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2014 FIBA World Games: Greece beat Croatia 76-65 and is leading the Group with 4-0 - Sep 3, 2014


POSTED BY:
CHRIS MAMMIDES
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Kostas
Papanikolaou
The Greek National Team under the perfect coaching by Fotis Katsikaris beat quite easy the Croatian NT (which was in the papers the top favorite team) and is now to the 4-0 record looking towards the game against Argentina which may bring the Greeks at the top spot of the Group, something which was not even on the best case scenarios of the various basketball experts around the globe as they were expecting the Greek team to simply qualified either as fourth or maximum third in the group.

Tonight the MVP of the game was the Huston Rockets star and newcomer in the magic world of NBA, Kostas Papanikolaou (206-F-90) (206-F-90) with his overall performance in both edges of the quart, not only due to the 14 points he scord but because he played amazing defense for more than 25 minutes against the top performer of the Croatian NT, Bogdanovic and beat him in total as the Croat forward probably had his worst game since the beginning of the World cup. Of course an amazing "silent" performance from Kaimakoglou once more as the Greek forward not only eliminate the younger European star Darjo Saric but he was also among the top scorer of the teams (14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists with zero mistakes in 28 minutes with just one free throw missed as he had 2of three pointers, 3of 3 two's and 2of 3 from the charity line) and top rebounder, scoring a decisive three pointer with less than 2.30' to the end against the full offense of the Croatian NT.

The Greek characteristic was once more the solid team-work something which the Croats never had as they are good players and even better sometimes from the Greeks but they are far from being a solid team. The captain of the Greek NT Nikos Zisis with clear mind ended the game with 9 assists and he was a truly leading figure in the court with no mistakes and with mature game, followed by Nic Calathes and Kostas Sloukas, all guards with their defense against Oliver Lafayette were also able to eliminate another player who's consider being dangerous.

The final score 76-65 is not even representing the total picture of the game as the Greek internationals had only 50% from the charity line while their percentage from the three pointer was also very poor as with 5 of 23 (with the last two three pointers in the very last minute) while the Croats had a solid 40% with 8of 20 but very bad % from the charity line as they ended with 9 of 17 which could be their worst percentage ever...

The Greek NT dominated in both edges and after the first five minutes had no problem, since it took the lead and open the deficit even up to 19 points to finally win the game with 11. The Croats will now play their participation in the Basketball World Cup in their tomorrow's game against Puerto Rico, while the top seat will be played between Argentina and Greece later tomorrow.

Greece's amazing fact is that in four different games had four different MVP's as in the Game number one against Senegal, Kaimakoglou was the MVP, in the second game against Philippines, Printezis was the MVP, in the third game against Puerto Rico, Nikos Zisis was the MVP and tonight against Croatia, Papanikolaou was the MVP. This is the definition of a TEAM!, no matter what the final result will be the Greeks in this World Cup, Fotis Katsikaris did a wonderful job.   



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World Cup Standings
 1. USA
 2. Serbia
 3. France
 4. Lithuania
 5. Spain
 6. Brazil
 7. Slovenia
 8. Turkey
 9. Greece
 10. Croatia
 11. Argentina
 12. Australia
 13. Dominican R.
 14. Mexico
 15. N.Zealand
 16. Senegal
 17. Angola
 18. Ukraine
 19. P.Rico
 20. Iran
 21. Philippines
 22. Finland
 23. S.Korea
 24. Egypt
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Jose Juan BAREA
  PUR
  (183-PG-84)
  Avg: 22
 1. Barea, PUR22.0 
 2. Blatche, USA21.2 
 3. Bogdanovic, BIH21.2 
 4. Gasol, ESP20.0 
 5. Scola, ARG19.5 
 6. Haddadi,18.8 
 7. Moreira, ANG17.8 
 8. Ayon, MEX17.6 
 9. Garcia, DOM17.6 
 10. Baynes, AUS16.8 
Rebounds Per Game
 Andray BLATCHE
  USA
  (211-F/C-86)
  Avg: 13.8
 1. Blatche, USA13.8 
 2. Haddadi,11.4 
 3. Dieng, SEN10.7 
 4. Bourousis, GRE9.2 
 5. Scola, ARG8.5 
 6. Valanciunas, LTU8.4 
 7. Asik, TUR8.4 
 8. Moreira, ANG8.2 
 9. Varejao, BRA8.0 
 10. Faried,7.8 
Assists Per Game
 Petteri KOPONEN
  FIN
  (194-PG-88)
  Avg: 5.8
 1. Koponen, FIN5.8 
 2. Dalmeida, SEN5.3 
 3. Rubio, ESP5.1 
 4. Jeter, USA5.0 
 5. Teodosic, SRB4.4 
 6. Nikkhah Bahr.,4.4 
 7. Zisis, GRE4.3 
 8. Campazzo, ARG4.3 
 9. Dragic, SLO4.3 
 10. Prigioni, ARG4.2 
Steals Per Game
 Ricky RUBIO
  ESP
  (193-G-90)
  Avg: 3.6
 1. Rubio, ESP3.6 
 2. Kamrani, IRI2.6 
 3. Harden,2.1 
 4. Balkman, USA2.0 
 5. Irving, AUS1.9 
 6. Dieng, SEN1.8 
 7. Prigioni, ARG1.8 
 8. Ingles, AUS1.8 
 9. Saric, CRO1.7 
 10. Barbosa, BRA1.6 
Blocks Per Game
 Pau GASOL
  ESP
  (213-F/C-80)
  Avg: 2.3
 1. Gasol, ESP2.3 
 2. Davis,2.1 
 3. Kim,2.0 
 4. N'Diaye, SEN1.8 
 5. Asik, TUR1.6 
 6. Dieng, SEN1.5 
 7. Vargas,1.5 
 8. Gasol, ESP1.4 
 9. Ibaka, CGO1.3 
 10. Garcia, DOM1.2 
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