Greece play Russia, Italy face Serbia in EuroBasket quarterfinals

DAILY SABAH WITH DPA
ISTANBUL
Published 13.09.2017 00:44

The 1987 and 2005 champions Greece faces off today against the 2007 winners Russia, who came into the tournament under the radar but have been guided tremendously by Aleksei Shved with the rest of the team playing their roles to perfection. Saving the best for last in the Round of 16, Shved has taken out Top Performer honors after leading Russia to a surprisingly comfortable win over Croatia.

Shved showed his full wizardry against Croatia, finishing the night with 27 points and 12 assists, as what had been billed as a close encounter turned into a one-sided affair. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Shved had produced an efficiency rating of 32. Greece lost their top star Giannis Antetokounmpo just before the tournament and finished fourth in Group A, but then took down 2013 and 2015 finalists Lithuania to move into the final eight. The final spot in the semi-finals will go to either Italy or Serbia.

The Italians are missing a number of big names and also have five players making their senior national team debuts this summer. But the two-time European champions beat Finland in the round of 16 and are one win from their first semi-finals since 2003. Serbia, for their part, are in the top eight for the fifth straight time and also finished second at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014 and 2016 Olympics.

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