U20 European Championship: Greece defeated Belgium 68-64 and won bronze!

U20 European Championship 2023

Greece is on the FIBA U20 European Championship podium after prevailing 68-64 over Belgium in the short final in a 45-minute match.

The Blue and White found themselves chasing double-digit differences late in the third quarter but went on a 16-4 run in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. There, they were calmer, found the right options and got the big win!

The match

Once again, in the last few matches, the tempo was high from the jam ball onwards, with both teams making quick attacks. The Greek National team was willing to get closer to the basket, and with five consecutive points from Zougris, it was reduced to 7-10 in the 5th minute.

The Belgians once again took a 5-point difference (9-14), which... gathered with a three-pointer by Oikonomopoulos, for Greece to equalise with the incredible cooperation of Bazina-Zougri and to go ahead for the first time with the shots of Plotas at 10 '.

He kept his cool to close the quarter with the lead for the "blue and white" (18-17), with Di Maria changing the picture by shooting from a distance at the start of the second period.

The young Belgian guard developed into a factor by stealing and making it 26-33 from long range to complete his team's 8-0 (26-35) with fellow forward De Ride in the 16th minute. The 31-38 from Zougris became 31-43 2 minutes before the half, which ended with a 10-point difference (33-43).

In that time, the National Team had 11/25 two-pointers and 1/7 three-pointers, while they had yet to capitalise on the shots they won with 8/14.

At 23-8 rebounds and assists. On the other hand, the Belgians kept their three-point percentage high with 7/15, had 10/22 two-pointers and 2/3 shots with 18 rebounds and ten assists.

After the quarter break, a two-minute work again... identifiers. Neophytos made a steal and a layup to make it 35-43, and Kalaitzakis cut the score to 5 with a three-pointer (with a 5-0 streak) while the National Team raised the energy levels in its defence.

Missed opportunities had given way on both sides of the floor, with production remaining low. The Belgians went to 8 points (38-46), and Plotas, after four minutes, gave Greece a score (40-46). The gap opened again, and Menes followed to close the period at 40-52.

Papadopoulos' players "built" a quick 5-0 with Bazina until the 31st minute to reduce the distance to 7 (45-52), with the 19-year-old guard giving essential solutions to the "blue and white" (49-54 in 34').

With 5'09'' on the clock, Mermigis found the way to the basket for 51-54 when the National Team blocked the offensive operation of the Belgians. In the 38th minute, Greece had allowed just two points to its opponents, and Zougris tied the game with a second attempt.

At 2'04'', Lanegen gave the lead 54-56, Bazinas tied the match, and Mermigis' last shot found the iron to send them to overtime.

Bazinas gave the reins to the National team with a three-pointer, and Zougris gave a halt at 61-58. The Belgians drew level, and Mandzoukas made 63-61 before Menes' foul shot made it 63-64. Plotas... answered, and Oikonomopoulos reached +3 (67-64).

The quarters: 18-17, 33-43, 40-52, 56-56, 68-64 (par.)

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