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    Greece denies China Olympic spot for first time since 1980

    Jul 2, 2021
    Nick Calathes tries to drive past Xu Jie.
    PHOTO: Fiba.basketball

    GREECE steamrolled past China, 105-80, to earn a semifinals berth in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Victoria Friday (Manila time) at Victoria Memorial Arena in Canada.

    Kostas Sloukas led the three-point barrage for the Greeks as he fired 14 points on 3-of-5 shooting from deep, to go with three assists and two rebounds in a game where they went 12-of-28 shooting from downtown.

    Giannoulis Larentzakis topscored for Greece with 21 points built on three treys, on top of four assists and three steals, while Konstantinos Mitoglou added 12 points and seven boards.

    Leonidas Kaselakis chimed in 12 of his own, along with three rebounds, as Dimitrios Katsivelis had 11 points in the 25-point rout.

    Greece breezed through China, using a 28-14 start to set the tone for the blowout, leading by as high as 29 points, 101-72 after a Linos Chrysikopoulos layup in the last 2:11.

    The win sets Greece up for a semifinal clash against Group A leader and hosts Canada, to begin on Sunday (Manila time).

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    Hu Mingxuan fired 16 points and five assists as China missed out on the Olympics for the first time since 1980 in Moscow.

    Zhou Qi tallied 15 points and 10 rebounds, as Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) MVP Wu Qian had 14 in the defeat.

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    Czech Republic vs Uruguay

    Czech Republic also escaped a game challenge from Uruguay to take the 80-79 thriller.

    Tomas Satoransky Czech Republic vs Uruguay

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    Chicago Bulls guard Tomas Satoransky commandeered the Czech with a near-triple-double performance with 19 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds.

    Jakub Sirina chimed in 17 points on 4-of-8 shooting from downtown, to go with two boards and two assists, and Ondrej Balvin registered a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

    Jaromir Bohacik's three gave Czech Republic an 80-74 lead with 1:46 left, but it still had to fend off a late charge from Uruguay with Bruno Fitipaldo and Luciano Parodi cutting the lead down to one with 39 ticks left.

    Jan Vesely missed a hook shot on the other end which opened up a window of oportunity for the Uruguayans to steal the game, but Jayson Granger muffed his potential game-winner as Balvin hauled down the game-icing rebound for the Czechs.

    Czech Republic will now face Group B winner Turkey in the other semifinal matchup.

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      Granger buried five of his 12 three-pointers to lead Uruguay with 22 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in the losing cause.

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      Fitipaldo also scored 22 points on 6-of-9 clip from distance, as Santiago Vescovi scored 12.

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      Nick Calathes tries to drive past Xu Jie.
      PHOTO: Fiba.basketball
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