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Igor Obradovic

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European Championships 2005 logo
Check also WOMEN Eurobasket 2005

All Rosters

Final Standings
 1. Greece
 2. Germany
 3. France
 4. Spain
 5. Lithuania
 6. Slovenia
 7. Croatia
 8. Russia
8-16 Places

Preliminary Round Standings
Group A
 1. Russia 2-1
 2. Germany 2-1
 3. Italy 2-1
 4. Ukraine 0-3
Group B
 1. Lithuania 3-0
 2. Croatia 2-1
 3. Turkey 1-2
 4. Bulgaria 0-3
Group C
 1. Slovenia 3-0
 2. Greece 2-1
 3. France 1-2
 4. Bosnia 0-3
Group D
 1. Spain 2-1
 2. Serbia/M 2-1
 3. Israel 2-1
 4. Latvia 0-3

Stats Leaders
1.Nowitzki, GER 26.1
2.Navarro, ESP 25.2
3.Kirilenko, RUS 17.5
4.Rakocevic, SRB 16.3
5.Giricek, CRO 15.7
1.Kirilenko, RUS 11.8
2.Nowitzki, GER 10.6
3.Khryapa, RUS 8.7
4.Reyes, ESP 7.7
5.F.Pietrus, FRA 7.1
1.Diamantidis, GR 5.0
2.Jaric, SRB 4.3
3.Burstein, ISR 4.0
4.Rakocevic, SRB 4.0
5.Tapiro, ISR 4.0

Greece and Germany met in the final (Photo: FIBA)

Mihalis Kakiouzis - Greek NT captain (Photo: FIBA)
Dirk Nowitzki - Eurobasket 2005 MVP (Photo: FIBA)

Greece - Eurobasket 2005 Champions (Photo: FIBA)

All-Tournament Team (by FIBA)






4 Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77) of CSKA Moscow (RUS)
5 Vasilis Spanoulis (192-G-82) of Panathinaikos Athens
6 Nikolaos Zisis (195-G-83) of Benetton Treviso (ITA)
7 Giannis Bourousis (212-C-83) of AEK Athens
8 Panagotis Vasilopoulos (204-F-84) of PAOK Thessaloniki
9 Antonis Fotsis (209-F-81) of Dynamo Moscow (RUS)
10 Nikos Hantzivrettas (193-G-77) of Panathinaikos Athens

11 Dimos Dikoudis (208-F/C-77) of CSKA Moscow (RUS)
12 Kostas Tsartsaris (210-F-79) of Panathinaikos Athens
13 Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) of Panathinaikos Athens
14 Lazaros Papadopoulos (210-C-80) of Dynamo Moscow (RUS)
15 Mihalis Kakiouzis (206-C-76) of Winterthur F.C. Barcelona (ESP)
Head Coach: Panagiotis Giannakis of Maroussi All-European Championships 2005 Awards

All-Eurobasket 2005 1st Team






MVP: Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) of Germany
Best Guard: Tony Parker (183-G-80) of France
Best Forward: Andrei Kirilenko (205-F-81) of Russia
Best Center: Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) of Germany (plays also as forward)

1st Team:

Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) of Germany
Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77) of Greece
Juan Carlos Navarro (193-G-80) of Spain
Tony Parker (183-G-80) of France
Andrei Kirilenko (205-F-81) of Russia

2nd Team:

Boris Diaw (203-F/G-82) of France
Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) of Greece
Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) of Lithuania
Jaka Lakovic (182-G-78) of Slovenia
Gordan Giricek (197-G-77) of Croatia

Honorable Mention:

Nikos Zisis (195-G-83) of Greece
Jorge Garbajosa (207-C/F-77) of Spain
Igor Rakocevic (191-G-78) of Serbia and Montenegro
Viktor Khryapa (204-F/G-82) of Russia
Mario Kasun (213-C-80) of Croatia
Dante Calabria (194-G-73) of Italy
Filip Videnov (195-F/G-80) of Bulgaria
Damir Mrsic (192-G-70) of Bosnia
Tal Burstein (199-G-80) of Israel
Roberts Stelmahers (192-G-74) of Latvia
Robertas Javtokas (211-C-80) of Lithuania
Hidayet Turkoglu (206-F-79) of Turkey
Sergei Lishouk (210-C/F-82) of Ukraine

All-Tournament Team (By FIBA)

Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) of Greece
Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) of Germany
Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77) of Greece
Juan Carlos Navarro (193-G-80) of Spain
Boris Diaw (203-F/G-82) of France

All games comments courtesy of Eurobasket

   Greece Eurobasket Champions 2005 !!! - Sep 26, 2005
Greece concluded their improbable EuroBasket run with a convincing 78-62 victory over Germany to win the gold medal for the first time since 1987.

Greece - Germany 78-62 (Papaloukas 22+4r+6a, Zisis 13+4r, Kakiouzis 11, Tsartsaris 9, Chatzivrettas 8, Dikoudis 8, Bourousis 4, Diamantidis 2, Spanoulis 1 - Nowitzki 23+9r, Femerling 11, Wucherer 6, Schultze 5, Roller 4, Demirel 3, Maras 2, Nikagbatse 2, Pesic 2, Greene 2, Garrett 2, Arigbabu 0)
Greece concluded their improbable EuroBasket run with a convincing 78-62 victory over Germany to win the gold medal for the first time since 1987. In front of a raucous pro-Greece, sold out crowd of 19,000 at the Belgrade Arena, the Greeks used their trademark of teamwork and solid defence to roll to victory over a Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) led German team. As the final buzzer sounded, players ran on to the court in celebration and the thousands of Greek fans in attendance rose to their feet singing songs from their homeland. Head coach Panagiotis Yiannakis was thrown in the air by his players. Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77) scored 22 points to lead Greece, including a pair of three-pointers that started the second half and ignited Greece´s break-out quarter when they extended their lead to double digits and took control of the game. “It´s a big honour to see your country´s flag raised and to sing the national anthem,” said Theodorus Popouloukas. “I know everyone back home is on the streets celebrating.” EuroBasket 2005 tournament Most Valuable Player Nowitzki was once again brilliant, this time in defeat. He scored 23, including a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. He got little help from his team-mates, with only Patrick Femerling (213-C-75, college: Washington) finishing in double figures scoring with 11. In one of the many emotional moments at the Belgrade Arena, Nowitzki was pulled with 3:22 to go in the fourth and the outcome of the game no longer in doubt. Nowitzki received a thunderous standing ovation, many of were Greek fans. Nowitzki hugged everyone - team-mates, coaches and physios and waved to the crowd. The fact that they gave him an ovation even though he was the opposition was great,” said German head coach Dirk Bauermann . “It´s well deserved.” Said Nowitzki: “Greece played phenomenal and deserved to win.” For Yannakis, it is deja vu all over again. Eighteen years ago, Yannakis was the point guard for Greece´s team that unexpectedly won the 1987 EuroBasket title, similar to the 2005 team which was not considered a tournament favourite. “I'm dreaming,” said the victorious coach. “I'm not on earth. This is unbelievable.” In a competition that featured Nowitzki and a host of other marquee NBA names, it was the team without a single NBA player that took home the gold, demonstrating the importance of team basketball. When it was over, Nikos Zisis (195-G-83) had scored 13 points and Kakiouzis 11 in a dominant team performance. Germany, who used hot three-point shooting to advance to the medal round, shot just three-of-16 from downtown and committed 21 crucial turnovers for the game. Demonstrating the improbability of Greece´s gold medal run, even Yannakis said prior to the tournament that a top-six finish and berth to the FIBA World Championship was the goal, anything higher being a significant feat. Well, Greece did more than just a significant feat, considering that they took out Russia, France and Germany in the quarters, semis and final to claim the gold. Each of those teams was led by top NBA players in Andrei Kirilenko (205-F-81), Tony Parker (183-G-80) and Nowitzki respectively. For Germany, a silver medal was beyond the expectations of many, and even themselves. Coach Dirk Bauermann said it would be difficult to finish in the top six, so clearly the Germans can take away many positives from their second medal ever in EuroBasket. “No one expected us to get this far, so it´s an accomplishment we got this far,” said Nowitzki. They had won gold in 1993. The Greeks have now won four medals overall.

3rd Place:
France - Spain 98-68 (Parker 25+5a, M.Pietrus 23+5r, F.Pietrus 13+8r, Gelabale 13, Diaw 9, Weis 5+4r, Rigaudeau 3, Fauthoux 3, Diarra 2, Giffa 0, Schmitt 0 - Navarro 17, Garbajosa 12+6r, Jimenez 10+4r, Reyes 9+6r, Vazquez 8, Vidal 6, Calderon 5, Rodriguez 1, Cabezas 0, De Miguel 0, Fernandez 0)
After 46 years, the French basketball team can finally return home from a EuroBasket with some hardware. Tony Parker (183-G-80) (183-G-80) was magnificent with  25 points and five assists, Mickael Pietrus (198-F-82, agency: Interperformances) added 23 and France crushed Spain 98-63 to win bronze at the 2005 EuroBasket and bring home the country's first medal in the competition since 1959. France won their sixth EuroBasket overall, five of which are bronze, and broke a streak of 22 medal-less appearances. Mickael Gelabale (201-F-83) and Florent Pietrus (201-F-81, agency: Octagon) each contributed 13 for the victors. Their 44 points in the first half matched their highest total for EuroBasket and their 98 for the game was also a team best. Juan Carlos Navarro (193-G-80, agency: Soresport), who entered today's play as the leading scoring in EuroBasket with 26 a game, was held to 17. Jorge Garbajosa (207-C/F-77, agency: Interperformances) finished with 12 and Carlos Jimenez (201-F-76) had 10. Spain failed to medal in EuroBasket for the first time since 1997.

5th Place:
Lithuania - Slovenia
79-70 (Javtokas 22+5r, Siskauskas 20, K.Lavrinovic 7+9r, Gustas 7, Lukauskis 6+7r, Serapinas 6, D.Lavrinovic 5, Jankunas 3+6r, Jasaitis 2, Zukauskas 0, Ginevicius 0 - Slokar 12, Nachbar 12, Brezec 11+7r, Becirovic 9, Maravic 9, Lakovic 8+4r, Lorbek 7+4r, Nesterovic 2, Capin 0, Joksimovic 0, Milic 0, Jurak 0)
Lithuania will go back home with the 5th spot in EuroBasket 2005 after beating Slovenia 79-70 in the 5-6 classification game on Sunday. Both teams will play next year in the World Championship in Japan 2006. Lithuania connected on 7 of of their 14 shots from behind the arc, while Slovenia struggled tonight from the same range with 3 out of 20. Sani Becirovic (195-G-81, agency: Interperformances) scored the game’s opening points, but that was to be Slovenia’s only lead. Robertas Javtokas (211-C-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona) led Lithuania with 22 points and Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) finished the championship with 20 points with 3 out of 4 from three point land. Uros Slokar (210-F/C-83) and Bostjan Nachbar (207-G/F-80, agency: Interperformances) had 12 each for Slovenia and Primoz Brezec (216-F/C-79) added 11 points.

7th Place:
Croatia - Russia 92-74 (Tomas 22, Rancic 22, Ukic 16+7a, Bagaric 14+10r, Zizic 12+10r, Prkacin 6, Mamic 0, Vujic 0 - Likholitov 14+6r, Fridzon 14+5r, Monya 12+6r, Savrasenko 10+8r, Khryapa 8+10r, Morgunov 6, Ponkrashov 3+9a, Ivanov 3, Pashutin 2, Holden 2, Samoylenko 0)
Just as they did 4 years ago in EuroBasket 2001, the Croatian national team finished the European Championship in 7th place after beating Russia 92-74 classification game for 7th-8th place on Sunday. The Russian side finished 8th for the second time in a row. Neven Spahija , Croatia's coach, rested Gordan Giricek (197-G-77) and Marko Popovic (185-G-82, agency: XL Croatian BC) for the entire game and missed the injured Mario Kasun (213-C-80, agency: LimeLight) and Zoran Planinic (198-G-82, agency: XL Croatian BC). But his youngsters didn't let him down. Croatia got big performances from Marko Tomas (199-G-85, agency: XL Croatian BC) and Damir Rancic (194-G-83) who scored 22 points each and shot a combined 10 of 18 from the three point line. Roko Leni Ukic (195-G-84, agency: XL Croatian BC) produced another big performance at the point guard position for Croatia with 16 points and 7 assists. Vitali Fridzon (195-G-85) and Fedor Likholitov (209-C/F-80, agency: Interperformances) scored 14 each for Russia.

   Most exciting semifinals EVER !!! Germany will face Greece in the final - Sep 25, 2005
It must be said there have NEVER been such exciting semifinals in the history of European Championships. It oes not happen very frequently when the teams wins the game by just one point and it's really unique when two semifinal games end by 1-poin victory each.


Greece - France
67-66 (Papadopoulos 15, Dikoudis 14+11r, Zisis 11, Papaloukas 10, Diamantidis 7, Fotsis 4+6r, Chatzivrettas 3, Kakiouzis 3+4r, Tsartsaris 0, Spanoulis 0 - Parker 20+3r+3a, Diaw 14+4r+3a, F.Pietrus 8+9r, Gelabale 7+4r, M.Pietrus 6+4r, Rigaudeau 6, Julian 2, Schmitt, Weis 1+9r)
A three-pointer by Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) three seconds from the end set off a thunderous celebration in the Belgrade Arena on Saturday night as the Greeks fought back from a seven-point deficit in the final minute to stun France 67-66 and advance to the gold medal game. France, closing in on appearance in the title game for the first time in six decades, self-destructed as both Tony Parker (183-G-80) and captain Antoine Rigaudeau (200-G-71) missed important free throws to leave the door open for a Greek comeback. After Rigaudeau made just one of two from the line with 11 seconds remaining, Greece inbounded the ball to Nikos Zisis who raced up the floor and towards the basket before kicking the ball out to Diamantidis who never hesitated when releasing his left-handed shot which hit the bottom of the net. France gave the ball to Rigaudeau who dribbled to midcourt and attempted to launch a desperation shot but guarded by Greece players, he was called for traveling as time expired setting off a joyous celebration from Greek players and thousands of their fans in attendance. “Thank God,” said Diamantidis after his heroics. “I wasn't thinking about anything when I shot it. Nothing.” “There are no words to describe what Dimitrios did – he is amazing,” said Nikos Zisis (195-G-83), who scored 11 points, including three big free throws with 40 seconds remaining that allowed Greece to stay close and cut the French lead to 62-58. Greece, who famously won gold in 1987 and then silver in 1989, are back in the title game and will face the winner of Spain´s semi-final with Germany. “This is basketball,” said Greece´s team captain Michalis Kakiouzis (206-C-76). “We never stopped fighting and always believed in oursleves and then got a little luck in the end.” Parker was brilliant in the first half and led all scorers with 20 points, while center Lazaros Papadopoulos (210-C-80) had 15 for Greece and Dimos Dikoudis (208-F/C-77, agency: Court Side) finished with 14. France will try to win their first bronze since 1959 when they take on Spain.

Germany - Spain 74-73 (Nowitzki 27+7r, Roller 9+4r, Pesic 8, Femerling 7, Wucherer 6, Demirel 5+6a, Garret 4, Schultze 3, Greene 3, Arigbabu 2, Maras 0, Nikagbatse 0 - Navarro 27+4r, Vazquez 15+4r, Calderon 10, Jimenes 7+9r, Reyes 5+6r, Cabezas 4, Garbajosa 4+6r, De Miguel 1, Fernandez 0)
Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) came up with another huge game and hit the game-winning shot with 3.9 seconds to go as  Germany upset Spain 74-73 in Belgrade to advance to their first gold medal game at the EuroBasket since 1993. After Juan Carlos Navarro (193-G-80, agency: Soresport)´s floater in the lane gave Spain a 73-72 advantage with 14 seconds to go, the Dallas Mavericks superstar who has carried the German squad on his shoulders for all of the tournament, hit a baseline jumper over the outstrecthed arm of Jorge Garbajosa (207-C/F-77, agency: Interperformances) to put Germany back in front. “It was indescribable,” Nowitzki said of the final shot. “After I looked at Navarro´s shot go in I thought to myself that I wanted to start my offensive move with six seconds left so that way we could get an offensive rebound. Garbajosa kind of pushed me towards the baseline so I just went with it.” “Dirk hit a tough shot,” German head coach Dirk Bauermann said. “He bailed us out just like he did against Russia. That is why he is a super star and the leader of this team. But that doesn't take away from the team effort.” Spain called timeout and discussed their strategy. They inbounded the ball to Jose Manuel Calderon (190-G-81) and he drove past mid-court to just a few feet behind the arc and had a clean look at a three-pointer, but his shot clanked off the rim, putting Nowitzki and Co  into a gold medal clash against Greece, who earlier stunned France. As the buzzer sounded, Nowitzki circled the court with his right fist in the air and Germany´s squad celebrated a thrilling victory. They will look to continue their Cinderella story on Sunday after Spain take on France in the bronze medal contest. Nowitzki finished with a game-high 27 points, 11 of those coming in the fourth quarter with the game on the line, and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. He made five of 10 three-pointers,  with Germany connecting on 13 of 33 as a team. Spain struggled, shooting two-of-19 from behind the arc. "If we had a shot a higher percentage from three-point range, then perhaps the outcome would have been different," said Pesquera. Navarro, one night after finishing with a tournament-best 36 points, finished with 27 points and Fran Vazquez (210-C-83) added 15. Spain lost, despite outrebounding Germany 39-22.

4-8 Places:
Slovenia - Croatia
89-80 (Lakovic 20+5r+5a, Capin 14, Lorbek 11+7r, Brezec 11+6r, Becirovic 11 - Bagaric 13+8r, Giricek 13+8r, Tomas 12+6r, Vujcic 10+5r, Popovic 10+4a)
Slovenia overcame a big early deficit to beat Croatia 89-80 and claim the final World Championship place still up for grabs at EuroBasket 2005. The Slovenians, who went unbeaten in the group stage but fell apart against Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) and Germany in their quarter-final, will now try to play Lithuania in a battle for fifth place on Sunday afternoon. Their main mission is accomplished already, according to Slovenian captain Radoslav Nesterovic (212-C-76). "This is a huge accomplishment for us," said Nesterovic. "We are a country of two million people. If anybody had given this (World Championship qualification) before the tournament, we would have taken it." "This is a great feeling. It feels more important than a gold medal," added New Orleans Hornets forward Bostjan Nachbar (207-G/F-80, agency: Interperformances). And of course, the Slovenian players knew who they had to thank the most - their fans.  A reported 10,000 of them made the six hour drive from the neighbouring country to attend their games over the weekend. Guard Sani Becirovic (195-G-81, agency: Interperformances) said the players were well aware of the support they were getting. "The fans were our sixth and seventh man," Becirovic said. "We have to thank them for coming out in such big numbers and helping us in some difficult times." Jaka Lakovic (182-G-78) led six players in double figures for Slovenia with 20 points, while Nesterovic put his nighmare quarter-final behind him with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Giricek and Dalibor Bagaric (217-C-80) each had 13 points for Croatia, while Marko Tomas (199-G-85, agency: XL Croatian BC) chipped in with 12 and both Marko Popovic (185-G-82, agency: XL Croatian BC) and Nikola Vujcic (211-C-78, agency: Interperformances) finished with 10. For Croatia, this was a tough way to follow a heartbreaking loss to Spain in overtime in their quarter-final on Friday. But it was a game that head coach Neven Spahija knew was going to be hard to play because of the controversy surrounding the quarter-final game against Spain. "Already yesterday I said that we don't have a good chance to win this game, I thought our chances are less than 1%," Croatia's coach declared. "Before the game I saw my players in the locker room and knew we have no chance to win this game."

   Quarterfinals (Day 2): Germany and Spain make it to the semis - Sep 24, 2005

Germany - Slovenia
76-62 (Nowitzki 22, Roller 15, Demirel 15, Greene 10, Femerling 6 - Becirovic 13, Brezec 13, Lakovic 12, Nachbar 9, Lorbek 6)
Behind the all-around play of Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78), ample help from the supporting cast and a large run to start the fourth quarter, Germany silenced the large Slovenian crowd with a 76-62 victory over Slovenia in the quarter-finals of EuroBasket 2005. Germany qualify for FIBA World Championship 2006 in Japan and will take on the winner of Spain's quarter-final with Croatia. "The Slovenians underestimated us," said Nowitzki. "They said we were the team they wanted and that was wrong, you shouldn't do that in the quarter-finals." While Nowitzki was his usual self with 22 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, guards Pascal Roller (180-G-76), Mithat Demirel (181-G-78, agency: Court Side) and Demond Greene (185-G-79, agency: Court Side) provided crucial offence as Germany upset the Slovenians. The trio combined for seven of 11 from three-point range. Roller, who made a pair of crucial three-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Demirel each had 15 points while Greene 10. Slovenia suffered their first loss of EuroBasket 2005 and will try to beat Croatia in order to secure a top six finish which is needed to qualify for the FIBA World Championship.

Spain - Croatia 101-85, OT (Navarro 36, Vazquez 26, Garbajosa 14, Calderon 10, Reyes 4 - Giricek 17, Ukic 15, Popovic 15, Mamic 8, Kasun 8)
Spain took advantage of an injured and foul plagued Croatia to win an an overtime thriller in the last EuroBasket quarter-final to stay on course for a medal and secure their place at the FIBA World Championship 2006. Fran Vazquez came to the rescue for Spain with an offensive rebound and put-back to send the game to overtime and then teamed up with Juan Carlos Navarro in a controversial extra period to seal a 101-85 triumph. Croatia played an amazing game despite losing star point guard Zoran Planinic and center Mario Kasun to injuries in the first quarter, but as the game started to slip away in the final minute of overtime, so did the composure of coach Neven Spahija, who drew a technical foul, and Marko Popovic, who was ejected. Navarro had 36 points for Spain, but the man of the match was Vazquez, who might well have jumped out of a telephone booth and donned a cape for the team because he played like Superman. He finished with 26 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots. After missing his first two free throws, he made his next eight. Croatia could hardly contain their anger before the final whistle, with Spahija crossing mid-court to argue with the referees and then Popovic popping off and earning an early shower. Following an acrobatic Vazquez dunk with 28 seconds remaining, Tomas was once again fouled, setting the stage for the dramatic moments at the end of regulation which saw Spain force the overtime. Spain will take on Germany in the semi-final on Saturday, while Croatia battle Slovenia in a pivotal classification game. A victory will still allow Croatia to qualify for the FIBA World Championship for the first time since 1994.

4-8 Places:

Lithuania - Russia
89-78 (Jankunas 19, Gustas 13, Siskauskas 12, K.Lavrinovic 11, D.Lavrinovic 10 - Pashutin 27, Holden 14, Monya 11, Samoylenko 9, Khryapa 6, DNP: Kirilenko)
What a difference a day makes. One night after shooting just 33% from the field in a loss to France, Lithuania looked like a new team by shooting 62% for the game en route to an 89-78 win over Russia. The victory automatically qualifies Lithuania for FIBA World Championship 2006 in Japan - their first appearance in the competition since 1998. "It was very important for us to get to the World Championship," said veteran forward Mindaugas Zukauskas (202-F-75). "Basketball is religion in Lithuania." For the second consecutive day, Russia blew a double-digit lead and as a result will not receive one of the automatic berths for Japan that go to the top six teams at EuroBasket. Instead, they must hope to secure a wild-card in order to play with the world´s best in 2006. This afternoon, the task of winning was more difficult for Russia as they had to go without their top-scorer Andrei Kirilenko (205-F-81), who broke his nose in the game against Greece last night. Entering today´s play, Kirilenko was sixth in EuroBasket scoring with 17.5 a game and is one of the most dominating defensive players in the competition. As the final buzzer sounded, Lithuania´s players celebrated the victory and automatic qualification for Japan. Players and coaches waved to their supporters in the crowd as they made their way off the court. Lithuania prevailed despite an outstanding shooting performance by Zakhar Pachoutine (195-G-74), who finished with a game-high 27 points on seven of 10 shooting from three-point range. Pashutin´s point total is the sixth highest individual total in the 2005 EuroBasket. Lithuania had a balanced scoring attack, led by Jankunas´ 19 points. Giedrius Gustas (190-G-80, agency: Interperformances) added 13, Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) 12 and Darjus Lavrinovic (212-C-79) 10. Russia will play for seventh place and Lithuania will attempt to claim fifth on Sunday afternoon.

   Quarterfinals: Greece and France made it to the semis - Sep 23, 2005

Greece - Russia
66-61 (Papaloukas 23, Dikoudis 11, Chatzivrettas 9, Kakiouzis 6, Zisis 6 - Kirilenko 20, Holden 15, Khryapa 8, Morgunov 5, Savrasenko 4)
Greece shook off a 13-2 start to defeat Russia 66-61 on Thursday and book their first ticket to the EuroBasket semi-finals since 1997. Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77) came off the bench to lead all scorers with 23 points for Greece, including five free throws in the final 46 seconds, while Dimos Dikoudis (208-F/C-77, agency: Court Side) added 11 for the Greeks. Russian superstar Andrei Kirilenko (205-F-81) notched a double-double of 20 points and 16 rebounds, but his team-mates shot themselves in the foot by turning to three-point shot too often in the second half. The Russians, who had dominated game with their play inside during the first half, were awful from the arc, making just four of 27 for the game. In the second half, Sergei Babkov ´s men were three of 20 from long range. Papaloukas, regarded by many as the best sixth men in European basketball, could hardly believe the final outcome. "This success was down to the team work," Papaloukas said. "Even if I had scored 30 points, and the team lost, it would be Greece as a whole who loses. So it´s all about team work." The victory means Greece have secured a place at FIBA World Championship 2006 in Japan. "It´s a great feeling," he said, "although I am slightly nervous because I am scared of flying." Russia´s adopted American, point guard Robert 'J.R.' Holden (184-G-76, college: Bucknell), had 15 points while Viktor Khryapa (204-F/G-82) finished with eight. That pair combined to hit just two of 16 of their three-point attempts. Greece will now try to emulate the success of the team that captured gold in 1987. "There are two games to go," Papaloukas said. "You never know, this is what is great about sport."

France - Lithuania 63-47 (Diaw 18, Parker 11, Rigaudeau 11, F.Pietrus 6, M.Pietrus 5 - K.Lavrinovic 11, D.Lavrinovic 9, Javtokas 8, Jasaitis 5, Ginevicius 4)
Two nights after knocking out the host nation, France dethroned the defending champions with a 63-47 win over Lithuania to reach the semi-finals of EuroBasket 2005 and qualify for the FIBA World Championship in 2006. France reached the last four of this tournament for the second time in a row with a dominant defensive performance, particularly in the first half when they held the Lithuanians to a mere 16 points. Antanas Sireika ´s men had entered the game on a roll by coming out of a highly competitive Group B with an undefeated 3-0 record, all the triumphs by double-digits. Thursday night was a horror show for Lithuania, though. They were 27 points off their first half scoring average from their previous three games (43). For the contest, the Baltic giants were two of 20 from three-point range, and shot a woeful 33% overall from the floor. Boris Diaw (203-F/G-82), who has emerged as one of the stars of this EuroBasket, finished with a game-high 18 points, 11 rebounds and three assists as a more athletic French team reigned supreme. Tony Parker (183-G-80) finished the game with 11 points and five assists, while Weis, a late addition to the French squad in the build-up to this event, collected 11 rebounds. France avenged their semi-final loss to Lithuania in the 2003 EuroBasket and are now two wins away from claiming their first EuroBasket gold medal in the country´s history. Their best previous finish was a silver medal back in 1949. Crucially for France, the pressure is also off regarding the FIBA World Championship. With six teams gaining berths from Europe, they are assured of a place as semi-finalists here in Belgrade. Lithuania, playing with an almost completely new squad from its 2003, will now be playing for fifth place and that, too, would be good enough to reach Japan. Ksystof Lavrinovic (210-C-79) led the Lithuanians with 11 points.

   Elimination Games: Serbia and Montenegro will end without a medal - Sep 21, 2005
The biggest surprise of the eliminations day was defeat of host Serbia and Montenegro, which was upset by France 74-71. Serbian team seemed to be back in a shape. After they surprisingly lost opener to Spain, then they easily beat Latvia and Israel. Today's defeat will leave them without medal at Eurobasket 2005.

Elimination Games:
Germany - Turkey
66-57 (Nowitzki 33+10r, Roller 9, Demirel 7, Maras 6, Femerling 4 - Peker 16, Kurtoglu 11, Erdogan 11, Turkoglu 10, Turkcan 5)
Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) scored 33 points as Germany's defense shut down Turkey 66-57 on Tuesday in Vrsac, setting up a EuroBasket 2005 quarter-final show with Slovenia. The Dallas Mavericks star had his third double-double of the tournament, collecting 10 rebounds as well as three blocks and an assist at the Millenium Center. Slovenia, who went undefeated in Group C, will face Germany on Friday in their quarter-final in Belgrade. Kaya Peker (208-C/F-80, agency: Court Side) led the Turks with 16 points. Serkan Erdogan (190-G-78, agency: Interperformances) and Ermal Kurtoglu (207-C-80, agency: Edge Sports) each scored 11 while Hidayet Turkoglu (206-F-79) scored 10 on 2-15 shooting. Turkey started the second straight game with Utah Jazz star Mehmet Okur (210-C/F-79) and lethal wing player Mirsad Turkcan (206-F-76) on the bench. Okur finished with just two points and nine rebounds and Turkcan had five. "We needed another shoooter to get some points from the outside," Bogdan Tanjevic said. Sharp-shooting Ibrahim Kutluay (198-F/G-74) was forced out of his second game with a broken finger on his shooting hand. "I'm a leader and the captain, and I could have helped my team in the crucial moments. But it's easy to talk after the game," Kutluay said.
Croatia - Italy 74-66 (Kasun 20+7r, Vujcic 16, Popovic 12, Giricek 7, Planinic 6 - Chiacig 14, Calabria 14, Pozzecco 14, Basile 9, Galanda 9)
Croatia dominated the paint and played stingy fourth quarter defense to beat Italy 74-66 in Podgorica and earn a spot in the quarter-finals. Italy couldn’t buy a basket in the fourth quarter and Croatia’s decisive edge in rebounding and points in the paint contributed to their third win of EuroBasket 2005. As the final buzzer sounded, Croatia’s players slapped hands and greeted their celebrating fans sitting behind the basket. Croatia will play Spain in the quarter-finals on Friday. “This was a great win for Croatia, but it’s only 50% of the job we have before us,” Croatian head coach Neven Spahija said. “Our goal is to qualify for the World Championship.” Mario Kasun led Croatia with 20 points and seven rebounds. His dunk with 3:59 remaining in the fourth quarter gave Croatia an insurmountable double-digit lead. “He played very well and that’s what we expect of him,” said Spahija. For the game, Croatia outscored Italy in the paint 38-28 and had a 40-22 rebounding advantage. “I think the statistics speak for itself,” Italian coach Carlo Recalcati said. “They are a big, strong and athletic team and that made the difference tonight.” Italy, after having won the bronze medal in the 2003 EuroBasket, shot just 4-for-16 in the fourth quarter. The Italians committed turnovers on their opening three possessions of the quarter and had just one field goal over a seven-minute stretch. “I think the key to the game was our defense,” said Kasun. Nikola Vujcic (211-C-78, agency: Interperformances) contributed 16 points for the victors and Marko Popovic (185-G-82, agency: XL Croatian BC) came off the bench to score 12. Dante Calabria (194-G-73), Gianmarco Pozzecco (185-G-72) and Marco Mordente (192-G-79) each scored 14 for Italy. “Our team gave its maximum in this game and this tournament,” said Italy’s Giacomo Galanda (211-F/C-75).
Greece - Israel 67-61 (Zisis 23, Papadopoulos 19, Kakiouzis 12, Fotsis 6 - Green 11, Halperin 9, Markovic 9, Tapiro 8, Mizrahi 8)
Greece survived a furious second-half fightback by Israel on Tuesday night at the Pionir in Belgrade to win 67-61 and advance to a quarter-final showdown with Russia. Panagiotis Giannakis ' Greeks led by as many as 15 points in the second half but saw their lead dwindle to just three late in the fourth quarter before holding on for the triumph. Nikolaos Zisis (195-G-83) came off the bench to lead Greece with 23 points and centre Lazaros Papadopoulos (210-C-80) weighed in with 19, while also pulling down 10 rebounds. The Greeks are best known for their tenacious defence, however, and the leader in that department was point guard Dimitrios Diamantidis who had six steals, the biggest coming with 24 seconds in the game and Greece clinging to a 66-60 advantage. Tal Burstein (199-G-80, agency: Interperformances) had just crossed mid-court and was looking to cut the deficit in half with a three-pointer but Diamantidis stole the ball and passed ahead to Mihalis Kakiouzis (206-C-76) for a lay-up to seal victory. "Israel showed a big heart after a disappointing first half," Papadopoulos said to PA Sport. "But we were very smart because having struggled throughout the game at the free throw line, we made sure to make them at the right time." They finished 18 of  30 (60%) for the game, with Papadopoulos a disappointing five of 12 from the line. Russia should find it very difficult against the Greeks because of their commitment to defence. "We are going to take it one step at a time," Papadopoulos said. "Our priority is to play the basketball that we know against Russia."
France - Serbia & Montenegro 74-71 (Rigaudeau 14, Parker 13, Gelabale 12, Diaw 10, M.Pietrus 8 - Radmanovic 14, Jaric 14, Rakocevic 11, Krstic 11, Bodiroga 10)
Whoever said that size mattered in basketball did not see France stun Serbia & Montenegro 74-71 on Tuesday night in Belgrade. With no player over 202 cm on the court in the final 2 minutes, the visitors were able to out-hustle the hosts, grabbing key rebounds at both ends of the floor. Serbia & Montenegro had several chances to tie the game in the closing seconds, but Marko Jaric (198-G-78) and Zeljko Rebraca (212-C-72) each missed pairs of free-throws - some intentionally, some not. But les Bleus could have put the game out of reach had they converted some of their free throws. Boris Diaw (203-F/G-82) continued his struggles at the line by missing two of his own which could have given his side a four-point lead at 75-71. French captain Antoine Rigaudeau then missed the first of two before converting the second for a 74-71 advantage and final score. After the game, French coach Claude Bergeaud talked about his team's risky approach to tonight's game. "We knew it would be a very tough game and we thought the only way we could stay close in the game was to take risks defensively," he said, making reference to his line-up late in the game. "This was a different game for our team compared to the three previous ones. Tonight we were afraid and so we realised we needed to playu together at both ends of the floor and exert more patience. "We came in with the objective of qualifying for the World Championships, but we never thought we'd beat a team as good as Serbia & Montenegro." And the win was hard earned. After the game, Serbia & Montenegro head coach Zelimir Obradovic talked openly about his team's problem of coming together and developing team chemistry. "We had a long talk in the locker room and I tried to tell my players that we lacked good relationships during our preparations and that they needed to fix them to be good human beings," he said. "I still think we are the best team here but the relationship problems that have gone on over the past two months have never been fixed. "I told my players to look at themselves in the mirror and I will do so myself. I made a mistake in not trying to fix these problems earlier." Antoine Rigaudeau (200-G-71) led a balanced offense with 14 points and Parker broke from his poor form to chip in with 13 points and 3 assists, while Mickael Gelabale (201-F-83) finished with 12 and Diaw with 10. Jaric and Radmanovic each had 14 for Serbia & Montenegro, but Jaric missed 5 of 8 free-throws. Krstic and Rakocevic each finished with 11.

   Day 3 - Ukraine, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Latvia out of the race - Sep 19, 2005
Some big surprises in the 3rd day of the Eurobasket. Israel upset Spain 85-77. Germany edged Russia by 1 point. Slovenia outscored France 68-58. Worth to mention that host Serbia and Montenegro are back on track as they crushed Latvia 82-67.

Group A (Vrsac):

Italy - Ukraine
99-62 (Soragna 7, Basile 6, Galanda, Calabria 20, Chiacig 9; Bulleri 14, Marconato 12, Righetti 19, Mancinelli, Mordente 5, Gigli 7 - Butskyy, Kobzstyy 3, R. Kryvych 10, Lishchuk 13, Pecherov 8, Lebediev 2, I. Kryvych 9, Koval, Rayevskyy 2, Gurtovyy 7, Medvedenko 8)
Four Italians scored in double figures as Italy beat Ukraine 99-62 on Sunday at the 2005 EuroBasket to keep alive their chances of repeating their bronze medal from 2003. Dante Calabria led all scorers with 20 points, while Alex Righetti had 19, Massimo Bulleri added 14 and Denis Marconato chipped in 12. Italy collected their second win in Group A, but thanks to Germany's win over Russia, finished in third place in the group and will have to travel to Podgorica to play an elimination game against Croatia. "It's not easy to have this kind of reaction to a loss of more than 30 points," Italian assistant coach Fabrizio Frades said, referring to Saturday's 87-61 drubbing at the hands of Russia. "We didn't play in the first half (against Russia). Italy collected 20 assists as a team compared to Ukraine's nine. The Italian defence came up with 11 steals in forcing Ukraine into 17 turnovers. Serhiy Lishchuk led Ukraine with 13 points but had foul trouble throughout the game. And Rostyslav Kryvych and twin brother Igor combined for 19 points. Los Angeles Lakers forward Stanislav Medvedenko didn't start the game and scored eight points in 25 minutes. "It's a big disappointment," Ukrainian guard Andrii Lebediev said. "We need to think about what happened, what we did well and what not. Maybe it's true that we're not as good as the others. We need to understand that. This is life."
Germany - Russia 51-50 (Nowitzki 24, Greene 7, Garret 5, Nikagbatse 4, Arigbabu 4 - Holden 13, Kirilenko 12, Khryapa 12, Pashutin 5, Morgunov 4)
Dirk Nowitzki's three-pointer with 27 seconds left gave Germany a 51-50 come-from-behind victory against Russia on Sunday and a showdown with Turkey for the right to reach the quarter-finals of the 2005 EuroBasket. Nowitzki scored Germany's last 11 points and ended the game with 24 points and 19 rebounds while Andrei Kirilenko finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and eight steals for the Russians, who finished atop Group A and advanced to the quarter-finals despite Victor Khryapa missing a last second shot for the win. "After the loss against Italy, it was important for us to win a close game," said Nowitzki, who also had three steals and two blocked shots. "You have to give credit to both teams," offered Russian point guard J.R. Holden. "Both were playing great defense, and every shot was a big shot." Bauermann knew the game would be won or loss with the ball in Dirk's hands. "I was telling him, you have to take every shot. If it doesn't come from you it won't come from anybody."

Group B (Podgorica):

Lithuania - Bulgaria
92-79 (Jasaitis 17, Javtokas 15, D.Lavrinovic 14, Siskauskas 12, Zukauskas 12 - Videnov 34, Angelov 10, Georgiev 8, Stoykov 8, D.Ivanov 6)
Lithuania opened the game with a 16-0 run in route to a 92-79 victory over Bulgaria in the the two teams´ final games of Group B Preliminary Round play in Podgorica. The defending EuroBasket champs, with a revamped roster, earned a trip to Belgrade for the quarter-finals with a perfect 3-0 record. “This means a lot, especially to our younger players,” said forward Robertas Javtokas. Bulgaria committed turnovers on their opening four possessions of the game and Lithuania scored at will with an array of wide open three-pointers and dunks inside. After Bulgaria finally broke a scoring drought that lasted for more than four minutes to start the game, Lithuania responded with another 6-0 run, giving them a 22-2 lead. “We did our homework and this was evident from the start of the game,” Lithuanian head coach Antas Sireika said. “After our first two losses, I was worried we wouldn't be ready mentally,” said Bulgarian head coach Rossen Barchovski. “Our goal is to play as a team because we don´t have some of the stars we did in the past,” said Robertas Javtokas, who tallied 15 points. “Right now, we are doing this.” “Our strength is that we play as a team,” added Ramunas Siskauskas. “We played like a team in the past when we had stars, but without some of those players, it is even more important that we play together.” Filip Videnov put on an outstanding offensive performance in defeat for Bulgaria, finishing with 34 points. He was 12-for-30 from the field, including 5-for-10 from three-point range. Todor Stoykov, who scored 20-plus points in his first two games, was held to eight.
Croatia - Turkey 80-67 (Vujcic 20, Giricek 16, Planinic 14, Kasun 10, Popvic 7 - Peker 23, Arslan 7, Turkoglu 7, Okur 6, Gonlum 5)
With an incredible 34-2 run spanning two quarters, Croatia defeated Turkey 80-67 and claimed second place in the Group B Preliminary Round. Trailing 39-28 in the second quarter, Croatia went on a 10-2 run to close the half. The trend continued in the second half as Croatia opened the third quarter by scoring an astonishing 24 unanswered points. Turkey committed five turnovers and didn't score in the quarter until 1:38 remained. The exclamation point of the run came on a steal by Croatia´s Zoran Planinic resulting in a break away dunk by Gordan Giricek.  Nikola Vujcic, who scored 10 points in the third quarter and 20 for the game, followed Giricek's dunk with a three-pointer to give his a team a 21-point lead. “It was my and our best game of the tournament,” Vujcic said. “This was a very important game for us and I am glad we came out and played so well.” The 34-2 run was astonishing, even to Croatia's players. “I can never remember going on such a run,” Vujcic said. “It was hard to watch,” said Hidayet Turkoglu, who watched from the bench during a good part of the third quarter. Turkey cut Croatia´s lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn't get closer than 10 points. Giricek finished with 16 points while Planinic added 14. “We knew we had to run because Turkey is an older team,” said Planinic. “In the second half, I think you saw the real Croatian team. Turkey had to play without sharpshooter Ibrahim Kutluay, who broke his finger in the first quarter of yesterday's win over Bulgaria. He returned to Turkey earlier today and will not be available for the remainder of EuroBasket.

Group C (Beograd):

Slovenia - France
68-58 (Lakovic 18, Nesterovic 12, Becirovic 9, Nachbar 9, Jurak 8 - Diaw 16, Rigaudeau 12, F.Pietrus 8, Julian 6, Gelabale 6)
Once again the "Pionir" arena hosted an historic event in European basketball on Sunday. Thousands of Slovenians were left celebrating after their national side qualified for the EuroBasket quarter-finals for the first time following a 68-58 win over France to finish on top of Group C with a perfect 3-0 record. "I congratulate all my players for what they have shown here in the first three days of the games," said Slovenia coach Ales Pipan. "All credit goes to them. I would also like to thank to the wonderful fans who cheered for us for three days." The same fans stayed for many minutes after the game to cheer for their team. Lakovic finished with 18 points, Radoslav Nesterovic had the first double-double of Group C with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Nachbar scored nine. Boris Diaw once again led the French side with 16 points and seven rebounds (although he was a woeful 0 of 11 from the free throw line), while Antoine Rigaudeau had 12 points.
Greece - Bosnia and Hertzegovina 67-50 (Fotsis 15, Tsartsaris 12, Papadopoulos 10, Papaloukas 9, Chatzivrettas 5 - Hukic 13, Bajramovic 10, Domercant 9, Teletovic 7, Ovcina 4)
Greece defeated Bosnia-Herzegovina 67-50 for their second win in three games to qualify for the elimination round as the second placed team from Group C. Greece will take on Israel on Tuesday with the winners advancing to the quarter-final round, while Group C's third placed team France must travel to Novi Sad to face Serbia & Montenegro. Slovenia are in the last eight as the winners of Group C. For Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mensur Bajramovic's team suffered their third loss in the Championship. They have not won a game in the preliminary round of EuroBasket since 1993. After the big loss on Saturday to the Slovenians, Greece wanted to show Europe they are still strong medal contenders with a convincing win. Bajramovic and Co made them work hard for three quarters before falling away over the final 10 minutes. "Unfortunately we showed again we couldn't keep the rhythm the whole game, and fell in the last minutes," said Vedran Princ, a member of the losing side. Just like in their first two games, Bosnia-Herzegovina ran out of energy in the last quarter. Greece scored many easy points on fast breaks and offensive rebounds in the final 10 minutes. Antonios Fotsis had 15 points for Greece, Lazaros Papadopoulos finished with 10 and Diamantidis weighed in with five but in addition to his 10 assists also pulled down six rebounds. Hukic had 13 points for the losing side while Kenan Bajramovic added 10.

Group D (Novi Sad):

Spain - Israel
77-85 (Calderon 6, Navarro 9, Jimenez 7, Reyes 20, Garbajosa 21; De Miguel 2, Fernandez, Vidal 4, Cabezas 6, Vazquez 2 - Halperin 5, Tapiro 7, Tal Burstein 19, Kozikaro 7, Green 11; Marckovitz 2, Shelef 15, Watson 2, Nissim, Hagag 9, Mizrahi 8)
Israel showed no ill effects from a fourth quarter shooting slump against Serbia & Montenegro last night to take an important 85-77 win over Spain, thereby handing them their first loss of the tournament and joining them in a two-way tie atop of the group – for now. Captain Tal Burstein led by example and finished as his team’s top scorer with 19 points. He was instrumental to Israel’s strong run that saw them open and regularly extend a lead in the second half. After scoring 27 and 35 points respectively in the first two games, Navarro cooled down considerably and had only nine points on 2 of 10 shooting. Both teams now have to wait for the result between the host nation and Latvia to find out who will get a guaranteed place in the quarter-finals and which teams will have to play in the elimination games. After the game, Israel’s head coach Tvzika Shef talked proudly of the way his players bounced back. “This game was played in very tough conditions. There was a lot of pressure riding on the outcome of this clash and I am extremely proud of how we forgot last night’s game and focused on stopping Spain,” he said. “We kept Spain in a low scoring game in the first half and after half-time even though they started scoring more, we did too.
Serbia & Montenegro - Latvia 82-67 (Rakocevic 19, Bodiroga 12, Jaric 12, Radmanovic 9, Gurovic 8 - K.Valters 12, Stelmahers 10, Timermanis 8, Helmanis 7, Skele 6)
Serbia & Montenegro finally got what they have worked so hard for over the past two days – a comfortable 82-67 win over Latvia to stay alive in the competition and a standing ovation from the Novi Sad crowd to go along with it. The hosts came into this game knowing a loss would mean elimination from the competition. However, the win secures second spot in Group D, with Spain taking first place and a direct route to the quarter-finals. Serbia & Montenegro will now face France in Novi Sad in an elimination game on Tuesday night. “After seeing the result between Spain and Israel (Israel winning 85-77) we knew that this game was our opportunity to advance to the elimination round and I think we played very well for it,” Serbia & Montenegro head coach Zeljko Obradovic said after the game. “We had to overcome a good team of Latvia who play the same way all the time, but in the end it didn’t work for them and they couldn’t hit their shots from outside. Milan Gurovic believes Serbia & Montenegro will not have the chance to let up for just one minute in the elimination game. “For the first time in the tournament, I think we were able to play well for a full 40 minutes. That’s the kind of effort it will take to overcome France on Tuesday. Tonight the hosts were led by their backcourt duo of Rakocevic – who had 19 points – and Marco Jaric who added 12 points and seven assists.

   Day 2 - Spain, Russia and Lithuania in a perfect shape - Sep 18, 2005
Group A (Vrsac):

Russia - Italy
87-61 (Kirilenko 16, Khryapa 15, Holden 15, Morgunov 12, Pashutin 11 - Galanda 13, Pozzecco 12, Gigli 8, Mancinelli 7, Calabria 6)
Russia showed all doubters that they are real contenders for the 2005 EuroBasket title by steamrolling over Italy 87-61 on  Saturday with a balanced attack of five players in double figures. Captain Andrei Kirilenko again showed off his versitality, scoring 16 points  and adding 10 rebounds, one block and a steal in just 25 minutes of play. J.R. Holden and Victor Khryapa each scored 15 points while Holden had four  assists and two steals and Khryapa collected 10 rebounds, three assists and  five steals. Zakhar Pashutin chipped in 11 points and three assists off the bench; and Nikita Morgunov scored 12. The Utah Jazz star said Russia are definitely among the favourites to win  the title and said the first half showed what they can do: "It was kind of perfect. We allowed Italy to come back a little in the  second half. But the first half was perfect. That's the way we should play." Italian captain Giacomo Galanda led the Italians with 13 points and Gianmarco Pozzecco scored 12. Stefano Mancinelli added seven points, six rebounds and three assists. But Gianluca Basile, who scored 25 points against Germany, was held without a point and Dante Calabria had just six. "Italy looked a little tired after their tough game against Germany - coming back and over time. And that takes a lot of energy," Kirilenko said.
Germany - Ukraine 84-58 (Nowitzki 27, Femerling 10, Greene 7, Pesic 7, Schultze 5 - Medvedenko 15, Lischuk 13, Pecherov 10, Rayevskiy 9, Butskiy 4)
Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) scored 27 points and grabbed five rebounds as Germany overwhelmed Ukraine 84-58 on Saturday in Vrsac to keep alive their chances of winning Group A at the 2005 EuroBasket. The Germans bounced back well from their overtime loss to Italy and took charge of the game in the first quarter and never let the game slip out of their hands at the Millenium Center. "The way the team bounced back from that loss and played today, the guys really deserve a great amount of respect," German coach Dirk Bauermann said. What helped was knowing that Russia easily beat Italy earlier in the evening, giving the Germans better chances of finishing first or second in the group. "We were especially motivated because we knew where we stood," Marco Pesic said. Nowitzki and Co. face Russia on Sunday with a chance of heading Group A with a 15-point victory. While Ukraine - with two losses - take on Italy knowing not even a victory over the 2003 European bronze medallists and 2004 Olympic silver winners Italy will secure them a spot in Tuesday's elimination match. The Germans came into the tournament knowing they couldn't win only with Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78). Patrick Femerling again stepped up with 10 points and six rebounds. Every German player scored, and the team shot 54 per cent from the field. Ukraine was paced by Los Angeles Lakers forward Stanislav Medvedenko's 15 points while Serhiy Lischchuk scored 13 and Oleksiy Pecherov 10.

Group B (Podgorica):

Lithuania - Croatia
85-67 (Siskauskas 18, Jankunas 16, Jasaitis 12, D.Lavrinovic 11, Javtokas 8 - Giricek 19, Planinic 14, Popovic 12, Kasun 10, Vujcic 4)
Lithuania proved they could also win coming from behind, defeating Croatia 85-67 in Group B Preliminary Round play in Podgorica.  One night after dominating Turkey from the opening tap, Lithuania trailed for almost the entire first half. Lithuania responded with a dominant fourth quarter, proving their new team can play under poise when trailing. In the final quarter, the Lithuanians outscored Croatia 28-15. “For the second consecutive night, we proved that we could play with energy,” Lithuanian head coach Antanas Sireika said. Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) led Lithuania in scoring for the second consecutive night, finishing with 18 points. His three-pointer with 6:17 remaining in the fourth quarter increased Lithuania´s lead to eight and from there, Lithuania would never look back. Paulius Jankunas (205-F-84, agency: Interperformances) added 16 for Lithuania, while Simas Jasaitis (201-F/G-82) and Darjus Lavrinovic (212-C-79) tallied 12 and 11 respectively.
Turkey - Bulgaria 94-89 (Turkcan 19, Turkoglu 17, Erdogan 16, Okur 13, Kutluay 9 - Videnov 23, Stoykov 21, Mladenov 15, Dimitrov 10, Georgiev 6)
Hidayet Turkoglu´s three pointer with 33 seconds remaining helped Turkey to a dramatic 94-89 come-from-behind overtime victory over Bulgaria in Group B of the Preliminary Round held in Podgorica. Tied at 89, Turkoglu lined up a drilled a straight-on three-pointer from well beyond the line, giving Turkey a three-point lead. “You must have confidence when playing this game,” Turkoglu said. “I have this confidence and I knew the shot was going in when I took it.” The win sets up a decisive game between Turkey and Croatia tomorrow for the rights to the second seed in Group B. Trailing 69-57 with just over nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Turkey went on a 22-10 to tie the game at 79 and send it into end regulation. Ibrahim Kutluay hit three huge three-point field goals during that span. Mehmet Okur, after a dismal seven-point performance on Friday evening, had an unspectacular 13 points and six rebounds. He did not start the third quarter and in his absence, Turkey opened the second half on a 5-0 run. But Bulgaria answered and countered with their own 20-11 run to close the third quarter with a 10-point lead. Bulgaria lost for the second consecutive time after leading throughout the game. They will take on Lithuania tomorrow in hopes of securing their first EuroBasket win since 1989. “No question, this was the most disappointing loss in my career,” said Mladenov. Mirsad led Turkey with 19 points, while Turkoglu finished with 17. Filip Videnov scored a game-high 23 and Stoykov chipped in with 21 for Bulgaria.

Group C (Beograd):

France - Bosnia & Herzeg.
79-62 (Diaw 23, M.Pietrus 22, Julian 11, F.Pietrus 8, Gelabale 8 - Mrsic 24, Domercant 13, Hukic 8, Teletovic 8, Bajramovic 4)
It took France 66 minutes to arrive at EuroBasket 2005 but when they did, there was no stopping them as they sailed past Bosnia-Herzegovina in the second half for a 79-62 win. Needing to make amends for their woeful appearance against Greece on Friday, the French hangover carried over into the first half against a Bosnia-Herzegovina side which had also threatened to upset Slovenia before losing that contest. The Balkan team was on top of their game against France until the mid-point of the third quarter. That is when they caved in under enormous defensive pressure from France and went on to suffer their 11th straight defeat in the EuroBasket competitions. French coach Claude Bergeaud said: "It was a tough game. I don't know why it started so bad, but after half-time we recovered our intensity on defence. "Bosnia can be a dangerous team, and they showed that during some parts of the game. Now we wait for the game tomorrow. I think we can improve every game and I hope we will improve." Bosnia-Herzegovina will try to break the streak on Sunday against Group C juggernauts Greece while France take on Slovenia. Not surprisingly, two of France's NBA stars led the way to victory. What was surprising, however, is that one of those Frenchman was not Tony Parker. Instead, Boris Diaw poured in 23 points, dished out seven assists and grabbed seven rebounds while Mickael Pietrus had 22 points and seven boards. "We came back from the half-time break more aggressive and played better on both ends," said Diaw. "That's why we won the game. Cyril Julian continued his good form with 11 points and six rebounds for France. Mrsic had eight rebounds but 0 assists to go along with his game-high 24 points, while Henry Domercant contributed 13 points one six of 16 shooting from the field.
Slovenia - Greece 68-56 (Becirovic 18, Nachbar 14, Milic 11, Lakovic 7, Nesterovic 6 - Papadopoulos 15, Zisis 9, Kakiouzis 8, Diamantidis 7, Spanoulis 6)
Slovenia played like gold medal contenders in a 68-56 victory over Greece which has given them an excellent chance of winning Group C at EuroBasket 2005 and qualifying for the quarter-finals. Ales Pipan's team dominated for most of the contest, impressing with their beautiful and effective basketball at a level that Greece did not match on the night in Belgrade. Slovenia face France on Sunday in a game that should decide which of the two teams finish first, although Greece hold a small chance to finish on top as well, depending on France's margin of victory should they prevail. The Slovenian defence gave Greece all sorts of problems and allowed them to build a lead of 19 points but Panagiotis Yannakis' team fought their way back and closed to within seven points in the last quarter. They were unable to draw any closer. "I would like to congratulate my players," Pipan said. "They showed a great game, especially on defence. "They showed what they were made of. We knew all there is to know about the Greek team, both their good and bad sides. "We managed to stop their players, especially their shooters and didn't allow them to give their best." Greece will look to finish the group stage on a high when they meet Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday when victory is necessary to assure themselves a place in the next round. Sani Becirovic, whose career was once in jeopardy with a knee injury, showed he is well and truly back to top form for Slovenia in this game by scoring a team-high 18 points. Nachbar added 14 and Marko Milic 11. Greece, once again, had only one player in double digits. This time it was Papadopoulos who had 15 points. Greek guard Dimitrios Diamantidis said: "We knew this was going to be a very difficult game: "Slovenia have a lot of good players outside and inside. We were very nervous, and we couldn't recover from that during the game. We try to forget about the game when it's over and it doesn't matter if we win or lose. We look to the next game, because in such tournaments you have to play well all the time, even after games like this."

Group D (Novi Sad)

Spain - Latvia 114-109
(Navarro 35, Garbajosa 31, Reyes 18, Calderon 15, Vidal 7 - S.Valters 28, Janicenoks 25, Stelmahers 12, K.Valters 10, Timermanis 9)
If anyone still doubted whether the Spanish national team could play well without Pau Gasol, they got the answer from Juan Carlos Navarro and Jorge Garbajosa tonight in a 114-109 overtime win over Latvia. Navarro scored 32 points and Garbajosa added 31, both of them spending considerable amount of time at the free-throw line as Spain made 51 of 63 foul shots. The Spaniards opened the game much the same way as they did against Serbia & Montenegro, by taking an early lead and looking likely to make it a blowout. Latvia got into early foul trouble and struggled to make shots as they fell behind by as many as 14 points by the end of the first quarter. “I am satisfied with the way the players played tonight. We fought hard to stay in the game and make it close until the end. But it’s one thing to keep it close and a completely different one to close it out. We couldn’t close it out,” said Latvia’s head coach Karlis Muiznieks. “I can say that it was an entertaining game to watch, but it’s disappointing too because we had several chances to win and in the end luck was on Spain’s side. They did well to win and certainly got a lot of free-throw practice!” Spain did not expect the game to be this close and were glad to win in the end. “Latvia shot very well from outside and we found it hard to defend them a lot of the time. I think maybe we relaxed a bit too much after the first quarter and gave them a chance to get back in the game,” said Spain’s coach Mario Pesquero. Navarro shot 22 of 24 from the free-throw line and Garbajosa was perfect going 14 of 14. Sandis Valters led the way for Latvia with 28 points and Janicenoks added 25. Felipe Reyes had a strong all around game for Spain with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Calderon chipped in with 15 points.
Serbia & Montenegro - Israel 93-77 (Jaric 19, Rakocevic 15, Krstic 13, Milicic 11, Milojevic 9 - Burstein 20, Green 11, Tapiro 10, Watson 9, Nissim 9)
Serbia & Montenegro started playing the kind of basketball their fans expected of them – and it paid dividends in the form of a 93-77 win over Israel. Igor Rakocevic started alongside Marko Jaric in the backcourt in place of Dejan Bodiroga to quicken the backcourt and it seemed to work right away for all players concerned. Jaric bounced back from a scoreless performance on Friday night against Spain to lead the way with 18 points. The host nation looked more organised and less static against Israel, even though the visitors weren’t out of the game until a 20-0 run in the fourth quarter, capped by a Darko Milicic jumper, put them away for good. It prompted a standing ovation from the Novi Sad crowd which lasted until the end of the game. “I think tonight we were able to play as well as our fans can expect us to and it was great to see that they supported us both when we were having trouble and when we found ourselves in a good rhythm. That is the way it should always be,” said Serbia & Montenegro head coach Zeljko Obradovic after the game. Jaric was relieved that he and his team-mates were able to show what they were really capable of: “We were much more focused than in our first game against Spain and when we play like that, we’re definitely a much better team and one that can win this tournament,” he said after the game." Rakocevic finished with 15 points and six assists while Krstic had a double double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Milicic was efficient in limited minutes, scoring 11 points, grabbing seven rebounds and three blocked shots, as all the players who took to the court for the hosts got on the scoring sheet. Captain Tal Burstein led the way for Israel with 20 points and Yaniv Green added 11 points and 10 rebounds while Tapiro chipped in with 10.

   Day 1 Results - big upset of host team - Sep 17, 2005
Eurobasket 2005 started from a big upset of the local Serbia and Montenegro team, which was badly defeated by Spain 89-70. Croatia had big problems against Bulgaria. Italy edged Germany and Israel (qualified to the tournament in the last minute) outscored Latvia 74-65.

Group A (Vrsac):

Italy - Germany
84-82 (Basile 25, Galanda 12, Soragna 11, Bulleri 9, Marconato 6 - Nowitzki 27, Femerling 18, Roller 14, Greene 6, Schultze 6)
Italy came back for a 10-point fourth quarter deficit before beating Germany 84-82 in overtime on Friday in Vrsac to take the early lead in Group A of the 2005 EuroBasket. Giacomo Galanda (211-F/C-75) hit two three-pointers in the extra session as Italy stretched their unbeaten winning streak against Germany in EuroBasket competitions to 11 games. Gianluca Basile (193-G-75) scored 12 of his 25 points as Italy went on a 15-4 fourth-quarfter run to turn a 64-54 deficit into a 69-68 lead.
Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) missed a desperation three at the final buzzer and finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots. But the Dallas Mavericks star shot just 4-14 from behind the three-point stripe. German center Patrick Femerling (213-C-75) chipped in with 18 points and Pascal Roller (180-G-76) had 14, including a three-pointer to tie the game at the end of regulation.
"It was a tough loss. When you have a chance to beat Italy and a nice little lead in the fourth, it's tough. They battled hard," German coach Dirk Bauermann said.
Russia - Ukraine 86-74 (Kirilenko 22, Holden 16, Morgunov 14, Khryapa 13, Monya 8 - Lischuk 18, Medvedenko 14, Lebedev 13, Kobzisty 11, Gurtovoy 8)
Andrei Kirilenko (205-F-81) and his Russian teammates  shook off a poor shooting night to beat Ukraine 86-74 on Friday to head Group A at the 2005 EuroBasket.
The Russians made just 5 of their first 23 shots and finished the game shooting only 41 per cent. But the versatile Utah Jazz star Kirilenko led the way with 22 points 14  rebounds, five blocked shots, three steals and two assists - though he too hit just 7/20 from the field and 6/11 free throws. Robert 'J.R.' Holden (184-G-76) chipped in 16 points and Nikita Morgunov added 14 points off the bench for Sergey Babkov's team at the Millenium Centar.
"This was the first game. I think we were really nervous and you saw that," Kirilenko said.
Sergei Monya (204-F-83), who scored eight points off the bench, reiterated Kirilenko's view: "We didn't show our full power. But it was important that we won."
Sergei Lishouk (210-C/F-82) led Ukraine with 18 points. But most of his production came after Los Angeles Lakers forward Stanislav Medvedenko (208-C/F-79) had fouled out midway through the third quarter with 14 points in 21 minutes. Andrei Lebedev (189-G-79) tallied 13.

Group B (Podgorica):

Croatia - Bulgaria
88-84 (Giricek 22, Mamic 20, Planinic 16, Vujcic 10, Kasun 9 - Stoykov 27, Angelov 12, Videnov 11, Dimitrov 9, Banev 8)
Behind the clutch shooting of Matej Mamic (204-F-75) and strong second half defense, Croatia held of a gutsy effort from Bulgaria to win 88-84 in the first game of the Group B Preliminary Round in Podgorica. A close game throughout, Matej Mamic's three-pointers with 3:48 and 1:35 secured Croatia´s hard fought victory and off-set a 27-point performance from Bulgaria's Todor Stojkov (198-G/F-77). Croatia's second half defense on Stoykov was a key to Croatia's victory as the Bulgarian team captain was held to six points.
"He was tired," Croatian head coach Neven Spahija said of his team´s second half defensive effort against Stoykov. “It's impossible to play the way he did in the first half for an entire game.  But we did better switching and putting pressure on him so he couldn't have as much space to shoot.”
"In the second half, Croatia´s defense stepped up and put more pressure on me,” Stoykov said.
“I also was in foul trouble and couldn't be as aggressive.”
Gordan Giricek (197-G-77) led Croatia with 22 points, while Matej Mamic finished with 20 and Planinic 16.
Lithuania - Turkey 87-75 (Siskauskas 20, K.Lavrinovic 14, D.Lavrinovic 14, Javtokas 8, Gustas 8 - Turkoglu 14, Turkcan 13, Kuqo 10, Kutluay 9, Arslan 8)
With just four players remaining from their 2003 EuroBasket championship team, Lithuania took a first step towards defending their title with an impressive 87-75 victory over Turkey in the teams´ opening preliminary round game in Podgorica. Behind a 24-13 second quarter run and the offensive performance of Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78), Lithuania jumped out to a 46-28 first half lead. With questions swirling about Lithuania due to the absence of the core group from the 2004 Olympic silver medal and 2003 EuroBasket championship teams, the Lithuanians provided answers, shooting a blistering 61% for the game.
“Before this first game I was nervous because we did not have so many players that we had in the past,” confessed Lithuanian head coach Antanas Sireika . “But these guys responded and played well.”
“Lithuania played wonderfully,” said Turkey's head coach Bogdan Tanjevic . “They proved that they have one of the best basketball schools in the world.”
Defensively, Lithuania were dominant, holding Turkey star Mehmet Okur (210-C/F-79) to seven points. Okur, who averaged 18.8 points per game in the 2003 EuroBasket, was scoreless in the first half and didn't tally his first points until the end of the third quarter.
“Psychologically, this game was very important for this group of players,” said Lithuania´s Robertas Javtokas, who grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Siskauskas scored 16 of his game-high 20 points in the first half. Lithuania will look to continue their winning ways against Croatia on Saturday, while Turkey will try to rebound from their loss by taking on Bulgaria.

Group C (Beograd):

Slovenia - Bosnia and Hertzegovina
74-65 (Nachbar 16, Brezec 16, Lorbek 14, Lakovic 12, Becirovic 5 - Ovcina 11, Domercant 11, Hukic 10, Mrsic 9, Kovacevic 9)
Fans in Belgrade at EuroBasket 2005 could hardly have asked for a better opening game in Group C as Slovenia trailed late in the third quarter but held their nerve to beat Bosnia- Herzegovina. In front of a packed Pionir arena, Slovenia won 74-65 to deny their opponents a first EuroBasket triumph since 1997. The clash between the neighbouring countries, with the vast majority of supporters in the arena coming from Slovenia, was fought for almost 40 minutes. Bosnia-Herzegovina led by as many as six points near the midway point of the third quarter but were unable to stretch their advantage. Bostjan Nachbar (207-G/F-80) and Primoz Brezec (216-F/C-79) each had 16 points to lead Slovenia, with the latter also hauling down nine rebounds. Elvir Ovcina (209-C/F-76) and Henry Domercant  (191-G-80) led Bosnia with 11 points apiece, with Ovcina also grabbing eight boards.  Slovenia made five of 16 (31%) from three-point range while Bosnia-Herzegovina were a less efficient four of 16 (25%). Ales Pipan , the Slovenia coach, appreciate his team's efforts on the glass, with the winners out-rebounding Bosnia-Herzegovina 41-32 in the game. "One of the main reasons for our win was the control of the boards," he said. Autumn has arrived, but the atmosphere in the arena was hot with towels playing a key role. The referees stopped the game more than once to dry off the ball.
Greece - France 64-50 (Diamantidis 13, Chatzivrettas 9, Papadopoulos 9, Kakiouzis 7, Zisis 7 - Parker 10, Gelabale 7, Rigaudeau 7, Julian 6, Diaw 6)
Greece hammered France 64-50 in Belgrade to join Slovenia at the top of EuroBasket Group C after the opening day's play. Just as they showed in friendly games before the tournament in a string of victories, Greece's defence suffocated Les Bleus and was most responsible for the comprehensive triumph. Greek coach Panagiotis Giannakis , who led his side to the quarter-final round of the Olympics last season, had prepared for the toughest of games. Instead, he found feeble opposition. "We expected a very strong game so we prepared the team to play a very tough game," a stunned Yannakis said. "France is one of the most talented teams in Europe. Some of their players play in the NBA and some in top teams in Europe" If French coach Claude Bergeaud did not have his team ready to play, Yannakis did. "We tried to control two things: the transition game and the rebounding of the French team," Yannakis said. "Most of the game we did that well, so we had a very good win that will help us to qualify to the next round."
Group D (Novi Sad):

Israel - Latvia
74-65 (Hajaj 18, Shelef 15, Mizrahi 12, Green 11, Tapiro 9 - Stelmahers 19, Janicenoks 13, Valters 11, Skele 8, Skirmants 6)
Israel may have been the last team to qualify for the EuroBasket tournament, but a 74-65 defeat of crowd-favourite Latvia in Group D's opening game showed they aren't here just to make up the numbers. Dror Hajaj (178-G-78) hit some all the shots when they mattered, and finished the night leading a balanced Israeli offense with 18 points. Shelef added 15, Mizrahi finished with 12 and Yaniv Green (206-F-80) chipped in with 11. For Latvia, Roberts Stelmahers (192-G-74) lead the way with 19 points, while Kristaps Janicenoks (196-F-83) added 13, most of which came in the second half to keep his side in with a fighting chance. Kristaps Valters (188-G-81) finished with 11.
Spain - Serbia & Montenegro 89-70 (Navarro 27, Calderon 17, De Miguel 14, Reyes 9, Fernandez 9 - Rakocevic 20, Gurovic 12, Bodiroga 9, Radmanovic 7, Scepanovic 6, Rebraca 6)
The much anticipated game between Serbia & Montenegro and Spain failed to live up to the expectations - because of the visitors' near perfect game in an 89-70 rout at Novi Sad. Behind Juan Carlos Navarro (193-G-80) 's 27 points, Spain took the lead from the start and never rescinded it, leaving little choice to the Serb & Montenegrin fans but to boo their own heroes and cheer when they missed shots in the closing minutes of the blowout. "The fans' reaction was understandable because we lost at home," said Serbia Montenegro's coach Zelimir Obradovic . "Some people will try and make excuses by saying that we lost because of the pressure of playing in front of our own fans.. "But Spain beat us and that is all there is to say. They won by 19 points, the biggest lead of the game and there is no excuse to be made for our performance.  "I am disappointed that the fans booed us because when we are down, when we are losing, that is when we need them the most. We appreciate their support when we are winning, but it is more important to know that they are on our side when we are having trouble in a game. And tonight they did not do that." "Let the fans come tomorrow, we'll see what they do then. We know we have fans who support us and some who don't. I'm telling the ones who are against us to show themselves tomorrow."

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