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Greece tops Germany 87-64 in men's basketball
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Greece overcame an early fight-back to win its second Beijing Olympics men's basketball game on Tuesday, pummeling Germany 87-64.

"We are an experienced team," said Theodoros Papaloukas, captain of the Greece team. "We played good defence and offence. Everyone contributed."

The Greeks jumped out to a quick 12-2 lead and played fierce defence to force the Germans into a dismal shooting performance in the beginning of the game.

But the Germans managed to break the defence with five three-pointers as well as offensive rebounds from Christopher Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki, running on a 6-0 run to level the score at 21-21.

After Sven Schultze scored two points outside paint in the dying seconds, the Germans pulled away with a 23-21 lead by the end of the first quarter.

But Greece went on a charge in the second quarter to stop the Germans' surge with a 12-0 run, putting itself up again to a 44-33 lead at half-time and never turned back.

After stretched the advantage to 21 points in the third quarter, the Greeks sealed their win by 23 points by the end of the heated match.

"Both our offence and defence were in problems in the game," said Jan-Hendrik Jagla, Germany's forward.

Panagiotis Giannakis, coach of the Greece team, said his team had improved its free throws percentage, adding "our goal is now to qualify to the next round."

Greece placed fifth at Athens 2004 and grabbed a silver in the 2006 World Championship.

After a disappointing fourth place at EuroBasket 2007, just one year after their astonishing victory over the United States in the semifinals of the 2006 world championship, the Greeks earned their ticket for the Beijing Games at home with a dominating performance in mid-July.

Germany didn't make it directly for the Beijing Games at the EuroBasket 2007 in Spain where it finished fifth behind Russia, Spain, Lithuania and Greece. The Germans then went to Athens in July to secure their berth at the Olympics.

Greece, losing to Spain 81-66 on Sunday, will take on the United States Thursday when Germany, with a 95-66 win over Angola, will encounter Spain.

(Xinhua News Agency August 12, 2008)

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