The Greek national basketball team premiered in Manilla with a victory against Jordan 71-92.
Giannoulis Larentzakis led the way with 19 points, while Thomas Walkup scored 13 points in the first half but stopped there. Ioannis Papapetrou also contributed 13 points, while Nikos Rogkavopoulos finished in double digits with 10 points.
Greece managed to close the first period leading by five (19-14) and got a double-digit lead (46-32) after two threes by Thomas Walkup before going to the locker rooms with a 13-point advantage (46-33).
Jordan didn’t back down and, at the start of the second half, made it a 7-point game (54-47) after back-to-back threes by Sami Bzai. The pressure was on for the Greek side, with Jordan cutting the lead to three (61-58) with a sweet hook by Zane Alnajdawi.
The answer was five straight points by Larentzakis (58-66), but Freddy Ibrahim was fouled at the buzzer on a three-point attempt, made two free throws and the score at the end of the third period was 66-60.
Greece got back a double-digit lead (74-62) with six minutes left and even significantly widened the gap in the final moments since Jordan couldn’t cope with Dimitris Itoudis’ squad any longer.
Next up for Greece, the toughest challenge there is – a match against Team USA in Round 2 of the World Cup (28/8). Jordan will face New Zealand.