“Painful” at first, but year after year and better until the last bad memory is the history of the matches of the National team with Croatia, which face each other on Friday in the Eurobasket premiere. The sport-fm.gr turns back time.
The stone years and lost medals
The first experiences of the struggles with the then newly formed independent state were traumatic. The Croatians won the first seven games with an average margin of 21.4 points! A more traumatic experience was losing 99-59 in the small final of the EuroBasket in Germany 1993with the 34 points of (now Unix coach) Velimir Perasovic.
One of the same in his Mundobasket 1994. Croatia beat the National team, both times easily, 81-55 in the first leg and 78-60 in the minor final, with Dino Raja and Arian Komačets having 22 and 21 points respectively.
The cycle of lost medals continued, with the “Croatia” winning the National Team at the Eurobasket in Athens 1995. Again in the short final, Croatia smiled, 73-68, with Veliko Mrcic leading the way with 20 points.
The wheel turned
Somewhere there, everything changed. The national team got wind of Croatia by constantly beating it, even if it was down to the wire. The beginning was made 2003 in Boras, for Sweden’s Eurobasket, when his basket Christos Harisis just before the break he gave the National Team the first “official” victory against Croatia with 77-76.
The baton of the “murderous” blows was taken by Vasilis Spanoulis. In the game of the second phase for his Eurobasket 2007took advantage of the collapse of Zoran Planinic and with a three-pointer from… Athens gave the victory 81-78 to the National team.
The national team beat the Croatians with less stress in two consecutive EuroBaskets for the first phase. In Poznan, Poland 2009 with 76-68…
… and in Alitus, Lithuania 2011 by 74-69
The 2015in the first friendly preparation of the national team for Eurobasket, a basket of his George Printezis in the final he had written the epilogue at 87-85.
In the… official of the same year, however, the National Team lost 92-88, completing its failed appearance at the Eurobasket in Slovenia.
The 2014 included a double match with the Croats. Friendly in Po, where “Croatia” won 68-66, with Vassiliadis missing a three-pointer at the end…
… and battle in the first phase of the World Cup, where the Greek team got a great victory with 76-65 in Seville with Kaimakoglou and Papanikolaou having 14 points each.
The 2015 Greece went to Zagreb for the first phase of EuroBasket and with a great performance took the victory with 72-70 in the stadium that had hosted the medal games of EuroBasket 1989. Vassilis Spanoulis with 16 points had shown the way for the great upset in last period.
The last taste, however, against Croatia was bitter. On the 8th of July 2016 the two teams met at the Torino Pre-Olympic Tournament, where the “Croatian” with an impressive start to the match (39-19) and although the Greek team suffered a huge upset (went ahead with 48-46 but could not hold on), qualified for the “final” with 66-61 and continued the Greek curse in these competitions.
In total, in 23 games against Croatia, the National Team has 13 wins. Analytically:
28/05/1992-Trieste (Friendly): 73-90
26/06/1992-Murcia (Prelim. Tournament): 63-102
03/07/1993-Munich (Eurobasket): 59-99
10/08/1994-Toronto (Mundobasket): 55-81
08/14/1994-Toronto (Mundobasket): 60-78
07/02/1995-Athens (Eurobasket): 68-73
15/06/2002-Marousi (Acropolis): 84-71
09/05/2003-Boras (Eurobasket): 77-76
19/08/2005-San Giorgio (Friendly): 70-78
09/09/2005-Madrid (Friendly): 76-62
31/07/2006-Marousi (Friendly): 79-54
09/09/2007-Madrid (Eurobasket 2007): 81-78
09/07/2008-Maroussi (Friendly): 77-64
07/08/2008-Beijing (Friendly): 86-71
08/09/2009-Poznan (Eurobasket): 76-68
08/08/2010-Nicosia (Friendly): 90-81
05/09/2011-Alitous (Eurobasket): 74-69
09/08/2013-Strasbourg (Friendly): 87-85
16/09/2013-Ljubljana (Eurobasket): 88-92
10/08/2014-Po (Friendly): 66-68
02/09/2014-Seville (Mundobasket): 76-65
06/09/2015-Zagreb (Eurobasket): 72-70
07/08/2016-Torino (Pre-Olympic): 61-66