was not like in Barcelona or Atlanta, where they were bound to win everything. They are not unbeatable anymore."
Antanas SIREIKA, Head Coach (LTU)
"We started the game poorly. Our players did not seem to believe they could come up winners, and were a little emotionally exhausted after Thursday's game. But when they saw the Americans were not pulling away, they felt more comfortable.
We know Sarunas (JASIKEVICIUS) very well. We know his character, and we know that if he is fresh in decisive points of the game, he will make the big plays. That's why we kept him out and sent him back in in the closing minutes."

Greece - Angola 88-56 (23-15, 43-25, 67-35)
Greece: Dikoudis 15+8reb, Tsartsaris 13+5reb, Alvertis 13, Fotsis 10+5reb, Chatzivrettas 10, Kakiouzis 10, Diamantidis 7+4reb, Spanoulis 5, Papadopoulos 2+8reb, Papanikolaou 2, Papaloukas 1, Zisis 0; Career: Giannakis
Angola: Costa 12+5reb, Moussa 8, Gomes 7, Muzadi 6+4reb, E.Victoriano 6, Monteiro 6+4reb, Almeida 5, Cipriano 3, A.Victoriano 3, Mingas 0; Coach: Palma
Comments by www.athens2004.com
Fragkiskos ALVERTIS, Forward, Team Captain (GRE)
"The game turned out to be an easy one, but it was all the same important because we wanted to try some things and do them the right way. Now we have to do what is necessary against Puerto Rico and wait for the quarterfinals. The team is able of playing well. I am taking this opportunity to thank our fans for their support in the game against Lithuania. I had never experienced it again in a Greek arena, to be 30 points behind and still have the crowd rooting for us. These people can be sure that we are giving and will continue to give our heart and soul to make them happy, and to be happy ourselves as well."
Carlos ALMEIDA, Guard (ANG)
"We tried to do our best. We came to the Olympic Games to do better than in Sydney, where we finished last. It is difficult to play at this level with the problems our team has. We will continue to play as hard as we can in the upcoming games to achieve the goal I mentioned."
Panagiotis GIANNAKIS, Head Coach (GRE)
"After a very bad first half against Lithuania, we played against a team without huge qualities, but very well prepared and coached, a team that fights in all games, plays aggressively, defends well, runs the floor, and shoots from the perimeter. I have to say well done to my players because they kept concentrated, after the shock of the Lithuania game. We controlled the rebounds and showed a great will to play and please our fans, who support us even in hard times. I think it was our defense that gave us the win."
Mario PALMA, Head Coach (ANG)
"The Olympic Games are practically finished for us. In the game against Puerto Rico we lost our best shooter (Miguel LUTONDA) and one more of our players (Antonio CARVALHO) to injury, then we had players also injured and playing through pain. Walter COSTA will be operated on his knee after the Olympic Tournament. You can't play teams like Greece or the United States without being at full strength. Congratulations to Greece, who played very well tonight, but considering our problems it was impossible for us to do better."

   Day Three Summary - Aug 19, 2004 - by Eurobasket
Sensation in Group A, where unpredictable New Zealand beat World Champions: Serbia and Montenegro 90-87, thanks to great performance in the last minutes of the game.

Spain lead the group after they beat Italy in a very important game 71-63. Argentina had no big problems in the game against China outscoring them by 25 points.
In Group B USA had huge troubles with defeating Australia. But they won the game in the last quarter and the final result goes to the record. Lithuania shut down host Greece 98-76. Puerto Rico had big problems in a game against Angola. But they managed to secure 3-points victory.

Group A

Spain - Italy 71-63 (17-22, 35-33, 48-52)
Spain: Gasol 16+5reb, Iturbe 2, Navarro 3, Calderon 6+4reb, Reyes 9+4reb, Jimenez, Yebra ne, Duenas 4, Fernandez 7, De La Fuente 7, Garbajosa 17+8reb. coach: Pesquera.
Italy: Radulovic, Basile 15, Galanda 8+7reb, Soragna, Marconato 4+8reb, Pozzecco, Righetti 18, Rombaldoni 2, Bulleri 12, Mian, Chiacig 2+8reb, Garri 2. coach: Recalcati.
Spain suffered with Italy, but won - by Juanjo Martin
All the matches between Spain and Italy are similars: few points, maximum equality and a lot of excitement. Last summer in the European Championship semifinals, an stroke of genius from Navarro decided the game for Spanish NT, in the end silver medal. This morning the match has had the same ingredients... and the result has also been the same. Spain keeps invict in the top position of group A and is already classified to QF.
Italy began the match being a good shot from the perimeter, with Bulleri hitting twice. Spain didn't find Gasol in the paint due to the pressing defense on him, and when he managed to receive the ball, there was a two, even three, against one. The other Spanish reference was Navarro, but he had another grey day (3 pts). Italian players made baskets beyond 5 metres, damaging the zone defense of Spain, whose players seemed to be still asleep (the match played at 11 am) and only Calderon was awake. The offensive rebound (12 for Italy in the first half) was other key in the match, giving them second and third options to make a basket. That way, the transalpine team was up in the scoreboard in the end of first period, but the edge was short (5-6 points). In the next quarter, Pesquera changed his frontcourt with Duenas and Reyes. Barcelona's center was the driving force in the Spanish comeback (33-35 at the break).
An incredible 10-0 run for Italy turned over the match. Basile (15) appeared accompanied by Alex Righetti (18). It seemed Spanish players were still in the locker room. It was the moment in which the figure of Jorge Garbajosa emerged. Unicaja's power forward tied several actions to put Spain near. That inspired to Gasol, who started to score fluently. The Iberian players played faster and ran. Italy disappeared of the court mysteriously, making too many turnovers in the last period. They still had a last attempt when Spain was over-confident and a new 3-pointer of Basile put the 60-64 with 2 minutes left, although it was just an attempt due to the skill in the free shots.

Argentina - China 82-57 (22-14, 41-21, 65-39)
Argentina: Nocioni 17+6reb, Scola 15+4ast, Ginobili 14+5reb, Oberto 6+5reb, Fernandez 6+4reb, Wolkowyski 6, Delfino 6+6reb, Herrmann 4, Montecchia 3, Sconochini 3+4ast, Sanchez 2; Coach: Magnano
China: Yao Ming 15+7reb, Liu Wei 10, Mo Ke 7, Li nan 6, Zhu Fangyu 6, Zhang Jinsong 4, Yi Jianlian 4+6reb, Chen Ke 3, Zhang Yusong 2, Guo Shoqiang 0, Du Feng 0, Menke Batere 0; Coach: Harris
Argentina Defeats China - by Arthur Volbert
Argentina defeated China today 83-58 as China's three-point shooters failed again to score in the face of the quickness and pressure of international defenses.
But this was a learning experience for China, and one thing China has learned is to not fall apart at the end of a game which is lost.  China outscored Argentina 18-17 in the fourth quarter and was only edged 41-36 in the second half after being down 41-21 at halftime.  In previous years the team would have given up and lost by 40 or 50.
Yao Ming got two quick fouls in the first quarter and had to go to the bench for the rest of the stanza, allowing Argentina to open up a 22-14 lead.  With China missing almost all its outside shots, the Argentine defense was able to collapse around Yao Ming.  China's offense was woeful, leading to Argentina's 20-point halftime lead.
China was behind 65-39 at the end of the third quarter.  But in the fourth quarter China started to make some three point shots and played even with the Argentines in the final stanza.
Mo Ke once again played better at power forward than Yi Jianlian, who looked like he truly was born in 1987.  Mo hit all three of his shots, scoring 7 points and grabbing 2 rebounds in 23 minutes.  Yi had 4 points and 6 rebounds in 15 minutes, hitting 1 of 3 shots from the field.
Liu Wei played a solid game at point guard, hitting 5 of 7 shots to score 10 points.  However, he had 5 turnovers to only 2 assists.  The Chinese still do not have cutters slashing to the basket.  Once they learn that tactic, they will fare much better against teams like Argentina and also play more consistantly.
Yao scored 15 points, hitting 6 of 13 shots and grabbed 7 rebounds but was ineffective in the first half when the game was decided.  Fangyu Zhu (200-F-83) could not buy a shot in the first half, and will have to play a lot better in the remainder of the games if he wishes to be continued to be regarded as an NBA prospect.  He scored 6 points on 2 for 8 shooting and has been China's most disappointing player in this tournament.
Andres Nocioni (199-F-79) led Argentina with 17 points.  Luis Scola had 15 points and Manu Ginobili added 14.
In other games in group B, New Zealand, which lost to China on Tuesday, came from behind to upset Serbia-Montenegro 90-87.  It shot 53% from the field against the Serbs, compared to only 35% against China.  Spain came from behind to beat Italy 71-63.
China will play Italy at 9:45 AM EDT on Saturday.  If China wins that game, it will likely make the quarter-finals unless Italy defeats Argentina on Monday.  But it could still lose out on point differential if other upsets occur.
Argentina beats China - by Leonardo Contieri
Argentina played its best 40 minutes in a long time and beat China 82-57, allowing Chinese only 16 points in the first 17 minutes, and forcing Yao Ming to take bad shots (only three points in first half). Bad news is Pepe Sánchez suffered an injury on his right leg, adding to a sprained ankle, and could only play five minutes. Carlos Delfino playaed the point for the last 16 minutes of game and did a good job keeping china far in the scoring. Andrés Nocioni led the team with 17 points, Scola added 15 and Ginóbili 14. Surprisingly, Argentina wpn the rebounding battle 41-30. Argentina faces New Zealand for another tough game on saturday.

New Zealand - Serbia & Montenegro 90-87 (22-20, 39-44, 55-66)
New Zealand: Penney 15, Jones 14, Book 13, Dickel 12+4reb+6ast, Marks 10+5reb, Rampton 6, Boucher 6, Henare 0; Coach: Baldwin
Serbia & Montenegro: Bodiroga 25+6reb, Vujanic 21, Rakocevic 11, Tomasevic 7+4reb, Radmanovic 7+4reb, Drobnjak 5, Pavlovic 4, Krstic 3, Avdalovic 2, Ostojic 2, Scepanovic 0, Popovic 0; Coach: Obradovic
Comments by www.athens2004.com
Dillon BOUCHER, Guard (NZL)
"We finally got a win on the board, and even against the World Champions. Serbia/Montenegro played great, but we showed our heart when it mattered to turn the game around. We came here to win games, and it was disappointing for us not to get a win in the first two games despite our good performance. Maybe our loss to Serbia/Montenegro in the World Championships, where their defense had us really on the ropes, was some kind of motivation for us."
Tab BALDWIN, Head Coach (NZL)
On the game:
"It was an exciting game, and obviously a great result for us. We needed it desperately. Serbia/Montenegro shot 55% from the field and forced us to commit many turnovers, converting a lot on the fast break with their up-tempo game. But we shifted our defense to zone and this caught them by surprise; they missed some big shots late in the game. Our offense was the way I want it to be. However, we have to get statistically better if we want to go further. Serbia/Montenegro is a very good but young team, whereas the teams who play us in the next two games won't give us nothing. I would say the next two games are the games of our lives."
On his team's game allegedly being too physical:
"No question our game is physical. Basketball is a physical game. But European teams tend to intimidate their opponents, and this team is not going to get intimidated by anybody. The 37 three-point shots we took against China were a tactical flaw, so in this game we decided to get more in the lane and maybe get some more free throws. Our guys made some great plays around the rim when they had to make them."
On Coach OBRADOVIC's comments on refereeing:
"We all are in an adversory relationship with referees; not only us coaches, but also players, managers, and fans. We can't help but seeing the game in a biased way. This only makes the referee's role even more difficult. In these Olympic Games I am not satisfied from the level of officiating, but then again, I'm not satisfied from the level of Basketball played either. We all want better standards in refereeing, playing, and also coaching. We'd rather work harder to improve than go at referees all the time."
Dejan BODIROGA, Guard, team captain (SRB)
On the game:
"There were two games today instead of one. In the first one, during the first 35 minutes, we controlled the game and got up to 11 points up (actually the biggest margin for SRB was 15 points). Then we allowed New Zealand to make two 3-pointers and get back in the game. I have to give credit to them, as they never gave up and they believed in themselves." 
On the offensive call on Milos VUJANIC in the closing seconds:
"It was a strange call. I don't like to judge referees, but I saw it both live in the game and afterwards, and I still believe it was strange."
On "What happened to the World Champions":
"Nothing happened, we just lost two games, one in the last second and the other because of our own mistakes and some strange referee decisions. We will fight to the end, starting with next game."
Zelimir OBRADOVIC, Head Coach (SRB)
"Congratulations to New Zealand, they fought to the last second. We had told that to our players before the game. We had complete control for 35 minutes without problems, but unfortunately some of my players responded to provocations, despite the fact that we had advised them not to. The referees' decision on the foul against VUJANIC was unbelievable. It was a direct gift to our opponents to win the game, and I think people that watch the referees should take it into account. I don't know if there are new rules stating that a player should be called for offensive foul when he is attacked away from the ball. And there were some strange decisions in the game against Italy as well."

Group B

USA - Australia 89-79 (21-31, 47-51, 65-67)
USA: Duncan 18+11reb, Iverson 16, Marion 16+8reb, Wade 12+4ast, James 8+5ast, Boozer 6+5reb, Stoudemire 6, Odom 4, Jefferson 2+4reb, Marbury 1+5ast, Anthony 0, Okafor 0; Coach: Brown
Australia: Heal 17+7ast, Nielsen 12, Bogut 11+8reb, Smith 9+4reb, Maher 9, Andersen 8+8reb, Saville 5, Ronaldson 0; Coach: Goorjian
Australia almost pulls off miracle win - Chris Athanasopoulos
The Australian national men’s basketball team almost pull off the unthinkable, leading most of the game the United States, only for the United States to drastically improve their performance and defeated Australia.

Starting lineupsUnited States: Stephon Marbury (186-G-77, college: Georgia Tech), Allen Iverson (184-G-75, college: Georgetown), Richard Jefferson (198-F/G-80, college: Arizona), Lamar Odom (208-F-79, college: Rhode Island), and Tim Duncan (208-F-76, college: Wake Forest)

Australia: Shane Heal (184-G-70), Jason Smith (194-G-74, agency: Titan Management), Glen Saville (197-G/F-76), Matt Nielsen (206-F/C-78), and Andrew Bogut (207-F/C-84)

First Quarter

Australia started the game with zone defence, with the United States struggling on their perimeter shooting.  Australia started well the first quarter with Australia taking a 13-9 lead with 4.54 remaining in the first quarter, mainly behind the strong play of Matthew Nielsen and three point shooting of Shane Heal (184-G-70) and Jason Smith (194-G-74, agency: Titan Management).  USA heavily relied on the play of Tim Duncan (208-F-76, college: Wake Forest) and to a lesser extend Carlos Boozer (207-F/C-80, college: Duke).  However United States perimeter defence was woeful, allowing large gaps with Australia scored 6/8 from three-pointers.  The gap increase to 31-21 by the end of the first quarter

Second Quarter

The United States was expected to start the second quarter strong and they did, starting a 10-4 run in the first three and a half minute of the quarter to reduce the lead to 35-33. Two three pointers by Australia took back the lead to a comfortable margin.  Iverson was the only American with a consistent three point shot, while Shawn Marion (201-F-78, college: UNLV) and Dwayne Wade were impressive off the bench as was LeBron James (203-F-84). The Australians were not allowing the USA to play a full court game, rather restricting them to half court game,  The Americans also struggled with many offensive fouls, because they were driving too much on the basket, instead of passing for three pointers.  51-47 finished the half time in favour of Australia, with Andrew Bogut (207-F/C-84) and Matthew Nielsen played well, especially Bogut with 9 points and 5 rebounds.

Third Quarter

The Americans stated the second half with Shawn Marion (201-F-78, college: UNLV) instead of Richard Jefferson (198-F/G-80, college: Arizona).  However the Australians started the quarter strongly taking the lead back to 7 points with 8.05 remaining the quarter.  The Americans started a nice run with the Americans taking the lead with 4.43 remaining in the quarter, with the American gaining momentum and the Australians making mistakes in the offensive end.  The Americans were closed the gaps that allowed Australia to take a 12-point lead in the first half. However the Australia were determine to keep their hopes up and Brett Maher made a three point near the end of the third quarter to take the Australians back to the lead, 67-65.

Fourth Quarter

The American started in spectacular fashion taking a 10-0 start and the Australians started to crumble like in the game against Greece.  CJ Burton made a three pointer to give some hope to Australia.  USA increased their defensive intensity with the Australians making several bad shot selections. USA was also passing the ball well while the Australian used zone defence. Brian Goorjian tried to preserve star player Matthew Nielsen who was with 4 fouls, but the experience failed as Nielsen fouled out after entering in the fourth.  Some spectacular dunks by Shawn Marion (201-F-78, college: UNLV) and LeBron James (203-F-84) sealed the victory for the Americans 89-79.  For Australia, Shane Heal (184-G-70) top scored with 17 points, Matthew Nielsen added 12 while rising star Andrew Bogut (207-F/C-84) scored 11

USA was woeful in the first quarter with their perimeter defence and were only kept in the game by the post play of Duncan.  The Australian were one legitimate shot blocker away from causing a even bigger deficit.  The United States regained some composure and play the game that many expected them in the fourth.  Australia is next playing Puerto Rico which is a crucial game from both teams.  The battle in the frontcourt is extremely important as is  containing Carlos Arroyo.

Puerto Rico - Angola 83-80 (19-17, 37-32, 63-66)
Puerto Rico: Ayuso 17+4reb, Arroyo 16+6ast, Santiago 16+10reb, Casiano 15+6reb, Fajardo 9+9reb, Ortiz 6, Hourruitiner 4+4reb, Hatton 0, Dalmau 0, Rivera 0; Coach: Toro
Angola: de Carvalho 14, Moussa 11+6reb, Lutonda 11, E.Victoriano 10, A.Victoriano 9, Gomes 8+4reb, Costa 7+7ast, Monteiro 6, Muzadi 2+4reb, Almeida 2; Coach: Palma
Puerto Rico surrives again - by Herminio Nieves
Eddie Casiano (188-G-72) scored a crucial 3 pointer in the final minute to lead Puerto Rico to an exciting 83-80 win over Angola. Angola scored 15 three pointers during the game and showed terrific hustle facing a more talented opponent. For the first time the boricuas had a strong inside presence, mainly from Daniel Santiago, who scored 16 points an d grabbed 10 rebounds. The 3 guard offense of Puerto Rico was led by Larry Ayuso with 17, Carlos Arroyo 16 and Casiano 15. For Angola Antonio de Carvalho chipped in with 14.

Lithuania - Greece 98-76 (28-10, 54-25, 76-44)
Lithuania: Siskauskas 25, Songalia 13+5reb, Salenga 4, E.Zukauskas 3+4reb, Slanina 0, Stombergas 22, Javtokas 11+5reb, Jasikevicius 9+4reb+8ast, Macijauskas 6, Ginevicius 3, M.Zukauskas 2, Lavronovic 0.
Greece: Tsartsaris 8, Diamantidis 8, Papanikolaou 7+7reb, Spanoulis 5, Ntikoudis 5, Zisis 18, Papadopoulos 13, Kakiouzis 7+4reb, Chatzivrettas 2, Alvertis 2, Papaloukas 1+4reb, Fotsis 0.
Lithuania dominates Greece - by Luis Angel Modestti
Lithuania clearly dominated Greece by the score of 98-76 in the final basketball game of the day in the 2004 Olympic Games from Athens, Greece.
The first quarter was clearly dominated by Lithuania 28-10 as they had an aggresive defense and Greece could not hit from three point range effectively.
The first half ended 54-25.
Greece made a run in the final quarter and won 32-22 but at the end the score was 98-76 in favor of the European Champions.
Lithuania crushes Greece - by Efi Tsikou
Lithuania took the high road to the Men’s Olympic Basketball quarterfinals when it silenced Greece with a commanding 98-76 victory before 12,000 fans at Helliniko Indoor Arena on Thursday night. The victory has brought  the impressive 3-0 record for Lithuania in Group B and can likely clinch first place when it meets the United States on Saturday in its fourth of five preliminary games.

Greece dropped to 1-2 and needs to beat Angola on Saturday to sustain its quarterfinal chances. Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) sparked a barrage of early 3-point shooting and finished with 25 points for Lithuania. Saulius Stombergas (202-F-73, agency: Interperformances) was right behind with 22 and Darius Songaila (205-C/F-78, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wake Forest) scored 13 and Robertas Javtokas (209-C-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona) 11. Nikolaos Zisis (195-G-83) scored 18 and Lazaros Papadopoulos (210-C-80) 13 for Greece. Lithuania hit the floor and buried five long-distance shots in six minutes – including two each by SISKAUSKAS and STOMBERGAS - to open a wide lead that it never really saw threatened thereafter by Greece.

More surprising than its excellent shooting was the Lithuanian defense, which contested most shots inside or on the perimeter and stymied the Greek attack. Soon, big man Eurelijus Zukauskas (218-C-73, agency: Interperformances) came on and blocked a series of shots that demoralised Greece. That early blast also served to quiet the largely Greek crowd, which had little to cheer about as the Lithuanians seemed to hit nothing but net on everything they shot. The first quarter ended 28-10, and halfway through the second, a trio of Lithuanian shooters popped consecutively from the arc to make it 43-17. When Greece merely tried to trim the difference – which could be important in tiebreak situations later – STOMBERGAS and SISKAUSKAS found their accuracy again. The result was a high lead of 82-44 and party time for the rowdy Lithuanian contingent in one corner of the arena.

Comments:

Robertas Javtokas (209-C-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona), Center (LTU) "Each one of us fulfilled the duties assigned by our head coach. Defense was the key to our success. The next game is against the United States, an extremely strong team. We will try to be as successful as we were tonight."

Antanas Sireika , Head Coach (LTU) "We paid a lot of attention to this game. Our top priority was defense, and working well on defense gave us more confidence on offense. Our players showed great discipline. We had played Greece and lost in two friendly games, but then we won today, so probably we made some improvement. Since Sydney, there have been several player and coach changes, but our traditional style remained the same. I took the timeout seconds before the end because it was my last chance to substitute a player."

Kostas Tsartsaris (210-F-79), Forward (GRE) "We started flat, and our main problem was concentration. We gave up easy baskets from the perimeter and fell apart. Our psychology went down, and we found ourselves just trying to reduce the margin. We thank the fans for their support even when we were 30 or 40 points down. Hopefully they will stand by us in the next games as well."

Panagiotis Giannakis , Head Coach (GRE) "It's no use evaluating such a game. We were not patient, we lost control, we tried to finish off the game in one possession and this just can't happen. It was a good lesson from a perfect offensive team. The Lithuanians wanted to destroy us in the second half, but we came out with better offensive options and with a will to defend, while the fans gave us faith and we tried at least to play good Basketball. It's a game that we lost, that's all. We will put it behind us, analyze our mistakes and try to harness our enthusiasm, which cost us dearly. I am worried about the effects of such a loss on my players, but I will stay on the fact that this team showed nothing in the first half and was down by 30, and, instead of giving up and lose by 50 against a team with extraordinary shooting percentages, our kids fought to show that they can play good Basketball. That's why I like being among them. Only in bad situations you can see if someone really wants to achieve something. I figured we could play better defense, move the ball better and hit from the paint. But we fell out of our defense plan from the very first second. To be successful in the games to come and in big games in general, we need to be patient."

Lithuania took the high road to the Men’s Olympic Basketball quarterfinals when it silenced Greece with a commanding 98-76 victory before 12,000 fans at Helliniko Indoor Arena on Thursday night. The victory has brought  the impressive 3-0 record for Lithuania in Group B and can likely clinch first place when it meets the United States on Saturday in its fourth of five preliminary games.

Greece dropped to 1-2 and needs to beat Angola on Saturday to sustain its quarterfinal chances. Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) sparked a barrage of early 3-point shooting and finished with 25 points for Lithuania. Saulius Stombergas (202-F-73, agency: Interperformances) was right behind with 22 and Darius Songaila (205-C/F-78, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wake Forest) scored 13 and Robertas Javtokas (209-C-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona) 11. Nikos ZIZIS scored 18 and Lazaros Papadopoulos (210-C-80) 13 for Greece. Lithuania hit the floor and buried five long-distance shots in six minutes – including two each by SISKAUSKAS and STOMBERGAS - to open a wide lead that it never really saw threatened thereafter by Greece.

More surprising than its excellent shooting was the Lithuanian defense, which contested most shots inside or on the perimeter and stymied the Greek attack. Soon, big man Eurelijus Zukauskas (218-C-73, agency: Interperformances) came on and blocked a series of shots that demoralised Greece. That early blast also served to quiet the largely Greek crowd, which had little to cheer about as the Lithuanians seemed to hit nothing but net on everything they shot. The first quarter ended 28-10, and halfway through the second, a trio of Lithuanian shooters popped consecutively from the arc to make it 43-17. When Greece merely tried to trim the difference – which could be important in tiebreak situations later – STOMBERGAS and SISKAUSKAS found their accuracy again. The result was a high lead of 82-44 and party time for the rowdy Lithuanian contingent in one corner of the arena.

Comments:

Robertas Javtokas (209-C-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona), Center (LTU) "Each one of us fulfilled the duties assigned by our head coach. Defense was the key to our success. The next game is against the United States, an extremely strong team. We will try to be as successful as we were tonight."

Antanas Sireika , Head Coach (LTU) "We paid a lot of attention to this game. Our top priority was defense, and working well on defense gave us more confidence on offense. Our players showed great discipline. We had played Greece and lost in two friendly games, but then we won today, so probably we made some improvement. Since Sydney, there have been several player and coach changes, but our traditional style remained the same. I took the timeout seconds before the end because it was my last chance to substitute a player."

Kostas Tsartsaris (210-F-79), Forward (GRE) "We started flat, and our main problem was concentration. We gave up easy baskets from the perimeter and fell apart. Our psychology went down, and we found ourselves just trying to reduce the margin. We thank the fans for their support even when we were 30 or 40 points down. Hopefully they will stand by us in the next games as well."

Panagiotis Giannakis , Head Coach (GRE) "It's no use evaluating such a game. We were not patient, we lost control, we tried to finish off the game in one possession and this just can't happen. It was a good lesson from a perfect offensive team. The Lithuanians wanted to destroy us in the second half, but we came out with better offensive options and with a will to defend, while the fans gave us faith and we tried at least to play good Basketball. It's a game that we lost, that's all. We will put it behind us, analyze our mistakes and try to harness our enthusiasm, which cost us dearly. I am worried about the effects of such a loss on my players, but I will stay on the fact that this team showed nothing in the first half and was down by 30, and, instead of giving up and lose by 50 against a team with extraordinary shooting percentages, our kids fought to show that they can play good Basketball. That's why I like being among them. Only in bad situations you can see if someone really wants to achieve something. I figured we could play better defense, move the ball better and hit from the paint. But we fell out of our defense plan from the very first second. To be successful in the games to come and in big games in general, we need to be patient."



Gianluca
Basile

   Day Two Summary - Aug 18, 2004 - by Eurobasket
The most important game of the day was USA against host Greece. Americans managed to avoid another embarassment and despite huge crowd support for local team, USA team won the game by 6 points.
But the most exciting game was between Serbia/Montenegro and Italy. None of the team was able to get enough distance and the game was very tough to the last second, where Gianluca Basile (193-G-75) from Italy missed the last shot and Serbia/Montenegro team could celebrate their 2-points victory.
Lithuania beat the biggest "black horse" of Day One, beating Puerto Rico 98-90.
China also saved their face by defeating ambitious New Zealand 69-62.
Australia had no problems against Afriacn Champions Angola and Spain is a leader in Group A after their victory over Argentina (where many Argentinian players play during the season in ...Spain.

Group A

China - New Zealand 69-62 (17-14, 29-20, 51-45)
China: Yao Ming 39+13reb, Mo Ke 8+5reb, Du Feng 7, Guo Shiqiang 5, Liu Wei 4+4ast, Zhu Fangyu 2, Li Nan 2+4ast, Yi Jianlian 2, Chen Ke 0, Menke Batere 0; Coach: Harris
New Zealand: Jones 23, Book 12+7reb, Marks 11+7reb, Dickey 7, Penney 5+6reb, Boucher 4+5reb, Cameron 0, Henare 0, Rampton 0; Coach: Baldwin
China Beats New Zealand - by Arthur Volbert
Yao Ming scored 39 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as China defeated New Zealand today 69-62.
Channeling his dispondency after China's loss to Spain into an intense desire to win, Yao was the dominant center he was expected to be as an NBA All-Star.  Even though China only hit 1 of 11 three-pointers, it was able to beat New Zealand because of its improved two-point shooting and stellar defense.
Yao hit 15 of 20 shots as the team focused on getting him the ball inside.  While point guard Liu Wei hit only 1 of 8 shots, he had 4 assists to only 3 turnovers.  Li Nan also had 4 assists and only 1 turnover and Zhu Fangyu had 2 assists and 1 turnover.  Yao had 5 turnovers, but that is understandable when China was going inside so much.  Mo Ke and Du Feng both played excellent games.  Mo scored 8 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in 25 minutes and Du had 7 points and 2 rebounds in 15 minutes.  China's defense caused 21 New Zealand turnovers, to only 18 for China.  It held New Zealand to only a 35 percent shooting percentage.
China jumped off to a 17-14 first quarter lead and was ahead 29-20 at the half.  It led 51-45 at the end of three quarters and increased that margin by one point in the fourth to gain its 69-62 victory.  Unlike in 2002, China did not fold in the fourth quarter against New Zealand, which finished in fourth place at the World Championships. 
One must credit head coach Del Harris, and assistants Jonas Kauslauskas and Adijiang, for teaching China not to fold under pressure.  We must expect China to be erratic as its skills are newly learned.  But we certainly now have hope that China can reach the quarter-finals.

Australia - Angola 83-59 (21-13, 45-29, 72-44)
Australia: Heal 18, Bogut 16+11reb, Maher 14, Nielsen 14+5reb, Bruton 6, Smith 6, Saville 4+5reb, Rogers 3, Andersen 2, Ronaldson 0+4reb, Rillie 0, Cattalini 0; Coach: Goorjian
Angola: Monteiro 18+8reb, Costa 12, Gomes 9+9reb, Muzadi 6+5reb, Lutonda 5, E.Victoriano 5+4reb, Moussa 4+4reb, de Carvalho 0, Cipriano 0, Almeida 0; Coach: Palma
Australia win against Angola - by Chris Athanasopoulos
Australia won its first match of the Olympic men's basketball tournament with a 83-59 victory over Angola. Andrew Bogut scored all of his 16 points in the first half, including 12 in succession while grabbing 13 rebounds. He did not miss a field goal attempt in the first half before sitting out much of the second half as coach Brian Goorjian took advantage of a rare opportunity to give his bench players some extended court time against the undersized African team. Captain Shane Heal top-scored for Australia with 18 points while Matt Nielsen and Brett Maher scored 14 apiece. Australia was impressive against the Angola team, who lacked size.  Australia improve their team defence and frontcourt play, they didn’t allow Angola to get into their game plan.  Bogut was impressive as was Nielsen and Andersen.  However the performance of the frontcourt players must continue in the tournament, if they want to qualify to the quarter finals.  Bogut showed signs of being a NBA draft pick in the next year or two, it would been nice to see, other Australian NBA prospects such as Martin Iti play in Athens and showcase they skills.
Angola loses against Australia - by Carlos Pereira
The Angolan national basketball senior male team suffered today their second consecutive loss, this time against Australia, by 59-83, in the second round of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

At half-time, the Angolans were already losing by a 16 points difference (29-45).

Angola's next match will be on Thursday against Puerto Rico.

In their first match, on Sunday, the national team lost to Lithuania, by 73-78.

Spain - Argentina 87-76 (25-18, 35-40, 58-60)
Spain: Gasol 26+8reb, Calderon 17+5ast, Garbajosa 12, Iturbe 11, Reyes 5+7reb, Navarro 4, Jimenez 2, Duenas 0, Fernandez 0, Comas 0; Coach: Pasquera
Argentina: Scola 28+9reb, Ginobili 17+4reb+4ast, Oberto 10, Nocioni 8, Montecchia 7+4reb+4ast, Delfino 4, Wolkowyski 2, Sconochini 0+4ast, Sanchez 0, Fernandez 0, Gutierrez 0; Coach: Magnano
Spain was able to beat Argentina - by Juanjo Martin
Spain also defeated Argentina in the second match of Preliminaries in these Olympics Games and it is already solo leader of Group A. Spain was able to come back a disadvantage of 9 points before one of the most serious contenders for the golden medal. Argentina and Spain were a very interesting game betweeen two National teams (current World and European runner-up) that aspire to the Olympic title and whose players know each other well as most of them play or have played in Spanish League.

In the first minutes Spanish NT scored easily looking for Gasol in the paint, just the opposite than Argentinean, with many troubles (23-12). But Luis Scola appeared, hitting from everywhere and putting Argentina up in the scoreboard with the leadership of Montecchia. There wasn't references in the floor: Gasol was resting in the bench, Navarro was well-defended by Ginobili (only added from the FT line). Calderon took the baton in offense (17 p), although Argentina played very comfortable, always finding Tau's center without a defender on him. That way, the match was for Latin American NT (35-40 at the half, increased to 35-44 after two easy jumpers of Ginobili). Scola returned to the court and stopped the attempt of comeback of Spain, leading Argentina to +9 again (from 45-48 to 49-58).

De La Fuente and Garbajosa were the leaders since then. Barcelona's forward didn't want to shoot in the first half, so Argentinean defense gave him more distance. After the intermission he decided to launch and due to that change of mind the result was favorable for European team. Spain couldn't provide the ball to Gasol in the paint and these players, with two important 3-pointers, narrowed the margin and obliged Argentina to defend the perimeter, having Spanish NBA star more space near the board. Argentinean head coach left Nocioni and Ginobili in the bench too many minutes, and European runner-up didn't waste it. Iker Iturbe completed a great match with a new shot from the perimeter and finishing a fastbreak (75-66). Oberto was fouled out and now the gap was +9 for Spain, reaching the 11-points advantage with the last free shots.
Game comments - by www.athens2004.com
Jorge GARBAJOSA (ESP)
"Ιt was a very tough game, similar to the friendly one we played against Argentina in Madrid. Like ten days ago, we were behind in the beginning of the second half and we managed to recover, come back and finally escape with a very important win. We stayed focused and we didn't panic when Argentina took a nine point lead."
"It gives us confidence, but we aren't flying in the sky. We know which are our abilities, but we can't say where we can reach. At first we want the first place in our group to qualify in the quarterfinals and then we are going to see what we can achieve."
Carlos NAVARRO (ESP)
"Tonight we made the most important step towards the quarterfinals. We are determined to look ahead, take one game at the time and see how far we can go. All we have to do is play as a team and continue this kind of performance."
Jose Manuel CALDERON (ESP)
"The game went as we expected. We played recently against Argentina in Madrid and knew it was not going to be an easy game. We read the game well and responded well to everything. In the last quarter, Rodrigo (DE LA FUENTE) and Iker (ITURBE) came off the bench and did well. We didn't lose control even when we were down by nine. We were convinced that we would win. Even if we had lost, life would go on and we would look on the next game."
Mario PESQUERA (ESP)
"We played an exceptional game against an exceptional team, whose players have been together and with the same coach for years, and I am proud we won. We had problems in the first half, we balanced things a little bit in the third quarter, but the key was the fourth, where we used zone like we had in Madrid too. With all due respect to coach MAGNANO, this is where his team had the most problems. It's too early to talk about medals. We say today that neither Italy or Serbia and Montenegro are easy teams, nor is New Zealand. We all have to improve, both players and coaches, to go forward."
Leonardo Martin GUTIERREZ (ARG)
"I saw most of the game from the bench, but from what I saw we played well in the beginning, both in defense and offense. The problems started in the fourth quarter, when we got a little disoriented in attack and were not able to keep the same intensity in defense. Maybe we relaxed a little, we gave Spain open shots and committed many fouls, resulting in Spain taking 38 free throws."
Ruben MAGNANO, Head Coach (ARG)
"We started lacking concentration, but turned things around really well in the end of the first half, when we went up by nine. When the flow of the game changed, we did not go for the right options, like Spain did and came back in less than a minute. That was pretty much the end for us. We tried to correct things, but we made bad choices in shooting, and Spain came out a fair winner, doing the right things at the right time."
Fabricio, OBERTO (ARG)
“ It was a very tough game for both teams.  Unfortunately, during the first quarter the Spanish team gained the advantage and we were unable to regain it.  What the team needs to work on is our concentration.”
Carlos Francisco, DELFINO (ARG)
“We didn’t do what we had worked on during our practice.  We had a very big chance and it was quite possible for us to win but what I believe cost us our defeat was that we were very tired.”
Rodrigo DE LA FUENTE (ESP)
“It was really important for us to win because Argentina is such a good team.  We are very pleased by the way in which we performed on the court but we still have a long way to come.  During the last half of the game we didn’t play as we wanted or as we knew how.  We made a lot of unnecessary mistakes especially concerning our defense, which, was inferior to our offence.  However we have proven to be a good team, as has Argentina.”

Group B

Lithuania - Puerto Rico 98-90 (26-32, 49-44, 71-66)
Lithuania: Siskauskas 23, Macijauskas 19, Jasikevicius 18+7ast, Songaila 9+5reb, M.Zukauskas 8+4reb, Stombergas 7+5reb, Lavrinovic 6+4reb, Salenga 5, Javtokas 2, Ginevicius 1, E.Zukauskas 0+8reb; Coach: Sireika
Puerto Rico: Arroyo 25, Ayuso 25+5reb, Santiago 12, Houruittiner 7+6reb, Casiano 6, Apodaca 5, Ortiz 4+4reb, Fajardo 3+4reb, Hatton 3+4reb, Dalmau 0, Ramos 0; Coach: Toro
Puerto Rico lost to Lithuania - by Raiza Zapater
Larry Ayuso and Carlos Arroyo did their best to win against Lithuania but it was a very rocky road, even after winning the first quarter 32-26. Ayuso and Arroyo both scored 25 points and also Daniel Santiago scored 12. Eddie Casiano scored 6 and Rolando Hourruitiner, Rick Apodaca and Bobby Joe Hatton all scored 5, Jose Ortiz netted 4 and Sharif Fajardo had 3 points.
For Lithuania, Siskauskas had 23 and Macijauskas scored 19.
Next game for Puerto Rico is on Thursday against Angola. 
Game comments - by www.athens2004.com
Raimunas SISKAUSKAS (LTU)
"Today we had another tough game. Puerto Rico was very strong and fought throughout the game. We had good and bad moments, but I'm happy we came up with the win in the end."
Antanas SIREIKA (LTU) - Head Coach
"Puerto Rico's win against the United States was a big shake for all the tournament's participants. We prepared well for this game, analysing their strong and weak points. My players were not frightened at all, and competed well. I was not that satisfied by the quality of the game, as there were too many turnovers."
Carlos ARROYO (PUR)
"Tonight's game was very tough. I had the impression that from now on we have to prove ourselves in every game and play perfectly, since we compete in a very tough tournament. We did not rotate well and did not have good communication in defence, and Lithuania got too many open shots. They took advantage and made us struggle at times. Now we must start thinking about the next game, learning from this one."
"It doesn't mean anything. Our group is really competitive and I think there will be lots of surprises during the first round. We didn't have the right communication in defence an we let Lithuanian shooters many times with open space. We are a good offensive team, but if want to continue what we started by winning the U.S. national team, we have to improve our defence."
Julio TORO (PUR) - Head Coach
"Maybe the 98 points we conceded were too many, but the most important thing is that Lithuania scored 32 points in transition, compared to 4 for us and this is supposed to be our strong point. We did not run as much as we should have. The good thing is that we cut the margin to eight and this can prove important for us. Lithuania has beaten us several times in World and Olympic competition, and this was a first-class chance to break that streak of theirs. I saw some of what I call "gorilla Basketball", meaning the game was too physical, tonight, and Lithuania proved stronger than us in this respect."
Jose ORTIZ, centre (PUR)
"We were very tired because of the efforts put in during the USA game. Of course this does not mean that our defeat is excusable. We will continue to try our best so as to place first in our group."
Sarunas JASIKEVICIUS, guard (LTU)
"It was a very difficult game since Puerto Rico is not just any team. There are no favourites in our group and any scenario is possible because the circumstances are constantly changing."   

Serbia & Montenegro - Italy 74-72 (16-17, 36-36, 55-50)
Serbia & Montenegro: Rakocevic 19, Bodiroga 15+4reb+4ast, Radmanovic 13+4reb, Vujanic 7, Krstic 6, Tomasevic 5+12reb+5ast, Avdalovic 3, Scepanovic 3, Drobnjak 3, Pavlovic 0; Coach: Obradovic
Italy: Bulleri 15, Chiacig 11+5reb, Galanda 10, Garri 10, Radulovic 7+5reb, Basile 5, Pozzecco 5, Rombaldoni 4, Marconato 4, Soragna 1, Mian 0; Coach: Recalcati
Italy falls to World Champions - by Gianni Pascucci
At the end of a close game, Italian NT has been defeated by Serbia-Montenegro in the second day of Athens 2004. Unlucky, Gianluca Basile (193-G-75) missed the last shot of the game, which could have sent the game to overtime. The Azzurri offense has been led this time by Massimo Bulleri (188-G-77), who scored 25 points, but the man of the game has been Igor Rakocevic (191-G-78), almost unstoppable by the Italian defense.
Game comments - by www.athens2004.com
Zelimir OBRADOVIC (SRB) - Coach
"It was very difficult game, exactly like the battle against Argentina two days ago. We knew Italy very well and they know us, so everything that happened during the game was expected. Actually, we compete in a very tough Group, so all the rest of the games will be very tough."
Vladimir RADMANOVIC (SRB)
On the first win of Serbia & Montenegro:
"After our loss to Argentina in the opening game, the match against Italy was a must win game. During the last quarter, we lost our concentration and Italy came back, but fortunately we managed to win this game and that makes us happy. Hopefully, we will manage to improve some things in our games and play even better basketball."
Carlo RECALCATI (ITA) - Coach
"I am very satisfied from my team’s effort. If we go on like this, we have really good chances for something good here. We faced Serbia & Montenegro, a perfect team with good coach and very talented players. In fact, Igor RACOCEVIC is one of the most interesting players in the whole tournament so far."
“I didn’t want to call a time out, in order not to let our opponents organise their defense. I believe in my players’ skills and I let them do what they have done in the past with great success. Both BASILE and Massimo BULLERI like to take the final shot. BASILE missed and we lost the game, but I think that the last shot was not the point. In many similar situations, he has made it."
Roberto CHIACIG (ITA)
On the game against the world champions (Serbia & Montenegro) and the rest of the tournament:
"It was a very difficult game for us, since we faced the world champions. Both teams fought with all their strength and I think we had the possibility to win the game. If we compete with the same intensity, we will be able to succeed our goals. All that matters is to believe in it and never give up fighting."
Luca GARRI (ITA)
"We didn't play a good game but we managed to recover and come back in the game from a double digit deficit. At the end we had the chance to send it in overtime but we missed. That's basketball. Overall, I think we aren't satisfied with our team performance and we have to improve a lot if we want to compete against Spain, who is our next opponent. It's a very difficult game, but we are going give our best to win and secure our berth to quarterfinals."
Giakomo GALANDA (ITA)
"We aren't the perfect team, but we are fighters and that's why we can compete against every team play closed games. We are more of an offensive than of a defensive team and we prefer to have the last word and the last possession. Tonight we weren't lucky, but I am optimistic about our chances. Our main goal is the game against China, but for now Spain is the only thing on out minds."

USA - Greece 77-71 (18-17, 37-31, 57-53)
USA: Iverson 17, Duncan 14+9reb, James 10, Marbury 8+6ast, Marion 8+5reb, Odom 7+8reb, Wade 6, Boozer 6+5reb, Stoudemire 1+4reb, Jefferson 0, Anthony 0; Coach: Brown
Greece: Fotsis 22+5reb, Papadopoulos 14+7reb, Kakiouzis 9+4reb, Papaloukas 8+6ast, Chatzivrettas 6, Dikoudis 5, Tsartsaris 4, Zisis 3, Alvertis 0, Spanoulis 0, Papanikolaou 0; Coach: Giannakis
USA avoids another embarassment - by Efi Tsikou
The United States silenced a partisan crowd and avoided an unprecedented second Olympic loss when it outlasted Greece 77-71 on Tuesday in a Group B preliminary game in front of 12,000 spectators at packed Helliniko Indoor Arena. Both teams now have 1-1 records. The USA was led by its veterans, guard Allen IVERSON with 17 points and centre Tim DUNCAN with 14, while teenager Lebron JAMES scored 10. Greece trailed most of the game, but only briefly by double-digits. Antonis FOTSIS paced the home team with 22 points and centre Lazaros PAPADOPOULOS put up 14. Michail KAKIOUZIS drilled an early 3-pointer for Greece to stir up the crowd. When teammates FOTSIS and Nikolaos CHATZIVRETTAS followed suit to make it 13-9, things really got loud. IVERSON kept the US poised with two free throws and a 3-pointer, the team's second already after having made only three total from the arc in their first loss. The lead changed hands on a driving layup by Dwayne WADE and the USA stayed ahead 18-17 after one quarter.

The USA almost took the crowd out of the game in the second quarter. Its defence stymied Greece and sent JAMES running on a series of fastbreak dunks to a double-digit difference, 31-19. Point guard Theodoros PAPALOUKAS sparked Greece with steals leading to points. After another IVERSON 3-pointer, Dimosthenis NTIKOUDIS drove the hoop to keep Greece within 37-31 at halftime. As soon as it stepped on the floor again, Greece charged up the crowd with a 9-2 run to seize a 40-39 lead. PAPADOPOULOS scored twice and FOTSIS buried a shot from the arc. But the USA responded by going to DUNCAN for three baskets, and then IVERSON highlighted a 14-4 run with a 3-pointer that made it 55-44. Once again, however, Greece rallied. PAPALOUKAS made two steals to key a 9-2 closing run and cut the US lead to 57-53 after 30 minutes. JAMES with a jumper and Shawn MARION with a follow dunk bumped the USA advantage to 62-53 as the fourth quarter started. That didn't last, . FOTSIS and KAKIOUZIS sandwiched 3-pointers around a hook by PAPADOPOULOS and, just like that, Greece was back to 62-61. Persistence at both ends then decided it for the USA, which lost DUNCAN early to fouls. When Greece got within 72-68 on another KAKIOUZIS long shot, an offensive rebound by Carlos BOOZER eased the threat until Greece wasted its last chances with bad decisions.

When play resumes on Thursday, the USA goes against Australia while Greece must face undefeated Lithuania

Lamar ODOM, forward (USA) On the game: "It was a hard-fought game. Greece is the home team, and we knew it was going to be a battle. Congratulations to them, they are great competitors. Now it's time to look forward to the next game." On replacing Tim DUNCAN after he got into foul trouble: "Tim is the best post player in the world. But we all have to contribute and do things for the team." On his physical shape before the game: "I was up all night with extreme stomach pain. The doctor came to see me at 5a.m. and told me I was suffering from some kind of bacteria. I am very dehydrated and my energy level is low. I missed the shootaround this morning. But this is the Olympics, it's no time to feel sick." On the crowd: "Great crowd, I enjoyed it despite the fact that we were on the road. The trips to Serbia and Turkey prepared us well for tonight, and we hung in there when they cut the margin to one or two points." On whether he expected the gap between the NBA and the rest of the world to close that fast after the Dream Team I days: "Basketball is now played all over the world. Little kids practice and dream to play for their national team, and maybe some day become NBA professionals. There are even basketball schools, and people work as hard as we do. So I am not surprised."

Theodoros PAPALOUKAS, Guard (GRE) "The game was bound to be difficult for us, as we knew the US team would try to rebound after the loss to Puerto Rico. ''We tried to stay focussed and stick to our plan, but at some moment we lost our concentration together with some crucial rebounds that turned out to make the difference. ''We believed in the win and so did the crowd that were behind us all along. Now we must think about our mistakes as not to repeat them, since there are tough games coming up."

Larry Brown , Head Coach (USA) On the game: "We appreciated the way Greece played. ''PAPALOUKAS did a great job controlling their game. They were appealing to watch, they had good ball movement and it was hard for us to guard them. ''We had a little more energy than in the game against Puerto Rico, and some kids from the bench, like LeBron (JAMES), (Amare) STOUDEMIRE, or (Carlos) BOOZER gave us a lift. ''We are still not used to the way the games are called here, and Tim (DUNCAN) had some difficulties. We hope to learn from this game." On whether he should use a 8-9 player rotation or not: "The way games are called in Europe, the game is so unpredictable. We try to bring some people in early to get used to the game, so that they can help us if we need them down the stretch. That's why we have to be careful in selecting our teams, focussing on roles we will need them to fulfill." On his team's shot selection: "I was not happy. Against Puerto Rico I was the three-point coach and we made 3 of 24, today Gregg POPOVICH was and we made 4 of 21. Sometimes we shoot too quickly without looking inside first. ''I hope we will make an outside shot in this tournament. In the next game, perhaps Roy (WILLIAMS) will be the three-point coach and hopefully we will be better. Shooting around the NBA has become a lost art; we accept a lot of bad shots, and I don't like that. I think that we try more to entertain than really play basketball."

Panagiotis Giannakis , Head Coach (GRE) On the game: "We tried hard to play against players our guys watch on TV and want to play next to them in the NBA some day. ''Our plan was to reduce turnovers as much as possible and control the defensive boards. It was a good thought, but we failed to execute and committed 22 turnovers, some of them leading to easy layups for the US. ''I am satisfied because we fought to the end, and this is the best we got from this game. This is a big tournament. Some you win, some you lose, you stand up and keep going." On American players not concentrating on shooting: "According to my experience from trips to the States, I feel that American players prefer to play more with the ball and emphasise their athletic abilities rather than work on their shooting." On the game against Lithuania: "It's true that compared to the US, Lithuania is excellent at shooting. You will have to wait until Thursday to see how we will respond to that. No question we are going to pressure them, as I like our team to do from the moment I took over."

Game comments - by www.athens2004.com
Antonis FOTSIS (GRE)
“We tried really hard. The game was very difficult for us. Despite the fact that we lost, I am sure that our incredible fans must really enjoy the game. We proved that Greece is a competitive team. This game will help us improve our disadvantages and will give us a lot of positive things.”
“I might score a lot today but, my team is not consisted of super-stars, so there is no matter who is scoring most”.
Michalis KAKIOUZIS (GRE)
“We fight a lot and we never gave up during the game, even when US team was leading with more that 10 points. We managed to get very close to the win, but in the end we didn’t make it. It was such a strong game. From now on, we have to win as many games as we can in order to have chances for the quarterfinals”.
Lamar Odom (USA)
“The spirit of the Olympic Games is the competition. So, there are no easy games, since each team is trying to do its best. My team is consisted of super-stars, but this doesn’t mean that we don’t have to do the little things in the game, such as rebounds, defense, stealing. I am glad we win and I hope that we will play better in the next game.”

   Day One Games Summary - Aug 15, 2004 - by Eurobasket
The biggest sensation of the day one is USA loss to Puerto Rico. Maybe that was not just an accident that USA lost few days ago to Italy and barely saved a victory against Germany. It seems that it can be another big disappointment for American fans, unless their NBA stars prove they can compete internationally. Puerto Rican team (just interesting reminder Puerto Rican population is almost ...100 times smaller than the USA one) show very mature basketball based on a very good team game.
Another upset of the day is China defeat in the game against Spain. Some basketball experts do not consider it as surprise result, knowing that Spanish team is in a very good shape. But China had huge hopes about the Olympic Games, mentioning even about the medal. However their defeat to much lower ranked Latvia in the preparation phase was not just one-time hiccup.
In other games host Greece did not have big problems against Australia, Italy just in last minutes secured a victory over New Zealand, Angola was defeated by Lithuania, but after a very hard game, and Argentina surprisingly edged (was that really surprise?) favorite Serbia/Montenegro.

Group A

Greece - Australia 76-54 (23-18, 35-33, 59-51)
Greece: Papadopoulos 21+9reb, Chatzivrettas 13, Dikoudis 12+4reb, Papaloukas 11+5reb+4ast, Fotsis 9, Kikiouzis 4, Alvertis 3, Zisis 3, Diamantidis 0, Tsiartsaris 0, Spanoulis 0; Coach: Giannakis
Australia: Heal 12, Maher 12, Bogut 11+5reb, Nielsen 7+6reb, Andersen 5, Bruton 3, Saville 2, Rogers 2, Smith 0, Cattalini 0, Ronaldson 0; Coach: Goorjian
Greece crushes Australia - by Luis Angel Modestti
Greece surprised many people at the first day of competition in the Men's Olympic basketball competition by beating Australia 76-54 in front of 11,500 fans in the Helliniko Indoor Arena in Athens, Greece.
The Greeks started the game with an 14-0 run and won the first quarter 23-18.
The first half ended 35-33 in favor of the locals and Shane Heal (184-G-70) could not give Australia their first lead of the game at the end of the first half after he attempted a three pointer with seconds left.
Australia was down 62-54 with five minutes left in the game, but they never scored again in the game. Greece dominated the paint and was shooting a lot better than the boomers. Australia only scored 3 points in the final quarter against 17 from the locals.
Australia lose opener - by Chris Athanasopoulos
The Australian men's national basketball team, opened their Olympic Games campaign with a crucial game against hosts, Greece. It became an even more crucial game after Puerto Rico stunned the USA, in the previous game.
The Greeks were quickly off the blocks with a 7-0 lead, within the first minute of play, mainly behind the play of Lazaros Papadopoulos and Antonis Fotsis.  The Greek extend their lead to 12 points until the Shane Heal (184-G-70) scored the first points for Australia with 6.15 remaining in the first.  The Australians were suprised by the aggressive defence played by the Greeks.
However the Australians regained their composure and fought back. They turned to zone defence and made their own comeback with  Brett Maher hitting a nice shot on the buzzer to keep the Aussies within five points at the end of the first quarter. Greece started strongly the second quarter but the Australian's kept in close distance with the game. The Australian team outscoring their opponents 15-12 in the quarter to be trailing by only two points at halftime, The Greek were concerned with a sprained ankle to starting point guard, Dimitris Diamantidis. The third quarter was tight, but the Greeks flexed their muscle and pushed their lead out by another six points by the final break. Brett Maher was outstanding for Australia, contributing on both ends of the court. In the fourth Australia was determine to kept themselves in the game, starting with a three pointer by CJ Burton. But that was to be the only points for Australia in the quarter. Greece with the likes of Papadopoulos, Dimitris Papaloukas and Nikos Zizis stepped up ensuring that the game was over for the Australians with a 76-54 win.
Australia struggled in the game with aggressive defence applied by the Greeks.  Australia managed to expose the Greeks deficiencies in their perimeter shooting but were unable to stop their frontcourt of Fotsis and Papadopoulos.  Papadopoulos is a very underrated frontcourt player and will excel with the absence of Iakovos Tsakalidis.  Australia with sorely miss the absence of Chris Anstey and Sam Mackinnon, due to injury.  They lacked offensive firepower and need more of a contribution by Matthew Nielsen and David Andersen, if they are to challenge the much taller Lithuanians and Puerto Ricans latter in the group phase. Australia in the next game will have to face Angola, who proved to be a strong opposition to the Lithuanians.  Puerto Rico proved to everyone that pre tournament results mean nothing.  Even that Australia beat Angola twice, this will be a difficult and crucial match for Australia.

China - Spain 58-83 (18-18, 30-42, 43-61)
China: Li Nan 14, Yao Ming 12+8reb, Liu Wei 7, Chen Ke 6, Zhu Fangyu 6, Menke Batere 4, Mo Ke 3+8reb, Zhanng Jingsong 2, Du Feng 2, Yi Jianlian 2+5reb, Guo Shiquang 0, Zhang Yunsong 0; Coach: Harris
Spain: Gasol 21+10reb, Navarro 16, Reyes 14+5reb, Calderon 7, Garbajosa 7, Fernandez 6, de la Fuente 5+6reb, Comas 4, Iturbe 3, Jimenez 0+6reb, Duenas 0, Yebra 0; Coach: Pasquera
China Crushed by Spain - by Arthur Volbert
Spain crushed China by 25 points in the opening game of the Olympics for both teams.  The final score was 83-58, as Yao Ming was held to 12 points while Spain's Pau Gasol had 21 points and 10 rebounds.
China was tied with Spain 18-18 at the end of the first quarter as Gasol spent most of the period on the bench after getting a nosebleed from contact under the basket.  But once Gasol returned in the second quarter, Spain began to pull away and took a 42-30 lead at halftime.  China narrowed the margin to single figures at the beginning of the third quarter, but then Spain went on another scoring run and led 61-43 by the end of the period.
As is common in the Chinese league, once a team is down by a big margin it tends to give up -- something China must learn not to do in international tournaments.  Point differential is part of the tie-breaking formula for advancement to the quarter-finals.  In 2000 at Sydney China missed the quarter-finals because of point differential and is likely to do so again if there are ties.
China plays New Zealand on Tuesday in a game it must win to have any chance to advance to the quarter-finals.  New Zealand lost to Italy 71-69 in a game played earlier today. China beat New Zealand in Sydney in 2000.
Yao fouled out with four minutes left in the game against Spain, but the contest was already decided by that time. China shot only 32 percent from the field, but Spain shot only 5-23 from beyond the three-point line.   However, Spain excelled on offensive rebounds and China committed numerous turnovers, the two aspects of the game in which China must improve if it is to win a medal in 2008.  It will not win a medal this Olympics.
China also had trouble shooting contested two-point field goals, though Zhu Fangyu, Li Nan and Chen Ke hit some open three-pointers. Strength and conditioning are the areas where China continues to be deficient because of the Chinese way of playing the game. A world-class conditioning program is vital if China is to do well in Beijing.  China must also let as many of its players as possible play in the NBA and in Europe, so that they get more familiar with the intensity of international play.
Spain gets its first win- by Juanjo Martin
Men NT did the same than the Women one and reached the victory in the first match beating a weak China by 25 pts (83-58). The Asiatic team showed a poor image in the opening match of Olympic Games. The only player in the court was Yao Ming, its NBA star, and based its play on him and in punctual 3-pointers. This side must be improved by the Spanish team due to an horrible 5/25 from the arc (1/12 in the first half). Ming finished with 12 pts and 8 rebounds, while NBA star from Spain Pau Gasol made a double-double: 21 units and 10 rebounds. Navarro has an unlucky day, missing most of shots in the first 25 minutes, although in the end he managed to play better, finishing with 16 points.
In the beginning, Spain had troubles in the paint with the presence of Ming: Garbajosa and Duenas with two and three fouls respectively, and Gasol in the bench because he was hit in the face. The Chinese center imposed his law under the boards and the Asiatic defense obliged Spain to shot beyond the arc. In the second quarter the story changed: Gasol came back to the floor and became in the leader in this period, with Felipe Reyes as his partner in the scoring. The Spanish zone defense was now the prevailing one and the margin was raised till twelve points (40-32). In the third period, Spain focused its defense on Ming, which caused other Chinese players were open and the distance was shortened. However, China didn't make Spain frighten for the final triumph. Led by Gasol, Spanish NT put more distance in the scoreboard in the last quarter, being the maximum edge 27 points.

Italy - New Zealand 71-69 (25-13, 39-33; 56-46)
Italy: Basile 16, Galanda 15+6reb, Soragna 2, Marconato 4+5reb, Bulleri 12, Radulovic 3, Pozzecco 1+7ast, Righetti 0, Mian 2, Chiacig 7+9reb, Garri 9, Rombaldoni dnp. Coach: Recalcati
New Zealand: Dickel 10+7reb+4ast, Penney 20, Jones 15+7reb, Cameron 8+5reb+5ast, Marks 13+9reb, Henare 0, Olson 0, Boucher 3+7reb, Book 0, Rampton 0, Winitana dnp, Bradshaw dnp. Coach: Baldwin
by Gianni Pascucci
After having been ahead even by 19 points in the first half, Italy prevailed by only two points over the usually hustling New Zealand. Roberto Chiacig (208-C-74) has been very effective in defending and rebounding (9 carooms at the end), and Gianluca Basile (193-G-75) led the scoring of Italy with 16 points. The best scorer of the game, however, has been Kirk Penney (195-G-80, college: Wisconsin), with 20.

Group B

Angola - Lithuania 73-78 (14-24, 28-32, 55-56)
Angola: Lutonda 17+4reb+6ast, Gomes 14, Muzadi 9, Carvalho 9, E.Victoriano 9, A.Victoriano 8, Almeida 4, Moussa 2, Monteiro 1, Costa 0, Mingas 0; Coach: Palma
Lithuania: E.Zukauskas 15+11reb, Lavrinovic 15+9reb, Jasikevicius 14+7reb+6ast, Macijauskas 10+6reb, Stombergas 8, Siskauskas 7, Songaila 7, M.Zukauskas 1, Salenga 1, Ginevicius 0; Coach: Sireika
Lituania beats Angola - by Carlos Pereira
In the first game of the Olympic Games in Athens, Lituania have beats Angola by 78-73, in a very good game for the Angola team.
Angola was in front of the result for almost 28', with a good defense and a good ball control in atack, but the more faults in Angola side, make a big diference in the last quarter.
With not a good refering, Angola have fight to the final, but was not enough.
Best players for Angola. Miguel Lutonda and Joaquim Gomes.

Argentina - Serbia Montenegro 83-82 (27-15, 49-39, 61-59)
Argentina: Ginobili 27+5reb+3ast, Nocioni 12, Scola 10+4reb, Oberto 8, Delfino 8, Wolkowyski 5+6reb, Sanchez 3, fernandez 3, Montecchia 2; Coach: Magnano
Serbia Montenegro: Radmanovic 21, Rakocevic 19, Bodiroga 16+5reb, Vujanic 15, Tomasevic 6+10reb, Drobnjak 5, Krstic 0, Advalovic 0, Scepanovic 0; Coach: Obradovic
Argentina Beats Serbia&Montenegro ! - by Leonardo Contieri
Manú Ginóbili scored a 5 meter basket at the buzzer to give Argentina a victory over Serbia & Montenegro 83-82 in the opening game of Olympics Game 2004.
Argentina played an excellent first half, shooting 72% from the field, leadin 49-39, But Serbia got back in the game with a 20-12 third quarter, and managed to take the lead by four points thanks to a free from Tomasevic at 80-76, Nocioni scored a basket making it 80-78, Bodiroga hit a free throw that put the game 81-78, and with seventeen seconds to go, Ginobili scored a basket and recievde a foul and tied the game at 81. Oberto fouled Tomasevic when he touched the ball with four seconds remaining, and scored the second FT, the ball was inbounded to Montecchia who ran across the court and found Manu open, who released the ball with one tenth of a second on the game clock, the ball touched the board and cleanly entered the basket.

Puerto Rico - USA 92-73 (21-20, 49-27, 65-48)
P.Rico: Arroyo 24+4reb+7ast, Casiano 18, Ayuso 15, Hourruitiner 9+5reb, Ortiz 8+6reb, Santiago 7, Hatton 5, Fajardo 4, Ramos 2, Apodaca 0, Rivera 0; Coach: Toro
USA: Iverson 15+4reb+3ast, Duncan 15+16reb+4ast, Odom 13+5reb, Wade 10, Jefferson 8+5reb, James 5, Marion 4+6reb, Marbury 2, Boozer 1+4reb, Anthony 0, Stoudemire 0; Coach: Brown
Puerto Rico beats the “Dream Team” - by Raiza Zapater
Puerto Rico demonstrated being in control of the game since the beginning. Led by Carlos Arroyo (188-G-79, agency: Interperformances, college: Florida Intern.) with 24 points and 7 assistances Puerto Rico defeated “the undefeatable” by a huge gap of points. At halftime the game was 49- 27 and stayed like that quite a while. Also for Puerto Rico, Eddie Casiano had 18 points and Larry Ayuso netted 15. For the United States,  Allen Iverson scored 15.

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