Greece exited the Basketball World Cup in China from the Round of 16, despite having been tipped for a medal, as its seven-point win (84-77) over the Czech Republic was not enough for the national team to make the quarterfinals.
Greece required a 12-point win, paying dearly for its loss to Brazil last week, but made a great effort in the second half, touched the miracle but was denied by the controversial ejection of Milwaukee Bucks super star Giannis Antetokounmpo and its poor free-throw shooting.
The strong start (10-2) to the game brought Greece three quarters of the way early on (26-17), but the complete lack of offensive rebounds and the loosening of the Greek defense in the second quarter had the Czechs turn things around to lead for the first time right at the end of the first half (33-32). The Czechs even went ahead by five in the third quarter, before the Greeks closed their ranks when Giannis Antetokounmpo (12 points, nine rebounds) was given his fourth personal foul. Greece started collecting more rebounds and scoring from distance again, to get to the very margin it needed, i.e. 12 points (61-49) for the first time eight minutes from the end.