By Eurohoops team / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Czech Republic advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time in history despite a 77 – 84 loss to Greece. Tomas Satoransky, who flirted with the triple-double (13 points, nine assists, eight rebounds) and his teammates made the Top 8 of the tournament, following the Team USA’s win over Brazil.
The Greek side was eliminated since it required a win by 12+ points to advance.
“I don’t want to celebrate too soon, but I am proud of this team nobody expected us to make it this far,” Satoransky said after the game: “I am many years with this team and we are on the verge of something really big”.
Greece was up by a qualification-giving margin, 53 – 65, with 6:47 minutes remaining following a basket by its top performer Nick Calathes (27 points, six assists, five rebounds).
The Czech squad responded and with the score 57 – 67, Giannis Antetokounmpo (12 points, nine rebounds, four assists in 23:03) was called with a questionable offensive foul and was forced to sit at the bench for the remainder of the match.
With the score 61 – 70 for Greece, the Czech team took advantage of some missed shots by its opponents to achieve a decisive 7 – 0 run with Jaromir Bohacik (25 points) scoring for the 68 – 70 with two minutes left.
Calathes once again pushed Greece towards possibly reclaiming the needed lead, making it 68 – 75 with 1:21 left to play. Satoransky stepped up with two crucial buckets, a tip-in, and a mid-range jumper to preserve a safe point difference for the Czech side, as the clock was ticking down in his team’s favor.
Patrick Auda added 13 points for the Czech team. Kostas Sloukas had 16 points for Greece and Thanasis Antetokounmpo 11, all of them in the third period.
Photo credit: FIBA.Basketball