Finland has secured a place in the next round of the Eurobasket tournament with a decisive 89-77 victory over Greece.
Finland only needed to beat Greece, considered the weakest team in Group A, to get a berth in the last 16 phase of the competition, which will be held in Istanbul.
Susijengi’s – Wolfpack’s – top scoreres were Petteri Koponen with 24 points and six assists; Lauri Markkanen with 17 points; and Teemu Rannikko with 14.
Rannikko was the oldest Finn on the court in Helsinki this evening, with the coach asking him to play while injured team mates rested up.
“We had a dream to get out of this hard group at the start, and progress to Istanbul” says Finnish Head Coach Henrik Dettmann. The Finns will need to wait for the result of Poland vs Greece to see where they are ranked, going forward to Istanbul.
“I would say that Poland is going to win that game, because they have shown such a big heart here” says Dettmann.
Tonight’s star player knows the next round will be tough without a home crowd advantage.
“It’s true there will be a different atmosphere” says Petteri Koponen. “We are forced to find the energy somewhere and be mentally prepared for a lack of crowd support behind us”.
Finland will play their last Group A game in Helsinki on Wednesday, against Iceland.