BERLIN: Giannis Antetokounmpo was sent off and Greece’s hopes of winning a European championship ended soon after.
Germany, meanwhile, are taking full advantage of their home advantage.
Dennis Schroder scored 26 points, Daniel Theis had 13 points and 16 rebounds and the German host advanced to the EuroBasket semifinals with a 107-96 win over Greece on Tuesday.
Antetokounmpo produced a monster game for Greece – 31 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in 30 minutes. But he also picked up two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls, the last of which led to his ejection with 4:56 remaining.
Greece were behind by 14 when they committed their second such foul, and Germany remained in full control the rest of the way.
Germany now have a chance to win what would be only their second medal in their last 13 EuroBasket appearances. The Germans won the European title in 1993 and finished runners-up in 2005; guaranteed to be no worse than fourth place now, this tournament will mark his best EuroBasket result since that silver medal.
“I think it’s amazing for German basketball, the way this team, the way these players have played on home soil so far,” Germany coach Gordie Herbert said. “I think the way they played, the way we played, people can relate to. They see an identity.
Greece and Serbia were the only two teams to advance through the EuroBasket group stage with unbeaten records, both 5-0 and led by two-time NBA MVPs – Antetokounmpo for Greece, Nikola Jokic for Serbia.
Then came the knockout stage, and records no longer mattered. Serbia and Jokic were ousted in the Round of 16 by Italy; Antetokounmpo and Greece also disappeared.
“We really enjoyed the race,” said Greek coach Dimitrios Itoudis. “We really enjoyed the trip. I think we’ve made a lot of people proud of the way this team is performing. We wanted to go further, but that didn’t happen this time.
Giannoulis Larentzakis scored 18 points on just five attempted shots for Greece; he was 5 of 5 from the field, four of those 3-pointers and 4 of 6 from the foul line. Tyler Dorsey added 13 for Greece.
Franz Wagner and Andreas Obst had 19 points each for Germany, who will face Spain in the semi-finals on Friday.
“It was a really physical game,” Wagner said. “A lot of points. We found our rhythm early on and I think we did a much better job of keeping them collectively in the second half.
SPAIN 100 FINLAND 90
Most of the names of the Spanish national team have changed over the past year, with the roster that headed to EuroBasket being very different from the one that played in the Tokyo Olympics.
The expectations, however, remain the same.
Willy Hernangomez scored 27 points, Juancho Hernangomez added 15 and Spain – with just three players who got significant playing time at the Tokyo Games last summer – qualified for the semi-finals by erasing a 15-point deficit and beating Finland in Tuesday’s first quarter-final.
Trailing 50-35 at the end of the last half, Spain edged Finland 65-40 in the last 21 minutes of the game.
“We showed, once again, cohesion, tenacity, generosity, we shared the ball well,” said Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo. “At the end of the day, that’s what you can ask of a team that is so inexperienced and so new to this kind of commitment.”
Spain have reached the EuroBasket semi-finals for the 11th consecutive time and will face Germany on Friday for a place in the final.
Dario Brizuela scored 14 points, Rudy Fernandez added 11 and Lorenzo Brown 10 for Spain.
“It was a tough battle,” said Willy Hernangomez, Juancho’s older brother. “Tough battle for us. … Our first half was really bad. We started the game not with the right mentality. And then at half time, (we said) we have to be us, we have to be us .
Spain opened the third quarter on a 17-5 run, more than setting the tone for their comeback.
Lauri Markkanen scored 28 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Finland, while Mikael Jantunen scored 13, Alexander Madsen scored 13 and Sasu Salin added 11.
Finland were looking for their first trip to the EuroBasket semi-finals.
“Well you see why Spain is always so difficult,” said Finn Shawn Huff. “They never give up. We gave it a good shot.
The other two quarter-final matches are imminent: France take on Italy and defending champions Slovenia take on Poland.