Lithuania is the European
Champion!!! - Sep 14, 2003 -
by Yarone Arbel
For the first time since 1939, for the first time since
its new foundation, Lithuania is the European Champion. As one of the
most exciting teams the European basketball has seen in the last years,
Lithuania displayed a big show in the finals as well, beating Spain
93-84, after leading most of the 2nd half by 20 points.
canâ€™t even start to describe how I feel right nowâ€ said the MVP of EC03 Sarunas Jasikevicius, that posted 10 pts and 9 assists in the finals.
Saras completed one of the most amazing season for an individual in the
history of European Basketball. He won the ACB title, the Spanish cup,
the Euroleague, the European Championship and was voted as MVP of the
ACB Finals series and MVP and best passer of EC03.
displayed one magnificent team. No one was able to compete with
Stombergas, Siskauskas, Macas and the Zukauskas-duo that joined Saras.
Lithuania, that lost the 1995 finals, completed the task tonight, and
hope to host the EC in 4 years from now.
The All Star
team of the EC03 is: Sarunas Jasikevicius (Lithuania), Tony Parker
(France), Andrei Kirilenko (Russia), Saulius Stombergas (Lithuania) &
Pau Gasol (Spain)
Lithuania 93 - Spain 84 Both teams
opened the game with shots from outside the arc, and missed them, but
quickly locked the target and hit their shots. 2 minutes in the game and
the refs whistle for a 2nd foul of Saras, that went to the bench. The
fans of Lithuania were shocked, until Siskauskas woke them up with
Lithuaniaâ€™s first triplet. 7-7 tie after 3 minutes. The refs balanced
themselves by whistling two fouls to Navarro after half a quarter, and
the Spanish guard had a meeting with the bench as well. Stombergas and
Gasol (9 pts in first quarter) led their teams, but no one was able to
open a significant margin. Moncho Lopez called for his first time out to
put some order in his teamâ€™s game, while Lithuania was up by one, 20-19,
a little over a minute to go. The time out didnâ€™t have any effect on the
players or score. Lithuania up by one after one quarter.
Saras was back
in the game with the 2nd quarter, but it was Siskauskas that lit up the
arena with an amazing dunk. Spain made a great job denying the ball from
Saras, but once he had the smallest chance he hit his first points, from
behind the arc of course, on the way to a 32-23 Lithuanian lead, with 6
minutes to go. Navarro himself, in a great 2nd quarter (8 pts), took
care of Spain and forced Sireika to take a time out, 32-27. Navarro and
Siskauskas exchanged 3 pointers but Lithuania gave the final push. 40-31
after 2 quarters.
Zukauskas dominated the paint, on Gasolâ€™s account, in the first minutes
of the 3rd, leading Lithuania to a 14 point lead, 47-33. Lopez took
another timeout, and Spain managed to pull 2 triples by Navarro and
Garbajosa, but the small Zukauskas and Macas replied with their own
three pointers. Lithuania decided it was time to tighten up the defense
and Gasol wasnâ€™t able to touch the ball. Lithuania scratched and hit
constantly and Gasolâ€™s reply was 4 straight missed free throws.
Lithuania had a 62-48 lead after 3 quarters on the sure way to the gold.
Spain shot in
such poor field goal, and Stombergas kept the show going for the Greens
to set the difference on 20, 68-48, not more than 8 minutes to go. Macas
didnâ€™t let go and extended the margin, but after he and Stombergas
fouled out Spain made its last comeback attempt. Navarro and Gasol made
it all the way back to 12 and then the small Zukauskas fouled out. But
Lithuania still had Saras who in 2 amazing passes made sure Spain will
stay far behind. With 23 seconds to go the big Zukauskas dunked the
final winner, and Saras caught his head, canâ€™t believe he just won the
European Championship. 93-84 was the final score, but it could not be
more deceiving. Lithuania was FAR better than Spain.
Arvydas Macijauskas (192-G-80) 21, E. Zukauskas 18, Saras 10 + 9 as,
Songaila 10, Stombergas 9, Siskauskas 9, Lavrinovic 7, M. Zukauskas 7,
Slanina 2 Spain (19+12+17+36): Gasol 36 + 12 rbs, Navarro
18, Garbajosa 17, Herreros 7, Calderon 5, De La Fuente 1
Italy will travel to Athens
2004! France will stay at home - Sep 14, 2003
Yarone Arbel 3-4
meaningless games France and Italy met for a bronze medal and Olympics
ticket battle. Italy came to pick up a medal after missing the finals by
a single shot. France arrived to Sweden as a top medal candidate and the
bronze one is the minimum of it.
minutes Italy took another close game. Took it and will travel to
Athens, when it proves once again that basketball is more than jumping
high, athletic abilities and one NBA champion. France that came to
Sweden as a medal candidate and with more NBA players than any other NT,
lost to Italy that has no NBA players, and walked off court very very
disappointed for the 2nd time in 24 hours, after failing to function in
the last play down by 2.
completed an embarrassing 24 hours. A big winner heâ€™s not, at least not
until he proves differently. In the Semi Finals he managed to lose the
ball with France down by 2, and lost the game. Tonight not only he made
an air ball from 3 and missed a crucial free throw he also made another
air ball in the last play while trying to do his best thing -
Italy and its
coach, Carlo Recalcati, deserve all the credit. After starting the games
with 2 straight losses, including a VERY humiliating one toâ€¦France, they
managed to recover in time and eliminate Bosnia, Germany, Greece, lose
by 2 to the big Spain in the Semi Finals, and pay back to France in the
Â¾ game. All Italyâ€™s 4 last games, vs. Germany, Greece, Spain & France
were decided by a tiny small difference. Italy won 3 of them.
Italy 69 - France 67 IItaly had a
great start, especially from outside, while France bombed with not much
of success and finished the first quarter with 0/7 from 3. Galanda, once
again, made it all for Italy with points, rebounds and assists. Italy
was up by 11, 24-13, after 10 minutes. France collected points from here
and there, still not able to get going, and certainly not able to stop
Marconato that had 10 points in the 2nd quarter. Italy took off, but
France somehow managed to stay in the game. 39-27 after 2 quarters.
holding a double digit lead, until Sonko took over and with 5 straight
points enabled a French comeback. Parker, like in the Semi Finals, was
too selfish, but did manage to score 8 points in the quarter and by the
end of the 3rd buzzer Italy was up by no more than 6, 53-47.
the 4th with a small run that cut the margin down 1, but couldnâ€™t take
the lead in its hands. Righetti in a great penetration and Basile in an
even better 3 pointer set the score on 62-58 for Italy, but France
stayed as close as possible, and Diaw tied the score, 62-62. Mian nailed
only one from the line and Parker took advantage of that to penetrate
like only he knows and give France its first lead in a long time.
the other end took the lead back to Italy, and Diawâ€™s turnover helped
Italy increase their lead by one more point. Sonko missed a triplet,
Diaw missed a tip in, and now it was time to send Marconato to the line.
The Italian center made only one shot, and France went for a very
crucial possession down by 3, 65-62. Parker air-balled a 3 pointer, but
somehow France kept the ball and Foirest went to the line. He made both
shots, but Basile did the same on the other end with 16.8 seconds to go.
Parker was sent to the live to avoid a possible 3 pointer, but made only
the 2nd one. Italy had the last possession but full court pressure by
France led to an Italian turnover. Parker got the ball back with 9.9
seconds, penetrated andâ€¦another air ball. Italy got the rebounds, the
win, the bronze medal and the ticket to Athens 2004.
Both teams secured a spot in Athens 2004 already, so this
time the battle for the 5th place, that usually mean the last ticket for
Olympics or WC, was meaningless. Greece beat Serbia and won the 5th
place, but that didnâ€™t prevent another big fight between coach Ionnidis
and the Greek journalists in the press conference. Serbia, just like the
USA last year, arrived to the games as the champion and finished in the
6th place. After
Greece 72 - Serbia 64/font> Greece took
off right away although only 3 players contributed points in the first
10 minutes - Tskalidis, Dikoudis & Chatziverttas. An 8 point lead,
21-13, after one quarter was just a glimpse of what Greece was about to
present as the game went on. The margin kept on growing, and by the end
of the 3rd quarter Greece was up by 17, 57-40. Two half court baskets at
the end of two quarters, were the only things that squeezed some
cheering from the fans. Serbia cut the difference in the last quarter
but finished with the 6th place.
led Greece with 21 points, Tskalidis had 16 and Dikoudis 15. Gurovic
made 15 for Serbia and Koturovic added 10.
Israel 89 - Russia 82 Israel missed the injured
Yoav Saffar, and on the other end of court, Russia got back Kirilenko,
that in a way tried to win the best scorer award, but failed to connect.
Kirilenko finished the game with no more than 11 points and a very
disappointing performance, including 2 air balls. The game was close for
3 quarters, but Israel, the big surprise of the championship, took off
in the first minutes of the last quarter building an 11 point lead.
Russia made a comeback, and cut the lead down to 2, with less than half
a minute to go, but Tapiro and Green, both in a very impressive
performance, made sure Israel will finish 7th.
Tapiro with 26, Green with 21 and Burstein with 19 did the job for
Israel. Monia shined for Russia with 26 and 7/10 from the 3 point line.
Lithuania vs. Spain in the
Finals! - Sep 13, 2003 - by
Spain vs. Lithuania. The two best teams in Sweden will
play for the gold. Lithuania had to fight hard to beat France 74-70 with
some help from the refs in what some say was the true finals. Spain
fought even harder but deserved the 81-79 win over Italy. Both games
were decided in the last seconds with the team down by 2 fail to tie the
score in the last seconds. Italy and France will fight for the bronze
medal and the last ticket to Athens 2004. Spain, for the first time
ever, or Lithuania, for the first time since 1939, will keep a perfect
record in Eurobasket2003 and win the gold.
Spain 81 - Italy 79
Four years ago they met in
the finals. Today they fought each other for the ticket to the finals.
Italy and Spain, two teams with a lot of history, went head-2-head,
shoulder-2-shoulder, in the race to the Eurobasket 2003 finals.
After 40 minutes of big fight
Italyâ€™s journey has come to an end. Italy started the EC with 2 losses,
but since then eliminated Bosnia, Germany and Greece in a row. Just like
in the first Semi Finals, one of the teams was down by 2 with the last
ball, but failed to tie or win the game.
Spain went for Gasol over and
over early in the game and he delivered 10 points in the first quarter.
Italy had Galanda and a much more organized and team play, but they also
had one more thing - the lead. After 5 minutes Italy was up by 7,
17-10. Moncho Lopez called a time out and Spain came back with a 10-0
run and a 20-19 lead after 10 minutes.
In the 2nd quarter Bulleriâ€™s
hand got hot. He penetrated, he nailed 3 pointers, and all that Spain
had was some points in the paint by Felipe Reyes and De La Fuente. A big
defensive play by Radulovic and another 3 pointer by Bulleri send Italy
to an 11 point lead, 40-29, with 2:30 to go. Carlos Marco with 5
straight points sent Spain to the half time rest down by no more than 6,
44-38, and a lot to think about.
And thinking they did. Spain
kept Italy on 2 points in the first five minutes of the 3rd quarter, and
with a 10-2 run took the lead back in their hands. Bulleri, who else,
woke up in time, and made sure Spain isnâ€™t going anywhere too far.
Garbajosa and Navarro kept the pressure on, but it wasnâ€™t enough for
anything more than 62-60 after 3 quarters. Lots of respect on the
Italian side for Mian and Chiacig.
Last quarter and it seemed
like Gasol will take the game in his hands once again, after scoring
only 2 points in the last 2 quarters, and a total of 12. Only this time
Spain laid its future in Navarroâ€™s hands. A mini Navarro-Bulleri battle
was on the roll, with Bulleri kind of stuttering. Navarro penetrate and
finished well but Italy was still in the game.
In the last minutes
everything went through Navarro and he didnâ€™t disappoint. Spain took a 6
point lead, 80-74, and in such a close game it seems like too much for
Italy. Radulovic in a good move cut it down to 4, and Gasol with only
one accurate free throw (total of 2 points in the 4th) set it on 5,
81-76, with less than a minute to go. Now it was time for Bulleri that
once again showed how much character he has. With a huge 3 pointer he
cut Spainâ€™s lead to 2. In the next possession the refs whistles for an
offensive foul, when Navarro tried to penetrate. The Spanish fans were
wishing some unpleasant future to the refs, but Italy had the last
chance. This time Bulleri drove in, but couldnâ€™t release a good shot.
The ball bounced once and landed in Spanish hands. 81-79. Spain in the
finals. Italy is out. Spain (20+18+24+19): Navarro 23, Gasol 14,
Garbajosa 11, Jimenez 8, Marco 7, Reyes F. 7, Calderon 6, De La Fuente
4, Herreros 1 Italy (19+15+16+19): Bulleri 24, Basile 14,
Galanda 11, Chiacig 10, Mian 7, De Pol 4, Marconato 4, Radulovic 3,
Lithuania 74 - France
the first team in the Eurobasket 2003 Finals. France was able to give a
good fight and lead by 5 with 3:30 to go, but failed to score in the
remaining time and Lithuania made a 9-0 run that decided the game. Tony
Parker took the game on himself and almost made it all the way, but lost
the last ball and the game. Sarunas Jasikevicius was 3 assists short of
a triple double, but he will get another chance, in the finals. For the
first time since 1995 Lithuania is back in the EC Finals, and adds to
that a ticket to Athens 2004.
line up was very massive in the first minutes with the big Zukauskas and
Lavrinovic. Less than one minute into the game the Greens were leading
7-0. Tony Parker shook up his team and led a 2-14 run, keeping Lithuania
on 2 points in the next 6 minutes. Lithuania wasnâ€™t too bothered. Saras
went down to the bench, while Macas nailed a big 3 pointer, that sparked
an 11-2 run. Lithuania leads 20-16 after one quarter.
brothers had a little party in the French paint as Saras added another
unforgettable pass and scored his first points in the game, behind the
arc of course, 34-25 Lithuania. France made another comeback and took
off with a 2-9 run, but Saras and Stombergas didnâ€™t give up and in two
great plays sent Lithuania to the locker room leading 45-37.
Saras nailed a
fast 3 pointer in the first possession of the quarter, and set a double
digit lead for the Greens, but Tony Parker, once again, carried France
back to the game. His assists to Foirest finished with another 3
pointer, and this time it was enough to bring France to minus 1, 54-53,
with a little less than 4 minutes to play. Why would Parker stop there?
Next he finished a fast break with a 3 pointer that gave France its
first lead since the first quarter. Wait one more second. Parker is not
done yet. Last possession of the 3rd and Parker waits till the very last
seconds to sank another huge three pointer with Macasâ€™ hand in his face.
58-60 France after 30 minutes.
quarters of both teams making runs all the time, it was time for a close
tight game. Lithuania took the lead back and stayed there until half way
in the 4th. Julian made a big basket and France took a 66-65 lead, 5
minutes to go. Parker and Saras eliminate each other with big misses but
France had Diaw and Abdul Wahad who flew high in the air and took a
70-65 lead with 3:30 to go.
There was not
one Green player impressed. Macas nailed another big three, and in less
than one minute Lithuania tied the score. Stombergas completed a 7-0 run
to take the lead back. France took a time out and tried to tie the game,
but Diaw missed the first, and Sonko missed the 2nd chance. Lithuania
had the chance to decide the game, but couldnâ€™t release the ball before
the 24 seconds clock was off. With 15.9 seconds to play France had the
last ball. Tony Parker, that scored only 2 points in the last quarter,
had the ball in the final play, but lost it before crossing the half
court line, perhaps because of hitting the refâ€™s leg. Siskauskas nailed
the last 2 shots from the line and Lithuania travel to the finals for
the first time since 1995. France will try to win the bronze medal and
last ticket to Athens 2004. Lithuania (20+25+13+16): Stombergas
22, Zukauskas E. 12, Siskauskas 11, Saras 11 + 10 rbs + 7 as, Macas 8,
Zukauskas M. 4, Lavrinovic 2, Slanina 2, Songaila 2 France (16+21+23+10): Parker 24, Abdul Wahad 16,
Julian 12, Moiso 6, Pietrus 4, Diaw 4, Foirest 3, Dioumassi 1
Serbia and Greece will battle
for the 5th place - Sep 12, 2003
Russia showed up to the game without Kirilenko while
Serbia missed not only Peja but also Marko Jaric, who got injured in the
QF loss to Lithuania. After 40 minutes of game it was clear who missed
its star most. Russia opened Sweden 2003 with a 15 point win over
Serbia, when both teams were able to use all their players. Today they
couldnâ€™t really put Serbiaâ€™s lead in danger.
couldnâ€™t bare another loss after the surprising upset in the Quarter
Finals. Israel tried to get its first win and show it really belonged in
Stockholm. Both teams got their wish, in a way. Greece won the game
alright, but Israel did give a fight, as always, and lost by no more
than 7 points.
Greece and Serbia, two teams that will play in Athens 2004 for sure,
will battle for the meaningless 5th place, while Russia will face Israel
for the 7th place game.
Greece 63 - Israel 56 The first
minutes of the game looked exactly what one would expect from two teams
that were eliminated the day before. Many stupid mistakes and lack of
concentration on both sides. Israel made the first basket but Greece
replied with a 9-0 run and kept that lead from that point until the end.
Israel moved to its famous zone, and the Greeks were a little confused,
but kept the lead all the way till the end of the first quarter, 17-10.
Greece made a
6-0 run in the first minutes of the 2nd quarter and took a 13 point
lead. Yaniv Green kept Israel somewhere in the game, and the Greek lead
went under 10, 28-20. Greece locked the paint, didnâ€™t allow Burstein to
penetrate, and took off again, with an 8-2 run, to lead 36-22 at half
The Greek lead
climbed up to 17, but Yotam Halperin, the 19 yr old prospect of Israel,
was sent to the game for the first time, and with 5 straight points led
a small comeback of the Israeli team, 46-37 for Greece. Until the end of
the quarter Greece made another small run, and went down to the 3rd
quarter break leading by 12, 51-39.
Last and final
quarter, and the Greek lead kept cruising between 7 and 13. All that was
left for the fans, between two exciting penetrations of Halperin, was
join in solidarity and scream â€œTime out! Time Out!â€ to get one more show
of the exciting cheerleaders, that were, beyond any doubt far more
exciting than the game. The next called Time Out was received in big
cheers, and the Lithuanian fans, that got REALLY bored, started a â€œWaveâ€
that will be remembered forever as the â€œFirst ever wave in an arena that
is only 12% fullâ€. The cheerleaders came back for a final show for
today, and Greece won the game 63-56.
Serbia 86 - Russia 77 Drobnjak, the
last NBA player in the Serbian roster, was dominating the first quarter,
and after less than 5 minutes Serbia had a double digit lead. Serbia
kept the lead for the rest of the quarter, and was up by 11 after 10
and Victor Krhyapa woke up in the 2nd quarter and led Russia back in the
game. Russia cut the margin down to 5, but Serbia managed to take off
again and again whenever it was needed. 48-40 after one half.
repeated in the 3rd quarter. Russia came closer with 3 pointers and
dunks by Khryapamonia, but Serbia knew what it takes to keep the lead
with some nice post up moves of Koturovic and 3 point shots by Vukcevic
and Gurovic. 67-58 for Serbia after 30 minutes of game.
scenario must have put Serbia to sleep. The former European champion
scored only 4 points in the first 7 minutes of the last quarter and
Russia was able to make it down to 1 point margin, 71-70. Serbia
response was a 7-1 run that decided the game. 86-77 was the final score.
Day 6, Playoffs quarterfinals,
September 11, 2003 - Sep 11, 2003 Spain is the 3rd team in the Semi
Finals of Eurobasket 2003. Spain beat the surprising team of Israel
78-64 but had to sweat much more than the final score implies. Their
rivals in the Semi Finals are coming from Italy, in a re-match of the
1999 Finals. Italy eliminated Greece tonight in a tough battle, and
complete a great achivement. It eliminated the bronze medal winner of
the last WC - Germany, and tonight did it to one of the top candidates
to win a medal in Sweden.
The battle for
the Athens 2004 is not over yet. Europe gets 5 tickers, while Serbia, as
World Champion, and Greece, as hosting team, qualify automatically. The
top 3 teams in Eurobasket 2003 will join them, so the battle for the
bronze medal will also decide who will be the 5th European team in
- Israel 78-64 (28-22,44-36,58-51,78-64) by
Photo: Pau Gasol
Juan-Carlos Navarro and
Pau Gasol (214-F-80) came off
with a good start as they were scoring at will, but Isreal tried to stop
the misery as they double up in defence on Gasol. He was able to find
the open shooter so Isreal played with 2-3 zone for the reminder of the
2nd half, it was successful, but Jorge Garbajosa responded from down
town and the zone was abandonded. Meir Tapiero was the main offence from
Isreal in first half but he didn't make anything in second.
Even in the second half of
the game, Isreal had trouble getting any organized offence, but Derrick
Sharp helped as he had the right touch. Spain was able to respond as the
Isrealian team moved closer and Gasol got to the FT line at will in the
fourth period. It was quite appearant that the Isrealian team didnt have
any answer to Gasol, player of the game, (25 points 7 rebound FG 8/11).
Spain opened with an 8-2 lead, and despite a small run by the Israeli
Burstein and sharp, Israel had to take its first time out with 3:11 left
in the quarter and down by 7, 18-11. Gasol dominated under the boards
with 8 points in the first quarter and Spain took a 10 point lead, but
for the fighters of Israel it wasnâ€™t a big deal. Tapiro nailed his first
3 pointer, and before the final buzzer sank another bucket. 28-22 for
Spain after 10 minutes.
switched to zone and stopped the Spanish team on 0 points in the first 4
minutes of the 2nd quarter. Lopez, the Spanish coach, sent his best
shooters to the coach, but that didnâ€™t work either. Tapiro nailed
another 3 and tied the score, 32-32 with 4 minutes to go. Then Spain
woke up with an 8-0 run, Tapiro and Saffar were in foul trouble with 3
each, and after 2 quarters Spain was up by 8, 44-36.
into the 3rd quarter and Israel lost Yoav Saffar that got injured and
had to leave the court. Spain climbed to 11+, 49-38, and it seemed like
Israel is giving up, but Sharp nailed a big 3 pointer that sparked a 1-9
run and Spain is up by no more than 3, 50-47, 5 minutes to go. Spain
took off once again toward the 10 and finished the 3rd leading by 7,
to go with its young prospect, 19 yr old Yotam Halperin, after Tapiro
made his 4th foul. Sharp hit 2 more 3 pointers and limit the Spanish
lead to 4, but Spain ruled the paint in its paint, and Pau Gasol dunked
twice in a row, on his way to 14 points straight in the last quarter, to
ensure Spainâ€™s spot in the Semi Finals. 78-64 was the final score.
Isreal: Sharp 16, Kozikaro
13, Tapiro 12p 6r, Green 10, Burstein 5, Saffar 4, Gordon 2, Shelef 2:
62 - Greece 59 by
Giacomo Galanda (210-C-75)
Both teams went to their Power Forwards in the first quarter. Fotsis
connected for Greece while Galanda had 8 for Italy, and after 10 minutes
Italy was up by 1, 17-16. Greece was everywhere in the paint, and got 3
accurate shots from behind the arc by Sigalas, but Italy managed to stay
close and Mian nailed a couple of 3 pointers himself to send the Italian
team to the locker room down by no more than 4, 36-32.
Chiacig fought under the boards and the two teams were glued to each
other. Galanda nailed a 3 pointer to give Italy the lead, 46-45, and
although Greece managed to tie it, Radulovic was there to set the 3rd
quarter score on 47-49 for Italy.
It took Italy
4 minutes to score its first points in the last quarter, but once it
went in they never looked back. Italy scored 5 in a row, took the lead
back, and then stopped the Greeks on no points for several minutes. With
3 minutes to go the scoreboard displayed 54-52 for Italy and Greece
seemed lost. Italy doubled the gap, and Dikoudis cut it down in half
from the line, but with 40 ticks to go he missed 2 free throws in a row,
and Hatziverttas missed a 3 pointer after an offensive rebound.
Bulleri to the line with 23 seconds to go, and the MVP of the Italian
league hit only the first shot. Greece had one more hope but lost the
ball. Game over? Not yet. Basile hit only one from the line and Dikoudis
nailed a 3 point shot with 8 seconds to go. 60-59 to Italy. Soragna was
fouled and this time he hit both shots. Greece missed the final chance
to tie, and sent Greece for the 5-8 games. Italy will meet Spain in the
Semi Finals in a re-match of the 1999 Finals.
Day 5, Playoffs Quarterfinals,
September 10, 2003 - Sep 10, 2003 France
- Russia 76-69 by
France showed up to the QF with an injured Tariq Abdul Wahad in the
starting 5, and he indeed waved goodbye to the game after a few minutes.
France went to Tony Parker, that tried a little bit too much by himself,
but kept France in the game. Kirilenko and Karassev ruled for Russia,
and after 1 quarter France was up by 3, 21-18.
Boris Diaw, that took Abdul
Wahadâ€™s spot, showed in some moved why he was picked so high in the
first round of the draft, and France started to fly around the rim with
dunks, blocks and rebounds. 37-27 after 17 minutes. Karassev and
Kirilenko once again didnâ€™t allow France to get too far, and with a 10-2
run, cut the margin. France was up by no more than 3 at half time, 42-39
after the 2nd quarter that finished with an impressive display of block
shots by both teams.
France kept going to Diaw,
that after scoring 10 in the first half, added another amazing dunk.
France took off to a 13 point lead, 53-40, and this time all Kirilenko
was able to do was cut it down to 10, 63-53 after 3 quarters.
France didnâ€™t allow to Russia
another comeback. The Russians started to bomb from outside with no
stop, but hit nothing but rim. France was dominating the paint, gained a
13 point lead once again, 68-55 with 5:24 to go, and that was it. Or at
least thatâ€™s what the France team thought. With 2 minutes to go they
moved to full court pressure, and all of a sudden France lead was cut to
4, 70-66 with a minute to play. Sonko hit 3 crucial free throws,
Kirilneko missed the last chance of Russia. 76-69.
- Serbia & Montenegro 98-82 by
Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78)
On the 10th of September 2003 Lithuanian national team players
created great feast for Lithuanian national team basketball fans (that
means to all Lithuanian people)! There were several reasons which made
usual Wednesday night - a national holiday. Lithuanian national team was
playing in quarter finals of European championships, they were playing
for the spot in the Olympics, but the most important: THEY WERE PLAYING
AGAINST FORMER YUGOSLAVIAN NATIONAL TEAM! Memories of defeats to
Yugoslavian national team in the final of European Championships in
Athens in 1995, in the semi-final of Atlanta Olympic games in 1996, in
the quarter-final in European Championships in Spain in 1997 are still
alive and each time playing against Yugoslavian national team
Lithuanians are dreaming about sweet revenge. Seems, that current
national team players still remember Sabonisâ€™ generation Lithuanian
national teamâ€™s painful losses to Yugoslavia. And new generation players
against Yugoslavia play more concentrated with more energy and passion
Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-G-76, college: Maryland) performed his magic
once again, and Lithuanian national team had to win against Yugoslavia
(which is now known as Serbia & Montenegro) some time. Sarunas
Jasikevicius prooved once again, that in the games against Serbia you
can count on him. Once again he was steady floor general contributing
with 21 points and 11 assists.
However, Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) was the best player on the court,
finishing with 27 points in just 28 minutes!
Lithuanians started showing why they're one of the Europe's elite teams
at the beginning of the game and controled the game through the first
half, leading 57-43 at halftime. Lithuanians continued their domination
during the third until the last minutes of the quarter, before
Serbia & Montenegro won the stretch 17:0 and reduced the difference to 4
points - 80-76. But Lithuanian sweet-shooting guard hit a very
important 3-pointer to stop the run with 5.15 left in the fourth.
Lithuania also went on to score the next 4 points by Songaila and
Stombergas to build their lead back up to 11, 87-76.
With absence of leading scorer and captain of the team Predrag
Stojakovic, as Serbia & Montenegro were unable to conjure up a
sufficient comeback against Lithuanians.
Lithuanians managed to increase the difference and win the game by a
margin of 16 points, 98-82.
The stars for Lithuania was their guard duo Sarunas Jasikevicius, 21
points plus 11 assists, and ,,, , 20 points plus 7 rebounds. Ramunas
Siskauskas scored a game high 27 points on 9 for 14 shooting. Lithuania
also recived 14 points from forward Darius Songaila.
After all: Lithuanians were â€œred, hot and rollinâ€™â€ and outplayed Serbia
& Montenegro in the first half. Despite of that current European and
World Champions Serbs lacked most of their superstars, they brought
strong team to Sweden with 3 NBA players and victory against Serbs will
always be exceptionally valued by Lithuanian fans. After the final
whistle Vilnius streets got unusually for Wednesday night crowded and
celebration in the streets continued until the daybreak. All Lithuanian
national team fans, all Lithuanians were celebrating in the streets
together, from tramps to the rich. It was prooved once more, that
victories in basketball court helps Lithuanian national identity to
emerge. Basketball is part of our customs, tradition and history. After
big Lithuanian national teamâ€™s victories each Lithuanian feels being
strong, being independent, being part of Lithuanian nation.
Lithuania: Siskauskas 27, Jasikevicius 21, Macijauskas 20, Songaila 14,
Stombergas 4, E.Zukauskas 4, M.Zukauskas 4, Lavrinovic 4, Slanina,
Serbia / Montenegro: Ostojic 17, Gurovic 14, Jaric 14, Vujanic 13,
Drobnjak 13, Avdalovic 5, Koturovic 4, Vukcecvic 2, Bogavac
Day 4, Playoffs, September 8,
2003 - Sep 8, 2003
The winners of todays' games advanced to the
quarterfinals. There were no easy games at that stage as two of them
ended by 2 points difference, while two others ended with just 4-point
victory. defending champion Serbia & Montenegro managed to got a victory
over Turkey and save their honour. Israel upset Slovenia as Italy did to
German team. Russia had a tough game against ambitious Croatia, but
managed to make it to quarterfinals. A2
- B3 Slovenia - Israel 76-78 Photo: Yaniv Green
Slovenia: Gorenc 21, Nachbar 14, Tusek 10, Jurkovic 10, Lakovic 7,
Golemac 5, Milic 1, Petrov
Israel: Green 14, Burstein 13, Kozikaro 12, Sharp 9, Tapiro 9, Saffar 8,
Mizrahi 7, Shelef 3, Sheinfeld 2, Halperin 1, Katz B2
- A3 Germany - Italy 84-86 Photo: Massimo Bulleri
Germany: Demirel 23, Nowitzki 22, Okulaja 13, Femerling 10, Pesic 10,
Garris 4, Arigbabu 2, Hamann, Maras, Lutcke
Italy: Bulleri 17, Galanda 16, Radulovic 14, Marconato 11, Righetti 11,
Soragna 7, Mian 5, Chiacig 3, Basile 2, De Pol, Lamma C2
- D3 Russia - Croatia 81-77 Photo: Andrei Kirilenko
Russia: Kirilenko 29, Karassev 13, Khryapa 12, Pachoutine 9, Likholitov
8, Monya 8, Samoilenko 2, Savrasenko, Koubrakov, Soloviev
Croatia: Mulaomerovic 26, Bagaric 13, Mamic 11, Zizic 8, Popovic 7,
Giricek 5, Planinic 4, Bazdaric 2, Prkacin 1, Nicevic D2
- C3 Turkey - Serbia & Montenegro 76-80
Marko Jaric (198-G-78)
Turkey: Okur 20, Kutluay 15, Turkoglu 11, Arslan 9, Peker 9, Tunceri 6,
Yildirim 4, Turkcan 2, Onan
Serbia & Montenegro: Jaric 18, Gurovic 16, Drobnjak 12, Stojakovic 10,
Koturovic 10, Vujanic 9, Ostojic 5, Vukcevic
Turkey looses against Serbia with the bad play of Hidayet Tukoglu and
Mirsad Turkcan. The main problme was the bad organization. Everybody
wanted to be as a leader but they never remembered that beaing a leader
is not just scoring but being a part of the team playing a teamgame.
Hidayet once again worked for the rival and let them win against Turkey.
Mehmet Okur (210-C/F-79) was the hero of the game making a double
double with 20 points and 11 rebounds
The Coach of 12 Giant Men decided to quit after the lose against Serbia
and Montenegro. The Korac Cup winner coach told that all of the
responsibility was his and he would talk about that topic after coming
to Turkey with the Turkish Basketball Federation responsibles and
announce his resignation in 2-3 days.
Most of the basketball
audience expect Ergin Ataman (Saporta Cup Winner and Euroleague 3rd
Place Winner) or Murat Didin (Still coach of Vip Rimini in Italy) to be
on duty at the place of Mr. Ors.
It was a really good game,last night
against Turkey!SRB did not play a great game,but they have shown a huge
They were struggling for the game,through all the game!It is extension
from game against Spain.Shape goes up constantly.SRB is back in golden
Will it be"deja-vu",time will show,but,one is sure.Nobody will
unestimate this team of SRB,in further games.They are not maybe the best
team on tournament,but,they know how to come up from toughest
situations.It was case,last night to.
In the very importrant game vs. Turkey last nigh,SRB won it in the
end,due better concentration and stronger nervs!It looked bad on
start.SRB had not fluency in their offense.Peja was kept,very
well.Several fouls on him were not blown.
After one penetration,he stayed on the floor.It was ancle injury.After
that,he played just a few minutes.That fact,makes this win,even more
bigger!Key player for Turks,was Mehmet Okur.He played very well on
low-post position.Forced all his direct opponents in foul
trouble.Koturovic,Ostojic,Drobnjak,had three fouls in first half.
In the first half Turks were poor from three-point range.SRB were
lucky.Second half openning,was great for Turks.Okur forced double team
on him,that opened outside shooters,especially Kutlay!
But,SRB found solutions for that.Gurovic played great.Kept
Kutlay,well.Scored several three pointers.Maked-up Peja's
points.Drobnjak,changed his style of playing in this game.He is pop up
player.Now,he scored so many points from 3" area!Vujanic made importrant
three pointer,deeply in third qtr.,and made four free throws,at the end.
Koturovic is back.He had to go out because of fouls,but,played well in
offense in third quarter,grabbed many balls.Ostojic scored five points
in finish.Maybe,key points!Jaric controlled rhythm of the game.It was
That is very importrant in quarter finals,against Lithuania!Lithuania
has a different composition of roster,than Turkey.
They scored over 100 points in all three games in group.If SRB,succeed
to control rhythm of the game,with Peja in full strenght,there is a
chance.We will see,was a game against Turkey,crucial,for SRB NT!It looks
like that.Answer is comming!!!
Day 3, September 7, 2003 - Sep
Group A Slovenia
- France 82-88 by
Photo: Tony Parker
With 3 wins in 3 games, French players are allowed to go on in the
european championship 2003. After struggling a bit against bosnia with a
Jerome Moiso (208-C/F-78,
UCLA) (15 pts, 5 rbs) and an
Laurent Foirest (197-F-73) (19
pts, 5 ass, 4 rbs), France has exploded Italia by 33 points thanks to
Cyril Julian (206-F/C-75,
Capicchioni Luciano) (14 pts, 6
Tariq Abdul-Wahad (198-F-74,
San Jose St.) (16 pts, 6 rbs).
The last game versus slovenia lets France wins by 6.
Tony Parker (183-G-80) (21 pts,
3 ass) and
Mustapha Sonko (192-G-72) (14
pts, 2 ass) have perfectly worked at the 1 post and laurent Foirest (19
pts, 3 rbs) was another time fully fit.
Slovenia: Jurkovic 15, Brezec 14, Golemac 12, Milic 11, Lakovic 8,
Gorenc 7, Tusek 5, Kraljevic 4, Nachbar 3, Petrov 3
France: Parker 21, Abdul Wahad 19, Sonko 14, Pietrus 6, Rupert 3, Moiso
2, Digbeu 2, Julian 2, Diaw, Dioumassi Bosnia
& Herzegovina - Italy 72-80 by
Photo: Massimo Bulleri
ITALY: Radulovic 9 (0/1, 2/2), Basile 13 (2/3, 3/8), Galanda 11(4/6,
1/6), Soragna dnp, Marconato 3 (1/2), De Pol 8 (1/2, 2/2), Righetti,
Lamma, Bulleri 24 (5/8, 2/4), Mian 5 (1/2, 1/1), Chiacig 7 (3/5 da due),
Cittadini dnp. Coach: Carlo Recalcati.
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Castle 12 (2/4, 2/4), Ovcina 4 (2/3), Krupalija 8
(1/4, 2/5), Leric 7 (3/3), Stevanovic (0/1), Hukic 10 (3/6, 1/4),
Kovacevic dnp, Krasic 8 (1/4, 2/4), Mrsic 12 (0/2, 3/7), Bajramovic dnp,
Taletovic dnp, Mujezinovic 11 (3/5, 1/3). Coach: Drasko Prodanovic
Group B Lithuania
- Germany 93-71 by
Germany had no chance as they met Lithuania in the last game of Group B
and lost 71-93. Lithuania was leading 46-33 at halftime and shot 48% of
their 3pointers, especially
Saulius Stombergas (203-F-73,
Capicchioni Luciano) had a
great day and added 28 points (5 three-pointers). The German defense
wasn't able to control him at all. On the offense-end Germany again
caused too many turnovers and didn't find any way against the aggressive
Lithuanian defense. Lithuania: Stombergas: 28 points; Siskauskas: 19 pts;
Macijauskas: 15 pts; Jasikevicius: 14 pts; Songaila: 7 pts; E.
Zukauskas: 6 pts; Praskevicius: 2 pts; Lavrinovic: 2 pts; Gustas: 0 pts;
M. Zukauskas: 0 pts; Salenga: 0 pts; Slanina: 0 pts Germany: Nowitzki: 19 pts, 9 rebs; Femerling: 12 pts;
Okulaja: 8 pts; Pesic: 7 pts; Demirel: 7 pts; Nikagbatse: 5 pts;
Arigbabu: 4 pts; Maras: 3 pts; Garris: 2 pts; Schultze: 2 pts; Lutcke: 2
pts; Hamann: 0 pts Israel
- Latvia 91-75 by
Amos Gueta Photo: Burstein
In light of the NT's pervious performances, what happend today in Sweden
is nothing short of unbelievable. As by magic, the NT turned into a
coordinated, aggresive troup which played almost perfect basketball,
especially for the first half of the game.
what a first half it was Ido Kozikaro
(202-F-78) was fantastic on Kaspars Kambala - drawing two quick fouls
out of him and causing him problems on both sides of the court. When
Kozikari went into abit of a foul trouble of his own, Yaniv Green
stepped in his shoes and was almost equally good - as Kambala commited
yet a third foul and feared contesting him under the hoops. And through
(199-G-80, agent: Harel Guy)
was running the Israeli offense, mercilessly penetrating, posting,
shooting and passing, Sharp was doing a great job on the Stelmahers and
nailed the occasional 3, and Saffar was on fire (3/3 3FG at HT) beyond
the rim - and when the halftime buzzer sounded, Israel was leading by no
less than 20, 52-32, and Burstein had racked up 19 point at 78% FG, 5
rebounds and 4 assists.
second half opened the Latvians seemed much more determined and were
fighting furiously to lower the gap, however Israel did not lower its
intensity. Kozikaro drew yet another foul out of Kambala, and was having
a party under the latvian hoop. Kambala's replacement, Trojs Ostlers,
gave Israel the most trouble of all Latvian players, charging their
offense quite abit, however Kozikaro, Tapiro, and Saffar kept the points
coming at the other side, and when the dust settled in the end of the
third, the Latvians only managed to narrow the gap by one point, 72-53.
fifth foul - and a technical foul - to Kambala in the beginning of the
final quarter put every last bit of wind out of the Latvian sails,
sending the game into Garbage Time - Garbage time with the Israelies on
the winning side ! who would have believed it ? - in which the Latvians
managed to keep the gap under 20. Israel advances to the elimination
round, and will play Slovenia tommorow. Israel(29+23+20+19) Burstein 21(50%
FG)+8rb+6as, Kozikaro 18+6rb in 17:30 min !, Saffar 16 4/6 3FG, Sharp
13, 3/4 3FG, Green 8, Shelef 7, Tapiro 6, Halperin 2 Latvia(14+18+21+22) Ostlers 17, Stelmahers 16, Helmanis 16,
Kambala 10, Bagatskis 4, Sneps 4, Skele 4, Valters 3, Vitols 2,
Vecvagers 2, Laksa 1
Group C Serbia
& Montenegro - Spain 67-75 by
Competitions in groups are finished.Yugoslavian team dissapointed all
fans in our country.People here always expecting wins from our
NT!Although,everybody knew,that this team is not as strong as the
previous were,audience accept only WIN!After poor second half against
Russia,very miserable win over hosts,can we expect anything positive
from this tournament of our NT?Game #3,against Spain,is maybe the light
at the end of a tunel!How?It was reminding on Yugo basketball team.They
was very motivated,agressive,and most importrant,very concentrate and
focused!These two last mentioned elements are basicly most importrant
for a playing high level basketball.We had a lack of that in first two
games.We were much better in defense.Now we need support for Peja in
offense.Jaric is in his rhythm again after injury,that is very good,but
we need points from Vujanic and Gurovic,which was the best player during
pretournament games.Will we see the same story,which was seen,so many
times.Yugoslavian NT,starting to play after one or two lost
games.Remember last WC in Indianapolis,after loses over Spain and Puerto
Rico,avalanche has moved yourself,and reach the top!This team does not
posses that quality,but YUGOSLAVIAN BASKETBALL is something with a big
specific weight.Something that the others saying with a great
respect.Guys are expirienced enough to know that.If that last game is
not just a blitz,but growth of shape,we will be again candidates for a
top spot!We hope they will have enough energy to skip all opsticles,and
show another time,all talents of YU basketball school!What will
happen?We will have a chance to see tonight against great Turkish
NT!With quallity playing through all 40â€™(not just 35â€™,like over
Spain),guys can beat any opponent!With controling of Paint,three point
shoots,Turkcanâ€™s offensive rebounds defensively,we will be very close.We
need a patience in offense,especially against very good Turkish 2-3
zone,which led them to win over Croatia.Yugoslavia had a problems
against zone over Sweden,too!So,we need to solve this.I believe,they are
able to go through.They still have a great support here in
country.People dream about another Gold from nation heroes.With win and
good performing,tonight,nobody can to sign off European and World
Serbia & Montenegro: Stojakovic 25, Jaric 18, Koturovic 10, Drobnjak 7,
Vujanic 5, Gurovic 1, Ostojic 1, Vukcevic, Bogavac, Avdalovic
Spain: Navarro 22, Gasol 20, Garbajosa 10, Marco 10, Reyes 4, De la
Fuente 4, Calderon 3, Jimenez 2, Grimau, Herreros, Bueno Sweden
- Russia 71-92 Photo: Kirilenko
Sweden: Jonzen 18, J.Larsson 17, Blom 13, Burke 7, Pettersson 6, Nnamaka
4, Myrthil 3, Dajic 2, Maraker 1, H.Larsson, Johnsson,
Russia: Kirilenko 22, Likholitov 16, Karassev 12, Pachoutine 12, Khryapa
7, Monya 5, Samoilenko 4, Domani 3, Koubrakov 2
Group D Greece
- Ukraine 79-73 Photo: Dikoudis
Greece: Dikoudis 21, Alvertis 17, Rentzias 14, Chantzivrettas 11,
Charisis 11, Fotsis 4, Papanikolaou 1, Diamantidis, Papaloukas,
Uktaine: Drozdov 19, Balashov 14, Okunsky 13, Khizhnyak 8, Rayevskiy 8,
Khryapa 7, Lebedev 4, Moskalenko Turkey
- Croatia 75-72 by
Antonio Gotovac and
Group stage is over. After only one victory and 2 disappointing defeats,
Croatia is third in Group D. Tomorrow at 20.00 h Croatian NT plays its
first knock-out game, against the 2nd placed team from Group C, Russia,
in Sodertalje. How can we expect a victory from the Croatian NT after
all we have seen so far. We can't, but hope is the last to die.
is really hard to be a Croatian fan in Sweden, but the fans have
regularly shown up for each of the three games so far and provided an
excellent support to our basketball players. However, it almost seems as
if the players are trying hard not to give their fans something to be
happy about. Today even our fans couldn't take it no more. When Croatia
blew the last chance of winning and the game ended, Croatian fans
started to throw things at the Turkish players. What happened was a
chaos on the court which resulted in a physical showdown between Turkish
and Croatian players, including several unknown fans who found their way
to the court. It first looked like the fight will be of large
proportions, but very quickly the passions quieted down, and the
security responded as well.
Undeniably, the Croatian fans displayed an unacceptable
misconduct. The fans were obviously revolted by a disgraceful loss,
which goes to the heart and soul of the players. However, it is wrong of
them to react in such a manner to a sports defeat, even if they were in
any way provoced by Turkish players. We can not ignore that option, just
remember Turkoglu's provocation directed at the Croatian fans, with 30
seconds remaining in the first half. It was clearly visible even on TV.
Nevertheless, our fans do not have an excuse for their behaviour
tonight, just like the players don't have an excuse for their
performance. We had to stay dignified, even in losing, and congratulate
to our opponents who won the game deservedly.
Today Croatian players were given a chance to redeem themselves after a
tragic loss against Greece on Day 1. They didn't take it. Once again
Croatia could have won it simply, with free throws, and once again the
hand shook when decision time came. Tonight it was
Damir Mulaomerovic (195-G-74) who dissapointed us.
It was a very close game with two different halftimes.
In the first half Croatia held the lead almost all the time, but never
could it build a more significant margin than 8 points. However, the
Turks used a 14-1 run in the third quarter to take over the lead, led by
the unstoppable outside shooter
Ibrahim Kutluay (198-F/G-73). The second half was all about Turkey.
It was then clear that Croatia doesn't really have a true leader.
Gordan Giricek (199-G-77),
Marko Popovic (185-G-82) and
Damir Mulaomerovic (195-G-74) tried to take responsibility in the
decising moments, but none of them could cope with it. Giricek's field
goal percentage in the second half was terrible and Popovic was
constantly missing three-pointers during that period. Mulaomerovic was
the only player who could actually score something against the tough
Turkish zonal defense, but all his efforts failed when he missed the
free throws in the very end.
Mulaomerovic scored 2 triples in a row with 3 minutes
remaining to cut the lead. Croatia continued to close in on Turkey,
which resulted in a three-pointer by
Matej Mamic (204-F-75) with 27 seconds remaining that made it 71:70
Mirsad Turkcan (206-F-76)'s layup made it 73:70 with exactly 5
seconds to go. For most people the game was resolved then, but the Turks
made sure that Croatia would get one last chance to win. And it was a
huge chance, just Mulaomerovic wasn't able to use it.
Ender Arslan (185-G-83) then immeadiately fouled Mulaomerovic, with
3.8 seconds remaining, but the referee called an intentional foul. Mula
had 2 free throws, of which he made just the second one and set the
score at 73:71. However, the ball remained in Croatia's possession. The
inbounds pass did not even happen, and the referees called another foul
on Mulaomerovic, this time against
Haluk Yildirim (200-F-72). "Mula", the most experienced Croatian
player, then set the 73:72 score by missing the second free throw, after
which Croats could only foul the opponents in order to steal the ball.
The Turks resolved the dilemma with a long inbounds pass to
Omer Onan (194-G-78), who was faster than Mulaomerovic and layed up
for the final 75:72 score. And so it was Onan who buried Croatia, the
man who played for only one second in this game and scored 2 points.
Possibly some kind of a record.
Kutluay led all scorers with 23 points, including 5 threes. Mulaomerovic
led Croatia with 16 and 7 assists. Prkacin had a double-double with 14
points and 14 rebounds, including 8 offensive rebs.
The last group match of Turkey against Croatia was played on 06.09.2003.
Turkey had a bad start but played better as time went on. But the game
was mainly full of defence. So none of the teams could score at the
beginning of the second half. On the other hand the offence of Croatia
was very bad according the their matches against Greece and Ukraine.
Turkeys offence was bad too. . Turkey had the lead at the first parts of
the second half. Even they didnt have their playmaker Kerem Tunceri
Ender Arslan (185-G-83) was very good during all of the game. The
last seconds of the game were played under stress. The referee made lots
of bad decisions and reflected his inexperienced soul. After the last
horn of the game Turkey was under attack of the Croatian spectators and
the Croatian players. Its a big shame for both of the basketball
organisation and for the Croation team itself.
The top scorer of the game
was Ibrahim Kutluay.Croatia had a very vig rebound organization having
47 rebounds when Turkey had just 31 And Turkey finishes the groups as
second after Greece and will face Serbia in the game quarterfinal
Day 2, September 6, 2003 - Sep
France, Slovenia, Germany. Lithuania, Spain and Greece
already qualified to the play-offs. Tough games in groups C and D, where
teams were fighting for leadership position. In group C Spain defeated
Russia with comfortable 12 points lead, while in group D Greece managed
to beat Turkey by 5 points. Defending champion Yugoslavia beat host
Sweden 78-68, but (except Stojakovic) did not impress again.
Group A: Slovenia
- Bosnia & Herzegovina 73-62 by
Zeljko Zule and
Almir Paocic Photo: Tusek
Slovenian NT won their second game in 33rd EC and already qualified to
the second stage. Slovenians trailed by 48-54 after third period but
then scored 12 points in a row and beat Bosnia&Herzegovina by 73-62.
Marko Tusek (203-F-75, agent:
Capicchioni Luciano) scored 16 points, Primoz Brezec added 14 (all
in the first half-time) and Jaka Lakovic 13 (all in second half-time)
Bosnian NT was good in the 1st,2nd and 3rd quarter. Our players
Mujezinovic and Mrsic was excellent.Hukic in 1st halftime had 9
rebounds.The 4th proved to be something of a disaster for Bosnia and
Herzegovina as their stuttering offense could only produce 8 points, and
Slovenia took the initiative, and the game.
Group B: Lithuania
- Israel 94-62 by
With the exception of the first two minutes of the match, it was, bar
none, the most atrocious game of basketball the Israeli NT ever played.
The Lithuanians, who were by no means at the top of their game, easily
crushed Israel, whose players seemed disoriented, uncoordinated and
frail. With Tapiro not in one of his "miracle" days, and Israel's team
offense severely lacking, the blue-and-whites simply couldn't score if
their lives depended on it, while in the defensive end the lack of
simple coordination allowed the lits to penetrate easily, feed their
post players time after time, and get plenty of good looks for easy
6 points by
Tal Burstein established Israel's first, and only lead of the game at
6-2, and from there on it was all Lithuania, which quickly overturned
the match and opened a 20-12 lead. 7 consecutive points by Saffar had
Israel trailing only by 4 at the end of the first quarter, 23-19,
however than came a second quarter in which Israel scored only 6 points
- with Saffar, Sharp and Shelef missing again and again and again. On
the other end 7 points by Macas had Lithuania leading by 15 at halftime,
it began to look even worse. The Lithuanias were running, shooting,
scoring at will, Stombergas and A. Zukaskas were unstoppable, while on
the other end only
Yaniv Green (206-F-80) looked
like something which resembles a basketball player. the quarter ended
with Lithuania leading 68-43, and the last period was garbage time -
however despite Lithuania relaxing its defense considerably, Israel
still was unable to make a difference and save face. Easy dunk after
easy dunk, easy shot after easy shot poured into Israel's ring, sending
the lead over the 30-point mark.
Muli Katzurin: "I don't like this defeat. They were better than us in
every aspect of the game. We have to start tommorow with a blank page,
if we can't do that we go home. We'll talk to the players and try to
lift their spirits".
Yoav Saffar:"They are a better team. we each did our best but they were
just better. Tommorow we have the most important game of the
championship, and we will treat it as so. The latvians seem more
coordinated than us at the moment, We'll have to score more, we can't
beat any team with 60 points. We'll have to be better, we have no
Derrick Sharp: "La La La, New game. We can't win tommorow the way we
played today. We know what we're capable of, we can make the difference
on defense. You can't always control your shot offensively, but if we
play defense with all our hearts we can win over anybody. I didn't play
much today, but there's nothing I can do about that. My job is to do the
most for the team when I'm on the floor. Every day is a new day, perhaps
tommorow I'll make 5/5 3FG".
- Latvia 94-86 by
Moritz Korff and
NT Germany beats Latvia 94:86 and is on the way to the next stage of the
Eurobasket. After a hard start against Israel the Germans improved their
game and had Dirk Nowitzki as top-scorer.
At crucial moments, Latvia made a lot of mistakes and won the not so
pleasant statistics for turnovers 18-8. With two triumphs the Germans
are qualified for the next round. The situation for Latvia is more
Both teams looked a bit tired after the opening games on Friday. But it
was noone less than Dirk Nowitzki who got Germany going. The NBA star
shot eight points during the first five minutes, and Latvia looked
helpless. Latvia missed their shots and the Germans took most of the
rebounds. 27-14 after the first quarter was a comfortable lead for the
favourites from Germany.
Latvias coach Armands Kraulins did a good job in the break. His team got
on to the court with a completely different style. Following a classic
Baltic tradition, Latvia started to hit 3-pointers from everywhere. They
went from 14-27 to 30-33 in just five minutes.
Germany looked surprised and chocked. Coach Henrik Dettmann needed to
take a time out. Latvia tried to eat the whole gap, but Real Madrid
giant Kaspars Kambala was not too friendly with the ball and caused a
few costly turnovers for Latvia. Nowitzki did som good moves and forced
Latvia to many fouls. The German lead had been reduced, but was still
seven points, 48-41.
In the third quarter the teams kept the same pace in scoring. Germany
held Latvia at a comfortable distance, mostly due to a stronger play
inside. Latvia tried to keep up with its opponent, but often ended up
with a foul.
In the last quarter the picture was much the same. Big, strong Gemany
fought well when it came to rebounds, while Latvia continued with shots
from distance. The team from the Baltic failed to get really close.
Everythime they had the chance, a new turnover spoiled it. Most symbolic
when the forward Trojs Ostlers, on his own with the basket, lost the
ball instead of hitting a layup. With less than three minutes to go,
Armands Skele scored 81-85, but that was the closest Latvia got.
During the last minutes Germany guard Mithat Demirel was excellent and
led the team to the second victory in two days.
Germany: Nowitzki: 32 points, Demirel: 18 pts, Okulaja: 16 pts,
Femerling: 9 pts, Garris: 7 pts, Nikagbatse: 5 pts, Pesic: 3 pts,
Lutcke: 2 pts, Maras: 2 pts, Arigbabu: 0 pts, Hamann: DNP
Group D: Greece
- Turkey 75-70
Giannis Georgopoulos and
Turkey they had to face Greece, the lucky team of the Saturday night.
Turkey had a very good start having points from Mehmet OKUR (the Turkish
NBA star). In the first 7 minutes just Okur had 14 points. With the
additional points of the rest of the team Turkey had a very good start
having the 13 points difference. But the things changed on the rest of
the periods. The students of Aydin Ors started to play ineffectively as
if they were not aware of the decreasing differance. The playmaker
change had a positive effect on the team. The 83 born player Ender
Arslan organised the team very good. His assist feeds, on time play
organizations and his extra points made The 12 Giant Men and the Turkish
spectators (who supported them without a stop, filling nealy half of the
hall) remember the past quarter. On the second half Turkey tried to do
something positively but again Hidayet Turkoglu was on the court playing
agressively as if he is a superstar. Once agains he proved that he is
NOT. Missing lots of shots and his personal plays led Greece to go on
their way to Stocholm as a group leader. The heroes of the game were
Mehmet Okur (210-C/F-79) with his over 20 points extra score and
Ender Arslan with his positive organization. Hidayet Turkoglu was one of
the main reasons of the lose. Also Aydin Ors made a very big mistake by
taking Ender Arslan out of the game when we has in the center of his
The other bad points of the
game were the Referees and the organisation itself. The referees were
nearly always at the side of Greece. In some given fouls to Turkey were
nearly nothing when compared with the ones given to Greece. Greece was
nearly beating The Turkish team while Turks were fouled out with very
small mistakes. On the other hand The 24 seconds violation horn was
nearly never played on time. It seems that the horn is not an automatic
one and is being controlled manually. Both of the inexperienced referees
and the horn were very big shames for the Swedish organisation.
Greece: Alvertis 2, Sigalas 10, Rentzias 15, Papanikolaou 2, Kakiouzis,
Fotsis 12, Ntikoudis 8, Papaloukas, Tsakalidis 7, Charisis 5,
Chatzivrettas 10, Diamantidis 4
Turkey: Kutluay 18, Yildirim, Turkcan 7, Besok, Tunceri 8, Turkoglu 7,
Onan, Okur 23, Peker 1, Arslan 6, Gonlum, Basak Croatia
- Ukraine 93-71 by
Croatia recorded its first win in the European Championship and probably
secured a spot in the knock-out stage of the tournament. The final score
The game didn't start so smoothly for Croatia as it
troubled in the first period which ended by 15:15. The Croats rebounded
poorly in defense and had problems with
Alexander Okunsky (214-C-71). However, things changed when
Marko Popovic (185-G-82) entered the game with 3.26 remaining in the
period. In the first quarter
Gordan Giricek (199-G-77) led Croatia offensively, while Popovic's
defense was an example.
In the second period Popovic continued with great
assists and also added 2 three-pointers in a row that helped Croatia
detach from Ukraine. Center
Dalibor Bagaric (217-C-80, agent:
Rudoy Herb) really dominated on the defensive boards. He capped the
first half with a powerful two-hand jam with 6 seconds to go.
The second half was all about Croatia, which completely
dominated the game and even started to engage into exhibition plays when
the margin grew enough. Other CRO players, like
Damir Mulaomerovic (195-G-74) and
Matej Mamic (204-F-75), followed Popovic and Giricek in offense.
From the second half there are a few attractive plays worth mentioning,
like assists by
Damir Mulaomerovic (195-G-74), fast breaks by Popovic or several
slam dunks, like the one by
Grigori Khizhnyak (216-C-74). He entered the game for the first time
in the last quarter and gave a lot of trouble to
Nikola Prkacin (208-C-75) during that period. It is unclear why
didn't he play earlier.
Gordan Giricek (199-G-77) led all scorers with 21 points.
Marko Popovic (185-G-82) stopped at 16 points, while Mulaomerovic
scored 15. Okunskyy and
Andrei Lebedev (189-G-79) led Ukraine with 15 points.
Tomorrow Croatia meets Turkey in the last group stage
game. A chance to revenge the 2001 Quarterfinals defeat and to see
whether Croatia can finally defeat a strong opponent.
Burstein and Saffar looking very lukewarm and unfocused, and Yotam
Halperin managing no more than a decent first official tournament game -
this was not enough to overcome the Germans, who led by Nowitzki and
Okulaja were dominant through most of it, peaking in a 19-point lead,
70-51, in the beginning of the last quarter. However, the entrance of
Erez Katz to the game added a defensive spark in the Israeli Troop, and
combined with Nowitzki getting a rest on the bench, and some
aggressiveness from Ido Kozikaro under the hoops, the blue-and-whites
managed to rally a 9-0 run, cutting the gap to 10 points, seven minutes
from the end.
minutes to the buzzer, A Shelef penetration basket followed a trey
and a fast break by Tapiro, cutting the gap to merely 3 points -
80-77. However, it was than when Patrick Femerling made the money
move - posting up Kozikaro for a goal and one, fouling the Israeli
out in the process. Combined with some flaky game management in the
final minutes by Katzurin, the NT was unable to once again rally
the Israeli media, coach Muli Katzurin said "Basketball is all
about mistakes and we've made more. Everyone expected Germany will
have a field day, but we made it so it didn't happen. I'm unhappy
about the loss, but I'm optimistic about next game. I'm proud of my
troop who put a fight against a better team".
"Eurobasket Israel", Germany's Patrick Femerling commented "We knew
Israel was tough. They don't have a real center but they do have
many forwards who can step out and that hurt us. Tapiro killed
us...he doesn't look that much in a first look but than he makes
those shots you don't see coming. He's been doing this sort of thing
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