Saturday, August 9, 2008

2:30AM: Men's Basketball - Spain vs. Greece

Men's preliminary basketball action continues from the Wukesong Basketball Gymnasium with Spain vs. Greece, a rematch of the world championship game played in Japan two years ago.

4:10AM - Greece now trying to trim their lead to below 10 as the game comes to an end. Attention now shifts to the upcoming USA vs. China game, which will be played later tonight (10AM EDT on NBC live). The final score: Spain 81, Greece 66.

Thanks for joining us on this live blog. We hope you join us again soon. Remember to check out for continuing coverage of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad.

4:06AM - Just an incredibly disappointing game for Greece. Nothing has really gone right for them, not free throws, not perimeter shots and definitely not their defense. Spain will come out with the win here as we get to the final two minutes of this game.

3:59AM - As the game winds down, let's take a look at who each team has to face next.

Spain will face China on Tuesday, then Germany on Thursday before facing the United States on Saturday. Spain will close out the preliminary round-robin by facing Angola.

Greece meanwhile, of course facing the same teams since they are in the same group as Spain, will face Germany, then the United States, and then Angola before closing out pool play with a game against China.

3:56AM - Spain with a 15-point lead as Greece continues to miss its shot and at this point, they just need to go for it and try to drive inside. Obviously the outside shooting isn't working, so they need to change it up and move the ball quickly. Meanwhile, Spain continues to add on the points.

3:51AM - Another Olympic update: Czech Republic's David Kostelecky has won the gold medal in the men's trap shooting competition with an Olympic record of 146 points. Giovanni Pelluelo wins silver with 143 points and after a bronze-medal shoot-off, Russia's Alexy Alipov won the bronze medal.

3:50AM - Spain really having all the control in this game and Greece just hasn't had the opportunity to score because of all the pressure Spain is putting on them. And the scoring for Spain has just been deep and obviously quite helpful. Neither team has been able to get many perimeter shots off but Spain has been able to drive inside. For Greece to have any sort of a chance, they need to move the ball quicker and shoot much better.

3:46AM - We're just looking at some of the other events going on right now as we get set for the final quarter of this game that is looking a lot like the world championship game.

Looks like rain has interfered with the women's cycling road race as they continue along with their route. Rain has also postponed events in the tennis competition.

3:44AM - Now a 14-point lead by Spain as the third quarter winds down.

3:35AM - Papaloukas able to get inside and draw the foul for a possible three point play. Unfortunately, Papaloukas has been the only one that really has been able to control the play and rhythm of Greece's play. Greece doesn't have the kind of depth that Spain has and they need more players to drive inside. Their passing game, though, has improved in this quarter.

3:31AM - Spain's Jose Calderon showing off one of his perimeter shots as the Spanish lead is extended. I don't think Greece can really come back into this game if they continue playing this way. Spain's defensive pressure has led to a lot of missed shots by Greece and there hasn't been many opportunities for them in the paint.

3:30AM - Juan Carlos Navarro provides one of the few successful outside shots of this game as Spain maintains a nine-point lead.

3:28AM - Second half underway, Spain with a six point lead. Pau Gasol able to extend that lead to eight with a shot off the glass.

3:19AM - While we have the opportunity, let's provide you with the latest on what is going on around Beijing as Day 2 of the Olympics continues. Right now, the men's trap final in shooting is taking place at the outdoor shooting range. Czech Republic's D. Kostelecky has the lead after 138 shots. Australia's Michael Diamon ranks second.

Tennis preliminaries are underway as Serena Williams is currently playing her first round match. James Blake was able to advance to the next round after a first round win earlier today.

Also ongoing is the women's cycling road race. The cyclists are less than 80 km from the finish line as they have been cycling for almost an hour and a half.

3:08AM - Spain has been offensively strong behind Rudy Fernandez and Pau Gasol while Greece doesn't look as organized. As I write this, Greece just pulls out the layup and the foul to bring Greece to within six points as the first half ends.

3:03AM - Spain starting to pull away as a timeout is taken. Current score is in favor of Spain 34-26. Greece needs to move the ball a little faster, a little more organized. Spain is very quick to set up its defense and its deep team puts up offensive points very easily.

2:59AM - Pau Gasol and Rudy Fernandez have helped to put Spain back on top just when we thought Greece could hold on to the lead. Spain putting up a lot of defensive pressure and forcing Greece to shoot outside and giving them a hard time inside.

2:56AM - Tied at 22 and this second quarter has looked sloppy for both sides. There have been some moments, but so far in this quarter, there have been several missed shots on both sides.

2:51AM - A lull in the scoring as free throws by Greece's Bourousis are the first points scored in this quarter. Spanoulis then puts in a layup to tie the game at 20.

2:47AM - Steady first quarter for both teams as we get to the end of the first quarter. Spain has a 20-16 lead in a game that has had little stoppage and a lot of action. Each team is just adjusting to each other's play and settling in in this opening day of men's basketball.

2:40AM - More background info as we continue to watch the game unfold. Spain was also a EuroBasket finalist in 2007 and lost to Russia in that game. Greece won the 2005 Eurobasket.

2:33AM - Already a fast start by both teams as we are tied 4-4. Spain is the reigning world champions and Greece was the finalist in that championship game. They defeated the United States in the semifinals to reach the final but Spain's incredible depth was able to carry Spain to a dominating 70-47 win.

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