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Greece overcome Barea, Puerto Rico to win Supercup

Greece overcome Barea, Puerto Rico to win Supercup
Sofoklis Schortsiantis of Greece makes a slum dunk (Photo credit: FIBA)

Puerto Rico dug themselves an early hole that they couldn't climb out of and lost 93-86 to Greece in the championship game of the Supercup at the JAKO Arena on Saturday night.

Germany defeated Slovenia 77-67 to clinch third place. All four teams are warming up for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

After edging hosts Germany on Friday, Manolo Cintron's Puerto Rico allowed the Greeks to reel off the first nine points of the contest and fell even further behind at 17-3 four minutes into the game.

Thanks to their three-point shooting, especially that of Jose Barea, the Puerto Ricans battled back and closed the gap to 45-39 midway through the second quarter only for Greece to take a 61-49 lead to half-time.

At the start of the third quarter, Sofoklis SCHORTSIANTIS came alive in the low post and helped Greece maintain a comfortable lead.

Puerto Rico managed to cut the deficit to 82-76 with six minutes remaining but got no closer.

"We started slowly," said Cintron, who had only nine players active for this contest.

"We were very flat and we got into trouble early on with foul problems.

"We had a better second half but the poor start had already hindered us."

Puerto Rico will have tougher games to come when the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament tips off on July 14 in Athens.

Just which Puerto Rico players will receive the majority of the minutes remains to be seen.

Carlos Arroyo, the veteran point guard, doesn't join the team until this week when they are in Slovenia while Carmelo Antrone Lee and Angelo Reyes have yet to link up with the side as well.

Lee, whose partner just gave birth to twins, has far more important concerns with the health of the babies reportedly not good.

Larry Ayuso and Daniel Santiago also did not play against Greece.

One certainty is that Barea appears to be one of the real stars in the FIBA Americas.

He had a game-high 32 points in defeat, while Puerto Rico also got a solid showing from Ricardo Sanchez who buried four of six shots from long range on his way to 16 points.

The smaller Puerto Ricans were out-rebounded 37-26 by Greece, who were again led by Antonis Fotsis - the leading scorer in their win over Slovenia on Friday.

The big man had 17 points while veteran guard Vasilis Spanoulis poured in 16 and Schortsianitis 14.

In Germany's win over Slovenia, Demond Greene scored 18 points and Dirk Nowitzki 14 to lead the way.

(Credit: FIBA. Click here for further information.)

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