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As many as eight teams - Germany, Italy, the United States, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Argentina and Angola - stay unbeaten in the 2006 World Championship after 2 games played in the preliminary round, as a good number of Euroleague stars keep showing their skills along the way. In Group A, Argentina is the uncontested leader by beating the Lebanon 72-107 in Hiroshima on Tuesday behind 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting from All-Euroleague first team selection Luis Scola. Meanwhile, France beat Serbia and Montenegro 65-61 to bounce back from its initial loss. Former Euroleague star Boris Diaw led the way with 20 points for the winners. Just as it was expected, Spain leads Group B by overwhelming Panama 57-101 in Hiroshima on Tuesday. Former Winterthur FCB forward Pau Gasol had 26 points while Rudy Fernandez of DKV Joventut added 21 on 7-for-8 shooting. Spain will face a tough test tomorrow, as Germany also improved to 2-0 by thrashing New Zealand 56-80 behind 18 points on 4 of 5 three-pointers from Alba Berlin forward Demond Greene. Greece needed overtime to edge Lithuania 76-81 and lead Group C with a 2-0 record. All-Euroleague second team selection Vassilis Spanoulis led the winners with 15 points, including 4 of 4 free throws in the final minute of the extra period. Meanwhile, Turkey stayed unbeaten by rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit to beat Australia 68-76. Ersan Ilyasova led the winners with 17 points, but Ibrahim Kutluay of Ulker Fenerbahce had most of his 15 points to complete the Turkish comeback in the final period. In Group D, Italy edged Slovenia 80-76 behind 26 points from Marco Belinelli. It all came down to the final seconds, in which Matteo Soragna of Benetton hit critical free throws to put the victory on ice. Groups A and B will keep the action alive tomorrow, so don't forget who check what is happening in the 2006 World Championships right here on Euroleague.net!

Argentina lived up to the expectations by downing the Lebanon 72-107 in Hiroshima on Tuesday. Argentina leads Group A with a 2-0 record while the Lebanon dropped to 1-1. Walter Herrmann, who played for Unicaja last season, led the winners with 23 points on 6 of 8 triples. Scola added 18 on 8-for-10 shooting, Carlos Delfino had 14 and Fabricio Oberto 12 in an easy win for the current Olympic champs, who broke the game in the opening half and never looked back. Venezuela bounced back from its initial loss in this group by beating Nigeria 77-84 behind 24 points from Victor Diaz. Oscar Torres, who played for Khimki last season, had 14 points and 7 rebounds. Ide Udoka had 23 points for Nigeria. France bounced back from its initial last in Argentina by edging Serbia and Montenegro 65-61. France improved to 1-1 while Serbia and Montenegro is last at 0-2. Diaw had 20 points for France while Frederic Weis had 11. Igor Rakocevic of Tau Ceramica had 22 points for Serbia and Montenegro, while Darko Milicic added 15. It all came down to the final 7 seconds, in which Diaw hit 4 of 4 free throws to seal the outcome in crunch time. Spain keeps impressing everyone in Group B by thrashing Panama 57-101 in Hiroshima on Tuesday. Spain ties with Germany for the top spot, both with a 2-0 record. Both teams will face each other tomorrow. Pau Gasol led the winners with 26 points on 11-for-15 shooting, Fernandez added 21 on 7-for-8 shooting, Berni Rodriguez of Unicaja had 15 on 6-for-7 shooting while Jorge Garbajosa scored 10 points in an easy win for Spain, which lost Juan Carlos Navarro in the opening half. Navarro has been listed a day-to-day. Germany did not have a tough battle either, as it beat New Zealand 56-80. Greene led the way with 18 points on 4 of 5 three-pointers. Robert Garrett of Brose Baskets Bamberg added 14 while Dirk Nowitzki had 11 for Germany, which fired in 16 of 34 three-pointers. Angola got its second win in this group by downing Japan 62-87. Abdel Aziz Boukar led Angola with 16 points and 14 rebounds, as his team had five players in double digits.

Turkey almost clinched a spot for the elimination rounds by beating Australia 68-76 in come-from-behind fashion in Hamamatsu. Turkey has a 2-0 record in Group C while Australia dropped to 1-1. Ilyasova led the winners with 17 points, but Kutluay had most of his 15 points to complete the Turkish comeback in the final period. Kaya Peker of Tau Ceramica added 12 points and 8 rebounds while his former teammate at Efes Pilsen Kerem Gonlum posted a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. C.J. Bruton led Australia with 22 points. The Boomers hit as many as 6 triples in the second quarter to get a 14-point lead, 40-26, at halftime. Turkey was not done however, as Fatih SOlak and Gonlum allowed their team to cut their deficit 55-49 after 30 minutes. Kutluay hit back-to-back triples and then made free throws to give Turkey a 63-65 edge, while Ilyasova made 5 of 5 free throws in the final 2 minutes to seal the win. Brazil had less troubles to thrash Qatar 66-97 and improve its Group C record to 1-1. Tiago Splitter of Tau led the way with 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting while Guilherme Giovannoni added 14 for Brazil, which led 51-29 at halftime and get boosted its margin to 75-48 after 30 minutes to stay in the driver's seat until the final buzzer. Greece needed overtime to beat Lithuania 76-81 and lead Group C with a 2-0 record. Spanoulis led the winners with 15 points, Antonios Fotsis of Dynamo Moscow added 11 and Michalis Kakiouzis of Winterthur FCB 10 for Greece. Darius Songaila had 18 points for Lithuania, Linas Kleiza added 14, Simas Jasaitis of Panathinaikos 13 and Arvydas Macijauskas of Olympiacos 10. Lithuania led 48-38 early in the third quarter, but Spanoulis and Kakiouzis helped Greece to get back into the game. A three-pointer by Fotsis put Greece fully in charge, 69-65, but back-to-back baskets by Geidrus Gustas and Macijauskas sent the game to overtime, 69-69. Lazaros Papdopoulos of Dynamo Moscow and All-Euroleague first team selection Theodoros Paploukas of CSKA Moscow stepped up in the extra period, while Spanoulis made 4 free throws in crunch time to seal the win.

The United States keep leading Group D due to a 121-90 win over China. The U.S. improved to 2-0 and shares the top spot with Italy, while China dropped to 0-2. Dwayne Wade led 7 U.S. players in double digits with 26 points on 9-for-13 shooting, while Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony each had 16 points for the United States, which led 63-38 at halftime and never looked back. Yao Ming had 21 points and 10 rebounds for China. Italy stays unbeaten in Group D by edging Slovenia 80-76. Belinelli had 26 points for Italy, while Matteo Soragna of Benetton Treviso, Denis Marconato of Winterthur FCB and Fabio Di Bella each added 9. Rasho Nesterovic had 17 points for Slovenia while Jaka Lakovic of Winterthur FCB added 14. Lakovic and Sani Becirovic of Panathinaikos helped Slovenia to get a 14-22 lead after 10 minutes. Even when Slovenia kept a 36-43 edge at halftime, while Belinelli and Denis Marconato of Barcelona allowed Italy to rally and get a 58-54 lead after 30 minutes. It all came down to the final minutes, in which back-to-back triples by Luca Garri of Lottomatica Roma and Soragna gave Italy a 74-71 edge. Lakovic missed a key free throw at 78-76 while Soragna made both attempts in the other end to seal the win with 14 seconds to go. In the other game of this group, Puerto Rico beat Senegal 79-88 behind 29 points from Carlos Arroyo and 20 from former Zalgiris shooter Larry Ayuso.

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Mackinnon slams Greece as arrogant

From correspondents in Hamamatsu, Japan

August 21, 2006 AUSTRALIA veteran Sam Mackinnon has labelled Greece arrogant and aims to bring the European champion down a notch when it clashes at the world championships in Japan tomorrow.

Greece has stormed to the top of Group C with two straight wins at Hamamatsu Arena and is heavily favoured to make it three from three tomorrow against an inconsistent Boomers outfit sitting 1-1 after two games.

But Mackinnon has other ideas against a side ranked a strong medal contender.

"The way they walk around the hotel and the way they are, they have an arrogance about them," Mackinnon told AAP.

"They've been around for a while and don't really say anything to you. They just look at you.

"We know what they think of us and that will be in the back of our minds.

"But it doesn't mean anything if we don't go out there and play the way we have to to win."

Australia made a great start by upsetting Brazil, but couldn't capitalise on a superb first half against Turkey in a disappointing loss yesterday.

Mackinnon acknowledges the Boomers should still be undefeated, but feels there has been plenty of improvement.

Australia also has recent history against Greece, losing 68-60 in a warm-up tournament in China a fortnight ago.

"They're confident and are obviously going to be the favourites," Mackinnon said.

"But we know we've gone to that next level of competing and executing, so we look forward to it.

"I think teams do realise if they take us lightly we'll jump on them and hopefully bury them.

"I think they'll be wary of us."

The Australians have received little support in the stands to date, with only a sprinkling of compatriots making the trip to Japan.

In contrast, there is a strong Brazilian presence in Hamamatsu and they were out in force in game one, while Turkey also enjoyed heavy support yesterday, including a loud section behind the baseline that came complete with Turkish chants and a drum.

Goorjian is aware his team is considered lightweight in every sense, but it is spurring the Boomers towards their minimum goal of a place in the second round.

That will be achieved with a single victory in any of the three remaining games against Greece, Lithuania and Qatar.

"We're seen as nothing and we came into the tournament that way with that mentality, so we feed off this," he said.

"Everyone cheering against us is good for us right now. We're just trying to get to that next round any way possible."

The match commences at 4.30pm local time (5.30pm AEST).

Cmon :gr: :gr: :gr: :gr: :nw:

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@ Drakos, I think you're too hard on the team.

Their shooting was 56% in the game vs. Qatar (Qatar's was over 60% surprisingly), and the FT% was over 90% for the Greeks (22/24).

Their shooting may be bad at times, but they are so good with steals, turnovers, boards, you name it, that they get so many opps and end up scoring over 80 pts. I think Lithuania is the toughest opponent in this pool, we've always had problems with them (I believe they crushed in Euro '03), never mind that they lost to Turkey, I think we'll handle handle the Turkeys by at least 10.

It looks now like LTU will not survive the group of death, but I think they will bounce back to kill Aus and Bra, and make it to the next round.

Our team can be awesome, we had a 24-1 run against Qatar at one point. The US does not scare me, bring them on. It's the intelligent-playing teams like Arg and Spain that will give us a good test. Looks like Serbia may be out (two losses).

Keep it up Hellas!

Off to watch Samaras in the City-Chelsea match. 2nd ha;f underway, City down 0-2.

edit: the pricks subbed Samaras early in the 2nd

My bad, typo. I meant to write 'we'll handle the Turks' or 'handle Turkey' (not 'Turkeys'). No offense intended, just a typo.
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@ Drakos, I think you're too hard on the team.

Their shooting was 56% in the game vs. Qatar (Qatar's was over 60% surprisingly), and the FT% was over 90% for the Greeks (22/24).

Their shooting may be bad at times, but they are so good with steals, turnovers, boards, you name it, that they get so many opps and end up scoring over 80 pts. I think Lithuania is the toughest opponent in this pool, we've always had problems with them (I believe they crushed in Euro '03), never mind that they lost to Turkey, I think we'll handle handle the Turkeys by at least 10.

It looks now like LTU will not survive the group of death, but I think they will bounce back to kill Aus and Bra, and make it to the next round.

Our team can be awesome, we had a 24-1 run against Qatar at one point. The US does not scare me, bring them on. It's the intelligent-playing teams like Arg and Spain that will give us a good test. Looks like Serbia may be out (two losses).

Keep it up Hellas!

Off to watch Samaras in the City-Chelsea match. 2nd ha;f underway, City down 0-2.

edit: the pricks subbed Samaras early in the 2nd

My bad, typo. I meant to write 'we'll handle the Turks' or 'handle Turkey' (not 'Turkeys'). No offense intended, just a typo.
Türkiye Türkiye TÜRKIYE

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Edited by turkcell
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HELLAS is just AMAZING!!! :gr:

Down by 5 in 34 secs :nw:

You guys from Aussieland got to make the trip North to support our team.

When I checked for tickets they were all sold out and now the arenas are empty.

Japanese companies bought all the seats, and now they are not showing up? :nono:

PEACE

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still not happy. Australia is a mediocre team, we should have finished them off way before...I want gold and these performaces wont get it....

Agreed!

So we won this? I can't watch the replay cuz my mum is watching kolo Antenna now, but a few hours ago some sports presenter on an Aussie show just said that "...Australia is heading for a win against Greece. They lead by 3 with only seconds to go..."

I still can't believe we actually won it!? :gr:

These OT and last second wins can't continue forever, we need to be able to get a lead and keep it.

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Another win for our country and by the looks of things is going to be a showdown between us and our usuall "friends.

HAMAMATSU (FIBA World Championship) – Antonis Fotsis and Nikos Zisis buried three-pointers at the end as Greece stunned Australia 72-69 in Hamamatsu at the FIBA World Championship.

In a pivotal Group C battle, the European champions won for the third straight game while Australia suffered their second defeat in three games.

Greece trailed 69-66 after CJ Bruton made just one of two free throws with 19 seconds remaining.

The Greeks rushed the ball up the floor and Dimitris Diamantidis passed to a wide open Fotsis who struck from long range on the left to tie the game.

Australia inbounded to David Barlow but as the 22-year-old crossed midcourt, he lost control of the ball and it fell into the hands of Diamantidis.

The Panathinaikos star dribbled, spotted Zisis on the left and passed him the ball.

With three seconds on the clock, Zisis released his shot from just outside the arc and the ball fell through the hoop.

Greece’s bench emptied onto the floor to celebrate, bringing back memories of their come-from-behind win over France last year in a EuroBasket semi-final in Belgrade, while Australia’s players were stunned.

"We expected a difficult game against Australia," Diamantidis said. "We played against them in the Stankovic Cup so we knew what they could do.

"We made some mistakes and they made us pay for them, but we have a big belief until the end."

Greece won despite turning the ball over 19 times in the game.

In their overtime win over Lithuania, they struggled at the line, hitting just 21 of 41 but against the Aussies, they were 20 of 23.

"The players and coach of the Greek national team believe that we can try until the last second of every game," said Diamantidis.

“All credit to Greece, they stepped up and hit the shots at the end,” said Australia captain Jason Smith.

Diamantidis led all scorers with 20 points while Andrew Bogut had 18 in defeat for Australia.

:gr: :gr: :gr: :gr: ALL THE WAY BABY...

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still not happy. Australia is a mediocre team, we should have finished them off way before...I want gold and these performaces wont get it....

I don't think Australia is mediocre. They make up for the lack of skill with heart.

I'd rather win close matches and make awesome comebacks, than blow everybody away then lose when it counts. We are showing we can deal with adversity, lots of character.

20/23 from the stripe (compared to 21/41 vs. LTU).

Can't believe it: two 3-pointers for the win. Fotsis and Zisis were clutch. I love it, we could have just hit a regular field goal with three seconds left for the win, but Zisis decided to finish the Aussies in style with a tray.

I could care less what Turkey does in their matches, as long as we beat them

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this is a great group and two unforgettable matches took place today.. Hellas showed their spirit by winning the game in 19 seconds.. down from 5 pts.. great performance..

and Turkiye defeated Brasil --for the first time in the history-- 73-71 in an impossibly close encounter.. The interesting thing in this game was the support our guys got from Greek fans in the stands.. A friend of mine in Japan said he broke into tears when Greeks came near the Turks when Barbosa was taking the free throws with 7 seconds to go (70-71).. unbelievably, he missed both and we got it!! :nw:

up next is.. Qatar.. guys, do you see that there are 4 continental champions in this group?? Greece, Brazil, Qatar and Australia.. keep in mind that Turkey is the runner-up in 2001 and Lithuania are the winners of 2003.. A VERY TOP QUALITY GROUP!! :huh:

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this is a great group and two unforgettable matches took place today.. Hellas showed their spirit by winning the game in 19 seconds.. down from 5 pts.. great performance..

and Turkiye defeated Brasil --for the first time in the history-- 73-71 in an impossibly close encounter.. The interesting thing in this game was the support our guys got from Greek fans in the stands.. A friend of mine in Japan said he broke into tears when Greeks came near the Turks when Barbosa was taking the free throws with 7 seconds to go (70-71).. unbelievably, he missed both and we got it!! :nw:

up next is.. Qatar.. guys, do you see that there are 4 continental champions in this group?? Greece, Brazil, Qatar and Australia.. keep in mind that Turkey is the runner-up in 2001 and Lithuania are the winners of 2003.. A VERY TOP QUALITY GROUP!! :huh:

They were down by 5? I though it was 3. Amazing!

This is quite the group of death, but with four teams advancing, I never worried that a team of Hellas' calibre would not advance. Turkey is through too.

The key I guess for some of the other teams is to finish high enough so as not to face the US in the first round. But there are other good teams in that pool that Hellas will have to not take lightly, including Slovenia who defeated us at Euro last year in the group stage.

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