Greece Through to “Sweet Sixteen” of FIBA Basketball World Cup

MANILA – Down by 15 points just before halftime, the national team managed a comeback to defeat New Zealand 83-74 in their final group stage match, qualifying for the World Cup round of 16 in second place behind the USA. Stellar plays included Ioannis Papapetrou’s contribution of 27 points, with key three-pointers and Giannoulis Larentzakis’ 20 points. For New Zealand, Shea Ili was the top scorer with 27 points, while Reuben Te Rangi added 19 points.

Following the first phase results, teams will move to the “Sweet Sixteen” with the USA and Greece placed in Group 10 against Lithuania and Montenegro. New Zealand and Jordan will compete for places 17-32, joining Group 14 with Egypt and Mexico.

Notable records include Ioannis Papapetrou beating his personal best with the national team and Thomas Walkup being the first player to have +5 assists in three consecutive World Cup matches. Giannoulis Larentzakis is only the second player to score over 15 points coming off the bench in a World Cup game.

The match progression by quarters was 15-20, 32-43, 50-54, and 83-74. Despite a shaky start, the national team fought hard, with pivotal performances from Larentzakis and Papapetrou turning the tide in their favor.

Team compositions:

GREECE: Thomas Walkup, Nikos Rogkavopoulos, Dimitris Moraitis, Michail Lountzis, Giannoulis Larentzakis, Lefteris Bochorides, Georgios Papagiannis, Kostas Papanikolaou, Ioannis Papapetrou, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Konstantinos Mitoglou and Emmanouil Chatzidakis.

NEW ZEALAND: Walter James Brown, Flynn Cameron, Finn Delany, Isaac Fotu, Shea Ili, Izayah Le’Afa, Jordan Ngatai, Tohi Smith-Milner, Reuben Te Rangi, and Yannick Wetzell, Taylor Britt, and Hyrum Harris.


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