Greece started the second round of the EuroBasket Men 2013 on a bright note after scoring a huge 79-75 upset victory over defending champions Spain on Friday in Slovenia.
The defending European champions came out firing in the first period and surprised the Greeks, building a commanding 26-16 lead at the end of the first 10 minutes of the match.
The Greeks gave the Spaniards a dose of their own medicine in the second quarter though, outscoring Spain, 25-12, to take a three-point lead at the half.
Spain bounced back again in the second half and regained control with a five-point lead heading into the final period. However Greece took advantage of the sloppy play of the Spanish side to steal the victory from the heavily-favored Spain.
Spain shot an impressive 45.5 percent from the field for the entire match and had six more rebounds than Greece, but their 17 turnovers that resulted to 19 points off turnovers for Greece were too costly for them.
Vassilis Spanoulis spearheaded the offensive surge of Greece with 20 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists, while Georgios Printezis and Yannis Bourousis added 10 points apiece.
“We came out today to play hard, give everything and play with high energy right from the start, and that was the key. We are back in the qualification game but this is still just only one win and we have to play the same way in the next two games,” said Kostas Kaimakoglou, who added 11 points for Greece.
Marc Gasol and Rudy Fernandez, on the other hand, led Spain with 20 points apiece, while Victor Claver added nine points and 11 rebounds in a losing effort.
Spain will look to bounce back on Sunday when they collide with Finland, while Greece will go up against host Slovenia.