Already through to the second round of the 2014 World Basketball Cup in Spain after winning its first three games, Greece’s young team gets its first real test on Sept. 3, squaring off against a tough Croatia squad.
Greece, ranked fifth in the world despite a poor showing at the European championships, is atop its group of six but a strong Argentina, as well as Croatia and surprising Senegal are right behind at 2-1. The Greek team is looking for a top two finish so it can get a lesser opponent in the next round.
In its first two games, Greece pounded Senegal, 87-64 and the Philippines 82-70 before holding on against winless Puerto Rico, 90-79 behind 19-year-old Yiannis Antetonkoumpo, from a Nigerian immigrant family, and Nikos Zisis.
Antetonkoumpo, who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA and will team with LeBron James this season, has wowed crowds with his athletic play.
Argentina, ranked number three in the world, was upset by Croatia 90-85 before the Croatians were stunned by Senegal, 77-75 so the Greeks are likely to face an angry and hungry team eager to rebound and with solid international experience and ranked 16th in the world. Greece then takes on Argentina.