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Igor Obradovic

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European Championships 2007 Div.A logo
European Championships 2007 Div.B logo
Check also WOMEN Eurobasket 2007

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Eurobasket 2007 Final Standings
1. Russia
2. Spain
3. Lithuania
4. Greece
5. Germany
6. Croatia
7. Slovenia
8. France
9.  Italy
10.  Portugal
11.  Israel
11.  Turkey
13. Czech R.
13. Latvia
13. Poland
13. Serbia

Eurobasket 2007 Stats Leaders

Points Per Game
1 Nowitzki, GER 24.0
2 Parker, FRA 20.1
3 Türkoglu, TUR 19.2
4 P.Gasol, ESP 18.8
5 Kirilenko, RUS 18.0
Rebounds Per Game
1 Green, ISR 9.3
2 Nowitzki, GER 8.7
3 Kirilenko, RUS 8.6
4 Khryapa, RUS 7.8
5 Okur, TUR 7.7
Assists Per Game
1 Jasikevicius, LTU 5.6
2 Tapiro, ISR 5.0
3 Lakovic, SLO 4.3
4 Bulleri, ITA 4.0
5 Khryapa, RUS 3.2

Qualifying Round Standings
Group E
1. Russia 4-1
2. Spain 4-1
3. Greece 3-2
4. Croatia 2-3
5. Portugal 1-4
6. Israel 1-4
Group F
1. Lithuan. 5-0
2. Slovenia 4-1
3. France 3-2
4. Germany 2-3
5. Italy 1-4
6. Turkey 0-5
Preliminary Round Standings
Group A
1. Russia 3-0
2. Greece 2-1
3. Israel 1-2
4. Serbia 0-3
Group B
1. Croatia 2-1
2. Spain 2-1
3. Portugal 1-2
4. Latvia 1-2
Group C
1. Lithuan. 3-0
2. Germany 2-1
3. Turkey 1-2
4. Czech R. 0-3
Group D
1. Slovenia 3-0
2. France 2-1
3. Italy 1-2
4. Poland 0-3

Russia the 2007 European Championships winner (Photo: Fiba)

Russia won European Championships 2007 (Photo: Fiba) All-European Championships 2007 Awards

1st Team





Parker All-European Championships MVP:
Andrei Kirilenko (205-F-81) of Russia All-European Championships 1st Team
Andrei Kirilenko of Russia
Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) of Spain
J.R. Holden (185-G-76) of Russia
Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) of Germany
Tony Parker (183-G-80) of France All-European Championships 2nd Team
Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) of Lithuania
Viktor Khryapa (204-F/G-82) of Russia
Jose Manuel Calderon (190-G-81) of Spain
Hidayet Turkoglu (206-F-79) of Turkey
Vasilis Spanoulis (193-G-82) of Greece All-European Championships 3rd Team
Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) of Spain
Darius Songaila (205-C/F-78) of Lithuania
Yaniv Green (206-F-80) of Israel
Sarunas Jasikevicius (192-G-76) of Lithuania
Marko Popovic (185-G-82) of Croatia

   Slovenia Grab Last Olympic Qualiyfing Spot, Rasho ranks as EC's top blocker - Sep. 17, 2007
Slovenia drained seven three-pointers during a 24-6 run to start the fourth quarter in knocking off France 88-74 to clinch seventh place at the 2007 EuroBasket as well as a berth in next summer's pre-Olympic tournament and Radoslav Nesterovic (212-C-76) is the Championship leading blocker, rejecting 1,9 balls per game. Jaka Lakovic hit three long bombs in the big stretch on his way to 26 points, six rebounds and seven assists and Radoslav Nesterovic collected 19 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.
SLOVENIA 88 (18+18+15+37): Cebular DNP, Lakovic 26, Dragic, Nesterovic 19, Smodis 13, Slokar 13, Klobucar 2, Jagodnik 5, D.Lorbek 8, Vidmar DNP, E.Lorbek.
FRANCE 74 (17+23+17+17): Gomis 10, Badiane DNP, Giffa 2, Sangare, Diawara 7, Parker 31, Fercheaud 5, Pietrus 4, Kirksay 2, Diaw, Turiaf 13, Weis.

   Russia is European Championship 2007 !!!! - Sep. 16, 2007
Russia edged in the final of Eurobasket 2007 host Spain 60-59. The hero of the game was definitely J.R. Holden, who's 2-pointer jump just 2.1 second before the end of the game save the game for Russians. It was their first European championship title in the history (as Russia, since Soviet Union team won previously 14 gold medals at Eurobasket). Pau Gasol still could switch the victory towards host team, but his buzzer shot went in ...and out. That way Spain got their 6th silver medal at Eurobasket.
The MVP of the tournament went to Russian Andrei Kirilenko (205-F-81), who was the leader of his team thru all competition games including the final one, where he got 17 points and 5 rebounds.

Russia - Spain 60-59 (11-22, 20-12, 15-15, 14-10)
Russia: Kirilenko 17+5reb, Savrasenko 10, Holden 8, Ponkrashov 8, Khryapa 7+12reb, Morgunov 4, Pashutin 3, Monya 3Samoylenko 0, Padius 0, DNP: Shabalkin, Bykov; Coach: David Blatt
Spain: Calderon 15, P.Gasol 14+14reb, Garbajosa 8+6reb, Reyes 5+8reb, Jimenez 5+5reb, Fernandez 5, M.Gasol 5, Cabezas 2, Navarro 0, Mumbru 0, S.Rodriguez 0, B.Rodriguez 0; Coach: Pepu Hernandez

Coach David Blatt : "Khryapa was the secret of our success. Thank you first of all to my two great stars - Kirilenko and Khryapa. Both of them they are wonderful people as well as they are great players. We wanted to stay in the game the whole time. In the scouting we spoke about that first - stay close and make them feel the pressure. They felt the heat and we took advantage of it."
"This is an ultimate moment in the history fo the Russian nation. It's the first championship of the new Russia. I'm very proud to be the person in charge of this historical journey. I feel very lucky to be part of history both in Russia and FIBA Europe basketball."
"We did not want to double team Gasol a lot. We did doubling late after two dribbles just not to allow him to go close to the basket, but we did a great job against Calderon, and he didn't play as good as he did in the last game against us. We played a lot of match up zone and didn't allow Gasol to get the ball close to the rim. We wanted to put him on the line and it worked. Holden stopped in the last three days - Tony Parker, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Jose Calderon and people should acknowledge that."
Coach Pepu Hernandez : "This team is a very important team. This group of team doesn't only play good basketball but they also set an example. For me they are without doubt the best team in the history of Spain."
"Of course nobody will settle for a silver medal, but that's not going to console the team. The coaching staff did a great job. We continue to believe we can compete with anyone. Perhaps a few days from now we can see things differently, and see we have a great future ahead of us."
"The team has to follow a certain direction, and we have established that. I don't think we deserve to take steps back. We still want to improve, even day to day, no matter if a player is old or young. There were critical moments and all the time I tried to keep the team with their feet on the ground, and be prepared for the competition. Of course I'm gong to think about all the mistakes, and having mistakes is natural."
Post game quotes are courtesy of FIBA

   French NT : a sad day for French Basketball... - Sep. 16, 2007
...and maybe sadder ones to come.
The 2007 Eurobasket is over, ended by a huge disappointment for the French NT; which finished at the 8th place, the only place of top 8 giving nothing, except regrets.
After a correct first round (successes over Poland and Italia), Tony Parker & co arrived in Madrid with a supposed top -motivation to show the european world of basketball their skills and potential. It started pretty good, with this success over Germany for the first Madrid game. But then, Lithuania was too strong. On the basketball side? Yes maybe a little bit,since Lithuania finished third. But where France suffered the comparison with others was the mental aspect. This team showed his incapacity to keep a leading gap and drive the game their way instead of having to deal with the opponent one. After this official friendly game vs Turkey (not very convincing, but won 85-64), all hopes were put on the quarter final game vs Russia. There again, no mental skills, and a lot of missed free-throws during last quarter to give (not let, give) the game to a team of Russia that could have been dominated by the French NT.
Was the tournament completely a fiasco? Not at that time. The French players, supposed to be motivated by the Olympic quest, were expected to give their best in the 2 last games vs Croatia and Slovenia. The only thing asked to that team was a last effort, a single win meaning a ticket for the Olympic qualifying tournament. But none of that happened, France got crushed by Croatia 86-69, and her so-called strong defense couldn't prevent the Slovenian players from scoring 37 points in the last quarter to win the game and the last place for the olympics qualifying.
Seeing the Lithuanian's happiness after the 3rd-place game won vs Greece, the conclusion is that we rarely noticed with the French players this motivation, this attachment to their home land and jersey other nations keep having since the young NT game series. France will not be in Beijing for the 2008 Olympic games and could miss the 2009 Eurobasket, if the 2009 qualifying campaign is not a success.
A(nother) bad time is starting for basketball in France, a country dominated in the media by soccer, rugby. There is the third place left for any sports with good international results, which basketball cannot bring so far. Now, the 2007/2008 season is about to start. Even if all basketball fans are behind Roanne and Le Mans for the beginning Euroleague campain, we all know that doing our best won't be enough.

   Lithuania defeats Greece and takes Bronze - Sep. 16, 2007
Greece-Lithuania 69:78(19-20, 15-21, 20-21, 15-16)
Lithuania finishes Eurobasket on the third place. Congratulations, the Baltic team will bring bronze medals home. In the game against the defending Champions Lithuania overcame 78:69. Ksystof Lavrinovic (210-C-79) led the way with 19 points. Linas Kleiza (203-F-85, agency: Interperformances, college: Missouri) and Ramunas Siskauskas (197-G-78) added 13 points respectively. Nikos Zisis (195-G-83) had a great game in the losing effort nailing 23 points.
Of course it is a great success to finish in the first three of the tournament, however probably not for the Baltic state. Spain or Russia that will stay on podium will have also 1 loss. Moreover the second team of the tournament for sure will finish with 2 losses and Lithuania has only one. Well, that's the game and you need to win the most important games.
Even though the difference is 9 points, Lithuania won all the quarters. The most productive was the second when the team benefited with 21:15 victory. With 17 seconds to go Jasikevicius nailed a three to be sure in a win. Lithuania deserves the third place and wins 78:69. Greece, being the ex-champion finished this time on the fourth place.
Greece: Nikos Zisis 23, Ntikoudis 10
Lithuania: Ksystof Lavrinovic 19, Linas Kleiza 13, Ramunas Siskauskas 13

   Germany with a power Nowitzki finish in 5th place - Sep. 16, 2007
The battle for the 5th place had a better start for Croatia thru their fast game against Germany more sleepy in wich might be the last game for Okulaja in German national team jersey (9-2 8:00m) ,wich in the best they could do in the first quarter was two ties in the period that ended with 2 points for Popovic with Croatia lead 25-16.
The second quarter started like the previous quarter ,Croatia draining 3 point shots thru Popovic, distancing themselfs ( 31-20 -7:40m),Germany cuted the lead but right after 2 minuts of good basket by Germany they fall off again ,this time Banic showed what he can do and what Germany can´t do against them ,Nowitzki as always was the only good player in Germany battling against Croatia team work game ,he got 8 straight points to reduce 42-34 with 1:16m,Mario Kasun quickly got 4 fouls in the game,being sidelined ,final result at the half a Croatia lead 44-36 a lead that didn´t showed exactly the difference virified between teams in the first half ,but Nowitzki with 18 points was the reason they wasnt losing for more points.
The first 5 minuts of 3rd quarter both teams was playing at a diference of 7 points between them but with a 3 point shot Jagla got Germany at just 1 point diference 57-56(2:10m) and Demirel in the free-throw line gave Germany a lead at the end of the quarter 58-57 .
Okulaja started the last period with a jump shot giving Germany their biggest lead they had in the game till that moment(9:06m with 62-57)but it wans´t enaught for them showing again that Croatia have many problems fnishing the games but not starting them (72-63 with 5:18m Germany lead),till the end of the game Germany just controled the game with the final result of 80-71.
Germany finished in 5th place and Croatia in 6th,outstanding players of the game:
Germany-Dirk Nowitzki 31 points,12 rebounds,4 assists ; Jagla 11 points ,4 rebounds and Greene 10 points.
Croatia-Banic 16 points,Popovic 14 points and Davor Kus with 10.

   Slovenia secures place in pre olimpics tournament with win over France - Sep. 16, 2007
The game for decide wich team will be in Pre-Olimpics tournament( the 7th place) had a better start for Slovenia making a partial of 10-2,France just scored again with 5.15m by a jump shot by Turiaf reducing Slovenia lead but after some missed shots by Slovenia and a technical foul for their coach ,in wich shows this game was a decive game for both team and a nervaus game with many players fouled out ,Tony Parker in the first quarter showed why he one of the best players in the world scoring the first 11 points of France 18 points.
Before the game of the first quarter France arrived i the lead (18-17).
In the second quarter Slovenis had a better start making a 24-29 lead but France didnt let them get away in the game,with the game at the end of the second quarter having a result of a France lead 40-36 in a very disputed game .
In the second half
Third quarter Tony Parker with his penetrations and 3 point shots,keeped France in the lead 57-51.
Yaka Lakovic in the last quarter with a 3point shot made the tie and Slokar with 6 points made Slovenia in the lead - a partial of 11-0 cutted by a layup by Tony Parker again and always but Slovia started to scoring lots of 3 point shots( in total they had 10-25 from 3 point line) that ´´shaked´´ France players heads with offensive errors and turnouvers (75-62 with 3:10m remaining), and their biggest lead of the game 86-69 in the last seconds of game( the lead got bigger because some technical and many fouls by France players),final result 88-74.
The best players was:
Tony Parker with 31points and 4 asists,Turiaf scored 13 poiints, grabed 8 rebounds,for Slovenia Lakovic had 26 points ,6 rebounds ,7 assists in a all around game for him,Nesterovic with 19 points.
Slovenia is in pre olimpics tournament and finishes in 7th place, this was a really bad tournament for France that ends in 8th place.

   Spain beat Greece again and reaches the Final - Sep. 15, 2007
Spain-Greece 82:77 (24-18, 17-21, 18-21, 23-17)
Spain reached the Final of Eurobasket 2007 and upset the defending Champions in Serbia. The hosts of the tournament overcame the ambitious Greece and now can watch another semifinal game, Lithuania-Russia. Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) and Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) led the winners with 23 points. Jose Manuel Calderon (190-G-81) supported them with 18, nailing some important three pointers. Vasilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) was the best for the Greek squad having 24 points.
Spain started the game fresher and were supported by the spectators. That gave the team to finish the first quarter at 24:18. Meanwhile Greece won the second and trailed by 39:41 at the half. Moreover Greece left the third quarter being in front by 1.
In the end of the game after Greece had 67:65 Jose Manuel Calderon nailed a three to give Spain lead back. Juan Carlos Navarro with a lay-up brought 70:67. For a minute the teams played a tough defense and did not allow the score to change. Greece thought only of a three pointers in order to tie the game. With 1.44 remaining Jose Manuel Calderon made 74:68 and it was a great relief for the hosts. Vasilis Spanoulis reduced to 74:70 scoring his 23rd points in the game. After 76:70, Panagotis Vasilopoulos (202-F-84, agency: FCM) nailed a three to trail by 3. Jimenez made 2 free throws with 24 seconds remaining to give Spain 78:73. The game is probably over, but not for the Greek team. Zisis with a three made 78:76 and the teams had to play 18 more seconds, however at first Greece fouled and then lost the ball.
Spain led the game to the happy end and reached the FINAL.
Spain: Pau Gasol 23, Juan Carlos Navarro 23, Jose Manuel Calderon 18
Greece: Vasilis Spanoulis 24, Panagotis Vasilopoulos 10, Ntikoudis 8

   Slovenia ... Black Out No 2 - Sep. 15, 2007 
Germany made a 18-5 run in last five minutes as defeated Slovenia 69-65 in the 5th-8th classification round of EuroBasket 2007. Slovenia will play against France on Sunday for seventh place and last Olympic Qualifying Spot. Jaka Lakovic collected 17 points and 6 assists, Matjaz Smodis scored 16 points and Radoslav Nesterovic had 13 points and 9 rebounds.
SLOVENIA 65 (16+15+23+11): Cebular DNP, Lakovic 17, Dragic 3, Nesterovic 13, Smodis 16, Slokar, Klobucar DNP, Jagodnik 5, D.Lorbek 8, Vidmar DNP, E.Lorbek 3.
GERMANY 69 (18+14+14+23): Demirel 2, Okulaja 7, Arigbabu, Garrett DNP, Herber, Hammann 6, Greene 16, Roller, Gruenheid DNP, Femerling 4, Nowitzki 28, Jagla 6.

   Greece rallies from 16-point deficit to beat Slovenia  - Sep. 15, 2007 
Greece overcame a 12-point deficit in the final 2:30 to knock off Slovenia 63-62 and live on for another chance to defend their EuroBasket title. Slovenia made a 18-2 run spanning halftime and had their largest lead at 58-42. But Theo Papaloukas 11 of his 17 points posted in last quuarter including a game winning lay-up with 6,7 seconds remaining. Radoslav Nesterovic (212-C-76) had 16 points, 11 reboudns and 5 assists, Jaka Lakovic added 14 points and Matjaz Smodis 10.
SLOVENIA 62 (17+17+17+11): Cebular DNP, Lakovic 14, Dragic 7, Nesterovic 16, Smodis 10, Slokar 4, Klobucar DNP, Jagodnik 2, D.Lorbek 2, Vidmar DNP, E.Lorbek 7.
GREECE 63 (14+14+12+23): Papaloukas 17, Bourousis 2, Zisis 7, Spanoulis 6, Vasilopoulos 2, Pelekanos, Chatzivrettas 2, Ntikoudis 4, Tsartsaris 6, Diamantidis 5, Papadopoulos 10, Kakiouzis 2.

   Greece shocks Slovenia 63-62 in Eurobasket quarterfinals !!! - Sep. 14, 2007
An epic win for the Hellenic NT
An amazing 21-4 in the last 6.30' minutes gave to the Panagiotis Yiannakis the ticket to the top four teams in Europe.
The most highly paid European player, Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77) proved once more why the Russians worship him !! The amazing Hellene guard with 7 points, 1 steal and 1 assist in less than 1.30 minutes was the MVP of the game and at the same time the player who took the team in his back, like a modern Atlas, and travel to the end!! The God is Greek!! Everybody now (and especially the Slovenians and Ales Pipan) believes so.
In regards to the game now, the Hellenic team had to face and overcome two negative elements from the very beginning, their bad shooting performance (with 1/12 three pointers in the first 35 minutes) and the hostile presentation of the referees. The men in gray were 100% aggressive towards the Hellenic NT.
The Slovenian team was much better team in the court for 35 minutes, the first quarter finished with 17-14 with Lakovic and Smodis in offence and Nesterovic in defense being dominant. The same backdrop took place in the second quarter where things were exactly the same, with the score being 17-14 and 34-28 by the end of the first half. From the Hellenic team Lazaros Papadopoulos was the top scorer with 10 points, while Dragic and Lakovic was leading the Slovenian NT with 9-0 made the score 34-28. The third quarter was a monologue for the Slovenians in offence and defense, the rebounds was the Achilles heel, for the Hellenic NT, they couldn't get any rebound. The end of the third quarter found the Hellenes to score only 12 points and the Slovenians to be dominant in all the edges of the court. The same scenery took place in the first 4 minutes of the last and most crucial quarter where the Greeks had a deficit of 16 points with 1\12 three's no psychology at all and the Slovenians cheering in the bench being 100% for their success but…… They forgot that nothing is finished until the fad lady sing, the Hellenic spirit and the duet of Diamantidis and Papaloukas spoke once more. The top duet (in Guards) decided to take over and with the two three pointers from Tsartsaris and Zisis made an unbelievable 21-4 and qualified once more in the semi-finals of the Eurochampionships. Tomorrow against the Spaniards, the Greeks will try to make another Basketbll miracle, in less than 24 hours we will be able to know whether Greece will be able to repeat their performance in Serbia of 2005..

   Planinic sends ...Lithuania to the semis - Sep. 14, 2007
What a game! Thanks to Croatia that did not give up in the game against the favorite of Eurobasket 2007. Lithuania grabs the ticket to the semifinal thanks to Zoran Planinic (198-G-82) who missed 2 free throws with a second remaining. Tha Baltic team won 74:72 and will meet Russia in the semifinal. Darius Songaila (205-C/F-78, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wake Forest) (205-C/F-78, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wake Forest) led the winners with 20 points. Linas Kleiza (203-F-85, agency: Interperformances, college: Missouri) ended up with 19 points and 9 rebounds, while Rimantas Kaukenas (193-G-77, college: Seton Hall) netted 8. Zoran Planinic top-scored for Croatia with 16 points.
Croatia surprised everyone when they started very ambitious. The team won the opening quarter 19:17 and looked also good in the second. After three quarters Croatia was still in front having 2 points advantage.
With 27 seconds remaining in the game Lithuania led 74:70. Zoran Planinic made two free throws and reduced the score till 74:72. It was him who stepped into the line again with 1 second remaining. Unfortunately he missed the first one and did the same, however by purpose in the second try. Lithuania deserved the win a bit more and now looking forward to the next game.

Lithuania - Croatia 74:72 (17-19, 21-16, 15-20, 21-17)
Lithuania: Darius Songaila 20, Linas Kleiza 19+9 rebs, Rimantas Kaukenas 8
Croatia: Zoran Planinic 16, Marko Popovic (185-G-82) (185-G-82) (185-G-82) 12, Tomas 10

   Germany without a chance versus Spain - Sep. 14, 2007 
Spain set a stop to the German medal-dreams in the Quarter Final at the European Championships and advanced to the Semis by outclassing Germany 83:55.
It was the same procedure as in preparation, when these two teams met twice with Spain winning on both occasions. Once again it became clear that only two or three German players have the class too compete at the highest European level constantly and that some have already reached their climax in the past, now being on the way down. The problem keeps returning: If Dirk Nowitzki faces strong defensive pressure there is hardly anybody to step aside supporting the German topscorer. In contrast the Spanish hosts showed a great allround-play and dominated the game completely. At halftime the score was 40:27 and Spain continued to humiliate the Germans in the third quarter (26:16).
Though dropping out of the medal-race Germany still have the chance to earn a spot at the Qualifying Tournament for the 2008 Olympics by claiming the seventh place in the Placement Round.
Germany: Nowitzki (11pts, 6rbs), Jagla (10pts, 7rbs), Femerling (8pts), Demirel (7pts), Herber (7pts), Okulaja (5pts), Garrett (4pts), Hamann (2pts), Gruenheid (1pt), Arigbabu, Greene, Roller.
Spain: Calderon (17pts), Fernandez (12pts), Navarro (12pts), M. Gasol (10pts), Garbajosa (7pts), P. Gasol (7pts), Reyes (6pts), Cabezas (3pts), Jimenez (3pts), B. Rodriguez (3pts), Mumbru (2pts), S. Rodriguez (1pt).

   Calderon leads the hosts to the semifinal - Sep. 14, 2007
Spain-Germany 83:55 (18-14, 22-13, 26-16, 17-12)
Spain goes to the semis after a wonderful victory over Germany. A great game in all the quarters brought the hosts of Eurobasket 2007 a 83:55 win. Jose Manuel Calderon (190-G-81) paced the winners with 17 points. Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) netted 12, while Rudy Fernandez (197-G-85) collected 12. As usual it was Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) who paced his German squad. His 11 points were however nothing in comparison with what he used to score.
Germany stayed in front of the game for the first five minutes. After 9:10, Spain took a control and managed to win the opening quarter as well. Juan Carlos Navarro and Jose Manuel Calderon scored nine of Spain's final 14 points in the half as they went on a 9-0 run. A 40:27 garanteed a good advantage at the break.
In the third quarter Spain increased the lead and after Rudy Fernandez's dunk the board showed 56:36. The teams went to the last break with 66:43 for the hosts of the tournament. At that time probably nobody believed that Germany would catch up as they could not struggle anymore. A 17:12 in the last quarter sent Spain to the semis.
Spain will meet the winner of Slovenia-Greece in the semifinal game.
Spain: Jose Manuel Calderon 17, Juan Carlos Navarro 12, Rudy Fernandez 12
Germany: Dirk Nowitzki 11, Jan-Hendrik Jagla (213-F-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: Penn St.) 10

   Russia makes it to the semis - Sep. 13, 2007
After a vewry exciting game, Russia managed to defeat France 75-71 in the quarterfinals and made it to the semis, where they will face the winner of game between Lithuania and Croatia. It will be their first time in 10 years to reach that level of Eurobasket.
French team was ahead the most of the game. Russian players tried to stay close, never allowing for the French to get too big lead. The deciding part of the game was last quarter, where Russian outscored France 22-15. The strongest weapon of winning team were 3-point shoots, which allowed them to catch up with French players. Just 24 seconds before the end of the game, it was styill a tie 69-69. Then Holden successfully got 2 shots from the line getting 2-points lead. Then a very nervous time with missing shots from both France (Diaw) and Russia (Pashutin). Parker made only one free-throw, missing the second one, and Pashutin got another 2 points for Russians (73-70). Parker got faulked and after getting 1-pointer, he intentionally missed the second one. But it did not work as Russians get the rebound. France had nothing to lose and they had to foul. Sergey Monya closed the game with two free throws and the game ended with 75-71 for Russia.
Russia - France 75-71 (21-23, 18-19, 14-14, 22-15)
Russia: Samoylenko 6, Holden 15, Khryapa 16+7reb+6ast, Kirilenko 6+6reb+7steals+4blocks, Savrasenko 4; Morgunov 14, Pashutin 11, Monya 2, Padus 1, DNP: Shabalkin, Bykov, Ponkrashov
France: Parker 15, Gomis 5, Diaw 17+6reb, F.Pietrus 8, Weis 2+5reb; Turiaf 8+7reb, Kirksay 8, Diawara 5, Ferhaud 3, DNP: Badiane, Sangare, Giffa

   Lithuania tip Slovenia 80-61 in clash uf unbeaten teams - Sep. 13, 2007 
Ramunas Siskauskas led four players in double figures with 21 points as Lithuania won a duel of unbeaten teams 80-61 over Slovenia. Lithuania shot 8-of-11 from the downtown at half and made a 14-4 run. Slovenia cut the deficit to just on point but through the third quarter Lithuania went on an 11-2 run to open their first double-digit cushion. Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) posted 15 points and Matjaz Smodis added 11. The Slovenians will next face defending champions Greece in Friday's quarter-finals.
SLOVENIA 61 (18+23+8+12): Cebular DNP, Lakovic 15, Dragic 7, Nesterovic 4, Smodis 11, Slokar 6, Klobucar, Jagodnik 3, D.Lorbek 6, Vidmar, E.Lorbek 9.
LITHUANIA 80 (26+18+19+17): Kaukenas 11, Gustas, Maciulis, D.Lavrinovic 6, Siskauskas 21, Songaila 17, Jasaitis 3, Kleiza 6, K.Lavrinovic 14, Jasikevicius 2, Jankunas, Javtokas.

   Italy defeated, farewell Beijing - Sep. 12, 2007 
Team Italy felt to Germany 58-67 and wasn' t able to advance to the Eurobasket 2007 quarterfinals, despite having "the strongest team ever", according with some observers. After a good start, in which they played a decent offense and a good zone defense, ending the 1st quarter 18-12, the Azzurri started to play badly, and kept the same disappointing pace from the second quarter, ended 27-27, till the end of the game. Germany outrebounded Italy 52-31, and shot better from the field and from the charity line. No comment. Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) showed another time more to be a true champion, leading his team with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Johannes Herber (197-G-83, college: W.Virginia) added 15 points and Steffen Hamann (194-G-81) 10. Marco Belinelli (196-G-86) was the game top scorer at 15 points, but no one can deny that Italy deserved to lose.

   German National Team takes on Spain in Quarter Final after defeating Italy - Sep. 12, 2007 
The German National Team topped Italy in the final game of the Qualifying Round at the EURO 2007 in Spain and advanced to the Quarter Finals. The team managed to come back after Mondays terrible loss to Slovenia. The final score against Italy was 67:58.
Germanys team effort was the key to success this time. Three players scored in double digits with Johannes Herber (197-G-83, college: W.Virginia) showing one of his personal best performances ever on the National Team. The Germans dominated the glasses and did outrebound the Italians by a 51:31 margin. Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) and Jan-Hendrik Jagla (213-F-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: Penn St.) collected 10 boards apiece. By half time the score was tied at 27, but the Germans used the third quarter for a scoring spurt (19:10), when Herber drobbed 10 points. Though Italys rising star Marco Belinelli (196-G-86) kept his side in business in fourth quarter the Germans always had the right answer, assuring the ticket for the next round.
In the upcoming Quarter Final on Thursday Germany will face the host team and current World Champion Spain.
Germany: Herber (15pts, 6rbs), Nowitzki (15pts, 10rbs), Hamann (10pts), Demirel (5pts), Femerling (5pts, 5rbs), Jan-Hendrik Jagla (5pts, 10rbs), Greene (4pts), Okulaja (4pts, 7rbs), Roller (4pts), Arigbabu, Garrett, Gruenheid (DNP).
Italy: Belinelli (25pts), Bargnani (10pts, 6rbs), Bulleri (8pts, 5pts), Marconato (6pts, 6rbs), Gigli (3pts, 6rbs), Mordente (3pts), Mancinelli (2pts), Di Bella (1pt), Basile, Soragna, Crosariol (DNP), Da Tome (DNP).

   The end of portuguese dream - Sep. 11, 2007
With Nick Gales the historical PG of Greece(2 times better player in Europe),Portugal still could keep his dreams alive if they won for more then 13 points.
Portugal had a bad start in the game as thru Diamantidis with 5 points got a partial of 7-2 Filipe da Silva with a 3point shot(the 3 point shots in first quarted was fantastic for Portugal 5-11) did the 7-5,portuguese players couldn´t handle the big Greece players (Papadopoulos)and Joao Gomes with 2 fouls and Pelekenos with 3 fouls showed the game was agreesive,Greece also had bad free throwns percentages a factor that Portugal profited in the first quarter with some lead changes ,the result of the first quest was a lead for Portugal 17-16.
The second quarter everything started to fall apart for Portugal,Greece presionated the point guards of Portugal ,and the great percentages of shots from anywhere(expect the free-throws) for Greece make them a lead of 45-34 at the half,Joao Gomes had another highlight of the game as he did another alley hoop,many of the diference contributed the fouls of Elvis Evora that had to be replaced int hat period ,one more time they showed their starting linaup is the strong on the team ,without many solutions in the bench.
Second hald was pretty much a relaxed and controled game for Greece,Portugal got 3 players with four fouls(Joao Gomes ,Elvis Evora,and Joao Santos),in the start of 3rd quarter the differences was around 10 points but then Greece did his job again-end of period ( 64-47).
The last period was the goodbye of Portugal in a fantastic tournamet ,they suprised everyone(Latvia president federation traveled 1 day before Portugal game to Madrid because he was thinking easily Latvia would won against Portugal)and did the best European ever ,so for that CONGRATULATIONS PORTUGAL .

   Slovenia blows out Germany - Sep. 11, 2007
After an embarrising performance in the second game of the Qualifying Round at the EURO and a devastating 47:77-loss against Slovenia the German National Team players have put a lot of pressure on their shoulders prior to the final fixture against Italy on Wednesday. Defeating the "Squadra Azzurra" is a must to get the ticket to the Quarterfinals.
In the game against the unbeaten Slovenians Germany never had a chance and gave up far too early. Trailing 9:30 after ten minutes and 22:45 by halftime the German Coach Dirk Bauermann let his substitutes play for most of the fourth quarter. Already a couple of minutes after tipp-off it became evident that nothing seemed to work out for the Germans that night. Bad shots and plenty of wrong decisions in offense plus missing commitment in defense were the reasons why Slovenia captured an easy win.
Germany: Nowitzki (16pts, 8rbs), Jagla (7pts), Okulaja (5pts, 6rbs), Garrett (3pts), Greene (3pts), Gruenheid (3pts), Arigbabu (2pts), Demirel (2pts), Femerling (2pts), Hamann (2pts), Roller (2pts), Herber.
Slovenia: Smodis (22pts), Nesterovic (13pts), Lakovic (12pts), Slokar (9pts), D. Lorbek (6pts), Dragic (5pts, 7rbs), Jagodnik (4pts, 6rbs), E. Lorbek (4pts, 6rbs), Cebular, Klobucar, Vidmar.

   Joao Gomes and coletive of Portugal destroyed Israel - Sep. 9, 2007 
Joao Gomes(23points and 11 rebounds) in a fantastic exibition showed everyone why he the best portuguese player of actuallity ,he did dunks ,FT,everything in a MVP performance to show eevryone Portugal have good players and a great team, last 4 games against Israel ,Portugal won them all ,with this win Portugal for be in quarter finals needs to win for more then 13 points against Greece or just win that game and wait a Croatia win over Russia.
With lots of turnover and a sleepy Israel team with a great offensive moves and great shots percentages ,Portugal won this match eaily and the 9 points at the end arent enaught to show everyone how good Portugal played.
A partial of 5-0 to Portugal started the game with a great dunk by Joao Gomes,with 8.05m Israel scored their first points by Halperin(8-5),another partial putted Portugal with 17-5 with 5.15m ,all this at 3point shots ,great defense and lack of defense for Israel team ,the only player in a great plan for Israel was Elyiahu with 27 points ,many steals and fast breaks keeped Portugal in a plus,another dunk by Joao Gomes and a 3pt shot made in last second gave Portugal a lead of 28-14.
Second quarter-With some substitutions in both teams Israel recoved and the quarter was in a difference of around 10 points arriving at half 46-34.
Around 15 poits diference between teams ,Portugal thru many rebounds during all game (45-25) and 3 pt shots made ,aswell 2 alley-hoops from Felipe da Silva assist to Joao Gomes dunk did a show time period for Portugal (61-42 - 4minuts) ended the period winning 65-48.
Israel in this period recoved because Joao Sanros got inject and some free-throws and pression on the portugues guards lead some turnovers for Portugal,Israel made some 3pt shots but it was 2 late for them (78-70 with 2.30m) final result 94-85 for Portugal.

   Italy, at last  - Sep. 10, 2007
Thanks to a 14-5 score in the overtime, Italy defeated Turkey 84-75, staying in the race for the quarterfinals. But it was an hard job. Turkey played very better the first two quarters, and came back to the locker room ahead 43-34. In the third quarter started the Italian comeback, and the regular time ended 70-70, but Turkish veteran Ibrahim Kutluay (198-F/G-74) missed a a potential game-winning shot almost at the buzzer. Then, the overtime was dominated by Italy. Scoring 17 pts and grabbing 10 rebounds, Angelo Gigli (209-F/C-83) was the best of the Azzurri, Marco Belinelli (196-G-86) added 17 pts, 4 assits and 3 rebs and Andrea Bargnani (209-F/C-85) 12 pts and 6 rebs at the winning side. The game best performer was, however, Hidayet Turkoglu (206-F-79), who led Turkey scoring 34 points, with a very good 5/8 from behind the 3pts arch. Team Italy will play tomorrow another pivotal game vs. Germany

   German National Team falls short to France - Sep. 8, 2007 
Germany started into the Qualifying Round at the EURO in Spain with a 66:78-loss against France.
The Germans opened the game well, after a while it became clear, that Dirk Nowitzki and Ademola Okulaja were the only players who were to threaten the Frenchmen in offense, while there was too less support coming from the rest of the group. In the second quarter France started a 15:2-run and went into halftime being ahead with eight points (47:39).
After scoring only 10 in the third quarter with Nowitzki struggling to find the hole, it looked like the Germans could be able to make a comeback again in the last quarter, but France just played too smart and never lost control. Especially Tony Parker showed his class, when the comfortable lead slighty began to disappear.
Nowitzki finished with 28 points, while Okulaja close to a double-double with 14 points and 9 boards.
Germany will take on Slovenia on Monday and is going to face Italy on Wednesday.
Germany: Nowitzki (28pts, 6rbs), Okulaja (14pts, 9rbs), Hamann (8pts, 5rbs), Herber (7pts), Femerling (4pts), Greene (2pts), Jagla (2pts), Garrett (1pt), Arigbabu, Demirel, Roller, Gruenheid (DNP).
France: T. Parker (23pts), F. Pietrus (12pts), Kirksay (12pts), Turiaf (11pts), Diaw (7pts, 9rbs), Ferchaud (6pts), Diawara (5pts), Weis (2pts), Giffa, Gomis, Sangare, Badiane (DNP).

   Capin has a surgery - Sep. 10, 2007 
Slovenian NT member Aleksandar Capin (186-G-82) underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his knee on Satudary. He will be sidelined at least one month. Capin injured his knee in the Slovenian's opening game of the 2007 Eurobasket against Italy.

   Russia got the first lose at Eurobasket. - Sep. 9, 2007
Russia faced the strongest opponent at curent competition and played well but not enough to win.
Game was started with big attention to defence from both teams and equal fighting during first minutes of game.
Russia took leadership 18-12 after couple of good three-pointers and Spanish coach Pepu Hernandez was must to take first time-out.
Still first quarter was finished 23:20 for Russian NT.Equal game continued after short break. Russia defended well on Pau Gasol
while Navarro replaced Rudy Fernandez and added danger in Spanish attack. Teams moved to half-time break with 40:35 scores for
Spanish NT. Third quarter became decisive. Calderon leaded his teammates in offence and helped them to create comfortable difference
in scores, 61:51 after third quarter. Russia still hoped for victory and tried to back game risking with couple of long shots but hadn't luck.
On other side Spaniards worked well inside the paint in both sides of court and finished game with fully deserved 81:69 victory,
Russia - Spain 69:81 (23:20, 12:20, 16:23, 18:18)
Russia: Andrei Kirilenko (205-F-81) 21 pts, Victor Khryapa 14 pts + 11 rebs, Nikita Morgunov 13 pts,
Spain: Jose Manuel Calderon 17 pts + 4 ass, Juan Carlos Navarro 15 pts, Pau Gasol 13 pts + 9 rebs + 2 bs.

   Lithuania defeats an improving Italy  - Sep. 9, 2007 
Italian Serie A star Rimantas Kaukenas (193-G-77, college: Seton Hall) scored 22 points to lead his Lithuania to the win, 79-74, over a Team Italy showing interesting advancements at the two sides of the court. The Azzurri stayed in contact with Lithuania all the game, and the score was 72-72 at one minute before the buzzer, and only two turnovers, well used by the opponents, "condemned" Italy. Andrea Bargnani (209-F/C-85) scored 15 pts and grabbed 7 rebs to be the most outstanding Italian player, veterans Gianluca Basile (192-G-75) and Denis Marconato (211-C-75) added 13 and 10 points, respectively. Given the very good shape showed by Lithuania in the first leg of Eurobasket 2007, and the superior talent of this team, a fall of Italy was easy to forecast, the two games in which Italy can not go wrong are the next ones, tomorrow vs. Turkey and tuesday afternoon vs. Germany. Only winning both them, the Italian team can advance to quarterfinals and keep alive the hopes to qualify to Olympic Games.

   Partial of 9-2 gives Lithuania win over Italy - Sep. 8, 2007
Rimantas Kaukenas led Lithuania with 22 points, including a three-pointer with 3:12 remaining to spark a 9-2 run to finish off the game. Sarunas Jasikevicius was hampered with a left groin injury for much of the second half but tallied 13 points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals in 28 minutes.
Italy had again some off moments during the game that let Lithuania get their partials to built up an 11-point lead midway through the first quarter but allowed Italy back into the game.
It was the third straight game where Lithuanians were unable to control a double-digit lead. Ramunas Butautas's side nearly blew a 21-point third quarter lead against Germany but still in that game menaged to build a last minute moment to not let Germany got the win with a offesive fould by Dirk
Italy, who were out-rebounded 44-29 and both teams was really bad from the 3 point line. With this lost Italy now have to win the 2 remaining games but wait aswell for other games results.
Denis Marconato scored 10 points for the Italians.
Andrea Bargnani collected 15 points and seven rebounds while Gianluca Basile had 13 points and four rebounds.
The Lithuanians started the game strong defensively, holding the Italians scoreless for more than five minutes in using a 13-0 run to pull out to a 15-4 lead with 3:30 left in the first. Basile answered with five straight points to help close to 19-11 but trailed 21-13 going into the second quarter.
Italy kept trying to scrap themselves back into the game and Lithuania continued to fend them off. But Italian guard Matteo Soragna stole Kaukenas's pass in the waning seconds and banked in a long three-pointer at the half-time buzzer to trim the deficit to 40-39 at half-time, a liar result that didnt showed exactly what happened in the game.
In the third period happened many lead changes aswell many ties and Lithuania led 62-61 going into the fourth after Siskausas's jumper with 22 seconds left.
More of the same in the fourth period, and things were even at 72-72 when Kaukenas drained a three-pointer to give Lithuania a 75-72 advantage with 3:12 remaining. That shot sparked a 9-2 run to finish the game as Italy turned over the ball twice in the final 2:20 to give up any final hope.
Final result Lithuania 79 - Italy 74
( 21-13, 19-26, 22-22, 17-13)

   Elvis Evora ,Kirilenko and Russia coach speak about Portugal moment - Sep. 8, 2007
Elvis Evora the Portugal center confessed that has been "funny" to confrot the "giants" of the modality, but sometimes he feels he not that tall against much taller centers. "its been funny to confrot these giants, in Portuguese Liga I habitually confrot lower players then me. Here... I feel sometimes im small ", he have 2,05 meters, emphasizing: "I´m loving this experience".
The player of the Ovarense was clearly: "wich player wouldnt like, at least one time in life, to confrot the best players of the World. A few days ago,i played against Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker and the best seleccões of the World ". "We have this chance to learn", after four meeting between the "giants" of the Worldl, count with 7,8 points and 5,3 rebounds of average, with 42,4 percent in "shots" of field.
The mission of Elvis Evora and Portugal has not been easy ,tomorrow Portugal will play against Israel and was successful for two times in the qualification phase. "It will be a difficult game,they are better team then the one we played against in the qualification. In the height, they were in low of form, but they had gone up very, having obtained the last place of apuramento, and that gave them a better spirit ", explained the International luso.
In accordance with Elvis Evora, Israel has for backwards a country where the basketball is a sport that "it awakes enormous passions, in contrast that happens in Portugal", and already fully justified the qualification for the final phase. "won against Serbia, that had moved away from the test, and now they had won with Croacia, that had profit to Spain". Despite this, Elvis left clearly that Portugal does not go to enter defeated: "it is a game that we want to be successful. We do not go to enter in field to think about losing, but already we gained them three times and we can make it another time. We go to enter with everything... and plus some thing ". Portugal won against Israel(75-72). "the memory more curious I have is that, already in the final part, they had whistled there inside to say that the Bosnia had won and we almost stopped, we allready had the game won . At that time we did not have more concentration to play more, we only thought about celebrating ", remembered. The set luso won Israel easily and very it must to a perfect Elvis Evora, author of 27 points: "I did not fail no launching of field. I made 13 in 13, what it only happens of time tom time. It was valid very for having been in this game ". With the triumph, Portugal arrived at final phase and now in the European we in the 2nd phase between the 12 best ones of the Europe: "the sensation is excellent, even for the form as it was, we thought that it did not give. Happily, Croacia gained Spain ". "We are here and is excellent, but we always continue to the search of something more", finished Elvis Evora.
In another time i had the time to speak with Andrei Kirilenko the Russia star and about Portugal he says´´Congratulations to Portugal. They had never participated in a european and they had obtained to characterize itself for this phase. They do not have many hypotheses of now in ahead, but they had exactly improved very -game by game´´.
Already we had confrotted this equips for three times and we knew what to wait. Portugal played aggressive . Defended well, it forced us to shoot and to commit many turnovers."
"I never waited to see Portugal here. Already they had made a good preparation... They had fought admiravelmente, without great names. They are very good and they deserve congratulations of all ", related the North American David Blatt. "We respected our adversary and therefore we won."

   Slovenia is still hot! - Sep. 8, 2007 
With an incredibile 19-1 run spanning the third and fourth quarters, Slovenia defeated Turkey 66-51 and already qualified to the quarterfinals of 2007 European Championship. Radoslav Nesterovic had 13 points and 6 rebounds, Uros Slokar (210-F/C-83) added 12 points including three straight 3-pointers to put his team up 57-40, Goran Dragic posted 12 points, Goran Jagodnik grabbed 8 rebounds and Jaka Lakovic had 7 rebounds.
SLOVENIA 66 (20+11+15+20): Cebular DNP, Lakovic 5, Capin DNP, Dragic 11, Nesterovic 13, Smodis 9, Slokar 12, Klobucar DNP, D.Lorbek 7, Vidmar DNP, E.Lorbek 4.
TURKEY 51 (15+14+11+11): Arslan 1, Kurtoglu, Atsur 5, Akyol DNP, Ilyasova 2, Erden, Kutluay 6, Demirel DNP, Gonlum 4, Okur 14, Peker 2, Turkoglu 18.

   Spain 76 - 58 Greece - Sep. 7, 2007 
As in the past World Championship, Spain had no mercy of Greece and defeated Panagiotis Giannakis team much more easy than expected.
It wasn't a good basketball night, and the start was a disaster for both teams, unable to score after more than 3 minutes of game, but after Greece first points, started to work the Spanish engine with a Jimenez three-pointer and Gasol points (also taking advantage the Spaniards of two technical fouls). A 10-0 run for locals that continued with this good offensive momentum the next two quarters. Rudy Fernandez (197-G-85) once again from beyond the arc helped with his points, but in front, Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) and Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) were doing a good job and keeping alive Greek options.
Also important in the first half was the Papadopoulos defense over Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80), a real nightmare for Grizzlies star, but foul troubles sent center to bench and Grizzlies forward took advantage of Bouroussis. Spain had one more offensive option, apart of Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) and Rudy outside. Halftime arrived, and things were going well for host team: 42-23.
Last 20 minutes were Spanish, although Panagiotis Giannakis pupils tried almsot everything (a very good third quarter defense, allowed Spaniards to score only 11 points), but never seemed to be able to stole victory from the ”Golden Boys”.

   Russia 78 - Portugal 65,2nd stage-easy Russia win thru inside game - Sep. 7, 2007 
Portugal for the first time got in the second phase of the European but didn´t had a great first game against Russia.
The keys for Russia win was their defense and their tall players(inside game),Portugal with many 3point shots missed was off today ,1 of the reason might be the team was just playing their game since the historical act they did against Latvia.
With Madrid Arena almost empty at 4.30pm and being the first game of the 2nd phase explains alot why it was like that.
The game had a start that showed how Russia would play-Kirilenko with a dunk made the 2-0,Portugal was never in the lead like the others games and at7minuts to play Jordao scored first portuguese points on the game fallowed by Elvis Evora (6-4),J R Holden with a steal assisted kirilenko for a spectalular dunk(12-4),thru defense pressures on the court and a great inside game by Russia they was in the lead(many 3pt shots for Portugal-seem they only wanted to shot 3´s).
Portugal didn´t scored during 4 minuts and Evora cuuted Russia partial(12-7 - 3m),Jordao and M. Fernandes scored a pair of 3 point shots and got Portugal at just 1 point diference(14-13)but finishing the first quarter Kirilenko responded (16-13).
Second quarter - Russia during the game always missed many FT , Russia got back with alot of defensive pressure on the portuguese point guards and with steals fallowed by fast break got a 16 point lead(36-20-4minuts remaining) and menaged that lead till half time,in the last second Mario Fernandes got a basket reducing to 44-30.
Third Quarter- At the first half Joao Gomes and Joao Santos the 2 offensive weapons had 0 points but Joao Gomes started well scoring a basket reduced to 48-37 but they got quickly 4 fouls and him and Elvis Evora got relegated to the bench because the fouls and thru Kirilenko and Savrecenko inside putted their lead back and J R Holden got his time to shine with 7 straight points thru shots ,penetration and in the FT line ,arriving at the end of the quarter with a 68-49 lead.
The last quarter didn´t showed much with both teams knowing this would be a Russia win ,Portugal rotated the players and introduced in the game players like Miguel Minhava and Paulo Simao for let them get more minuts ,the final result was 78-65 for Russia.

   Poland - Italy 70-79 - Sep. 6, 2007 
A 79-70 triumph over Poland was enough to see Italy progress to the qualifying round at the EuroBasket.
Italy trailed 16-14 going into the second quarter. But that's when Marco Belinelli and Andrea Bargnani teamed up to spark a 22-6 run and Italy led 36-22 six minutes to go in the first half. However, Poland hit back and managed to go into the break trailing by just six, 41-35 especially thanks to Adam Wojcik, Radoslaw Hyzy and Andrzej Pluta.
The Azzurri came out of the locker rooms refreshed and ready to run and Belinelli's three-pointer early in the third quarter pushed their lead up to 50-38. Italy were still unable to pull away as Poland refused to give up the fight and made sure to punish the Azzurri for their mistakes. Four turnovers by the Italians sparked an 8-0 run by the Poles to cut the deficit to 54-50. Then Gianluca Basile came to Italy's rescue by hitting consecutive three-pointers late in the third. But, at the other end, a Robert Witka scored the same and kept Poland in a battle as they trailed 64-57 going into the final quarter. The Azzurri though kept their noses in front and Marco Mordente's shot from beyond the arc allowed Italy to lead 72-66 with five minutes to go. Italy kept up their focus and stepped up their defense to limit Poland to just two points over the next four minutes as they sealed the win.
Guard Marco Belinelli had a game-high 20 points for the winning side while forward Andrea Bargnani added 19 points - 16 of which came in the first half.
The best scorers for Poland were well-experienced 33-year-old Andrzej Pluta - 15 points and 37-year-old Adam Wojcik. It is worth underlining Lukasz Koszarek noted double-double - 10 points and 11 assists.

POLAND-ITALY 70-79 (16-14, 19-27, 22-23, 13-15)
Poland: Pluta 15, Wojcik 12, Koszarek 10, Witka 9, Hyzy 8, Dylewicz 6, Kitzinger 4, Skibniewski 3, Frasunkiewicz 3, Woloszyn 0, Szewczyk 0
Italy: Belinelli 20, Bargnani 19, Basile 12, Bulleri 10, Mordente 5, Gigli 5, Mancinelli 2, Soragna 2, Marconato 2, Di Bella 2, Crosariol 0

   Slovenia Top Group D - Sep. 6, 2007
Domen Lorbek (198-G/F-85) made a pair of free throws for a 67-65 lead with 12 second to left. Uros Slokar fouled Tony Parker with just 2 seconds remaining. Parker missed the second free throw ans Slovenia defeated France 67-66. Domen Lorbek scored 15 points on shooting 5-of-5 from the field, Smodis had 15 points and 6 rebounds and Radoslav Nesterovic posted 12 points. Slovenia trailed by 15 in third period, Radoslav Nesterovic was ejected and coach Ales Pipan got a technical foul. Slovenia responded with a 19-3 run when the bench got new technical foul and Matjaz Smodis got an unsportmanlike foul.
SLOVENIA 67 (16+15+21+15): Cebular DNP, Lakovic, Capin DNP, Dragic 2, Nesterovic 12, Smodis 15, Slokar 4, Klobucar DNP, Jagodnik 12, D.Lorbek 15, Vidmar DNP, E.Lorbek 7.
FRANCE 66 (18+21+17+10): Gomis 2, Badiane DNP, Giffa DNP, Sangare 2, Diawara 2, Parker 25, Ferchaud 2, Pietrus 7, Kirksay 4, Diaw 6, Turiaf 13, Weis 3.

   First defeat for Greece - Sep. 6, 2007
Russia won the first place at Group A of Granada, with a perfect record, and will now carry two wins to the next round in Madrid, while Greece will now have to work harder to qualify to the quarter-finals. Russia - Greece 61-53 at the end.
Russia took control on the game from the very start, took the first lead and after one quarter already looked down at Greece, 15-8. Andrei Kirilenko (205-F-81), who finally ended with 17 rebounds, collected seven of them in that period.
Russia's margin climbed to double-digits, early at the second period (25-15) but Greece showed they don't plan on giving up the game. A couple of three-pointers by Michalis Kakiouzis (206-C-76) (206-C-76) and Nikos Zisis (195-G-83), helped coach Panagiotis Giannakis walk to the locker room down by only three points, 25-22 behind a big first half by Viktor Khryapa (204-F/G-82) who collected 11 points and five rebounds by then.
Nikos Zisis and then Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) put Greece on top for the first time in the game (30-28) early in the second half, but then Russia showed their back court power when J.R. Holden (185-G-76, college: Bucknell) warmed his hand and Zakhar Pashutin (195-G-74) nailed two big downtown aces. The third period ended at a Russia's 44-38 lead, and Greece started to look nervous. It took almost three minutes until the first points of the last quarter arrived, but the momentum stayed on the Russian side. When Vasilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) slashed to the rim with 6:13 to play, he was about to cut the margin to three, but Andrei Kirilenko was there at the right time and place to show who owns the court tonight. With a big block he sent Vasilis Spanoulis to the floor and pushed Russia forward.
It was then J.R. Holden's time, as he scored five points in a row, and Andrei Kirilenko made it a nine point difference, 54-45, with less than five minutes to play. That margin was enough to upset the Greeks, who never came close to threaten the Russian lead until the final buzzer.
Russia: Shabalkin, J.R. Holden 17, Bykov, Andrei Kirilenko 12, Nikita Morgunov (211-F-75, agency: Interperformances) 1, Samoylenko 4, Viktor Khryapa 13, Zakhar Pashutin 9, Monya 3, Ponkrashov, Savrasenko 2, Padius
Greece: Theodoros Papaloukas 8, Bourousis, Nikos Zisis 9, Vasilis Spanoulis 12, Vasilopoulos, Pelekanos, Hatzivrettas, Dikoudis 5, Tsartsaris 4, Diamantidis 8, Papadopoulos, Michalis Kakiouzis 7

Post Game Quotes
David Blatt : "It's always special when you beat a team as great as Greece and a Eurobasket champion. That being said the key for this tournament isn't to win early, but winning late. It's to win early but then know how to win the late games. Obviously it's important, but we need to prove ourselves also in Madrid and not only in Granada. Our objective was to raise the tempo the game. We did that in the first game. For the last two and a half quarters Greece set the tempo, but we made a great defensive effort. We made some stops that broke the game and when we opened a 10-point lead in such a game, it's like 25".
Nikita Morgunov: "Today it was a very important game. Now we need to think about the next game because this game is already in the past and we need to think about the future".
Viktor Khryapa: "We played against a very good team, but we showed a lot of passion on defense and we managed to control the tempo of the game. That was the key for our win tonight, and what happened tonight made us a real unit. Now we are a real team and we have to thank our coach David Blatt for this".
Panagiotis Giannakis : "Congratulations to Russia. They played very good. It was a very nervous game. We missed a lot of shots. We missed a lot of open shots and made some easy mistakes. They controlled the game when we came back. We saw that we can do it, but then didn't have the patience. The tournament is very long and it depends how we will control our feelings and our game after the loss. We tried some things that didn't work out. Maybe we were a little bit tired. The opponent gave us a lot of problems. We shot 58% from the free-throw line and only 38% from the field and that's not enough. We'll try in the next games to play better."
Nikos Zisis: "It was a very hard game. Both teams played very well on defense. On offense it was a slow tempo game. Russia deserved to win. They played better than us. We need to play much better if we want to try to do the same things that we did in the last few years. It's good to have a day off. We'll start to win the next game. We don't play good basketball until now. We can't hide behind reasons like pressure. Last year in Japan in the first games it was also the same. We must play much better now. When you get 61 points usually you must win games."
Tsartsaris: "We have time to play better. We scored in last two games very few points and this is the biggest problem of the team. The game in the last year is faster and we play slow. Tomorrow we'll see what we have done wrong, and try to fix it."
Michalis Kakiouzis: "We didn't play the game that we wanted. If we scored some free shots I think we had a better chance to play. Nobody has contracts with the wins. I don't think we are not hungry anymore. We want more than anyone in Greece to win again something. For us the Eurobasket 2005 and Mundobasket is history."

   Israel better than Serbia 87:83 - Sep. 5, 2007
Serbia and Israel started European Championship with two defeats so win in this game was main goal for both teams. "Mosquitoes" quickly forgot unlucky defeat against Greece after over time and opened the game against Isreal well making 15:8 after 4 minutes. Later they increased advantage to 8 points but Israel succeeded to come closer on 30:28. Teodosic and Velickovic led Serbia to the first double digits advantage during the game, 45:33. In the last offense Israel made 3-pointer through Halperin and decreased minus to 9 on the half time. Israel committed 10 turnovers in the first half while Serbia had 8 steals.
In the center of the third quarter Israel melted down Serbia's advantage to 55:53 and later took lead 58:59. In 34th minute Israel had the biggest advantage during the game, plus 6 but Serbia quickly made run 5-0 for 67:68. At the very end Israeli players were concentrated from the FT line and earned ticket for Madrid. Yaniv Green (206-F-80, agency: Arik Krayn Services) was the best for the winners collecting 26 points and 12 rebounds. Yotam Halperin (196-G-84, agency: Arik Krayn Services) followed him scoring 17 points. Serbia got double-double from Darko Milicic (212-C-85), 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Milan Gurovic (207-F-76, agency: Beo Basket) netted 19 points.
Head coach Zoran Slavnic had a lot of problems before EC because of many cancellations. He had the youngest team and 9 players who made debut on the European Championship. But one thing is sure, people in Serbia again can't be satisfied with the performance of their National Team, especially after four gold medals by Serbian U16, U18, U19, U21 NT and one silver by University Team. Anyway, those golden kids are basketball future of Serbia so all people who are involved in Serbian basketball must play attention on them and help them to continue in the same way!

Israel - Serbia 87:83 (16:23,20:22,24:15,26:23)
Hagag, Halperin 17, Eliyahu 4, Roberts 9, Pniny 11, Tapiro 11 (4 as), Naor 3, Kozikaro, Green 26 (12 rebounds), Tamir 6 (5 rebs)
DNP: Roth, Marchovich.
Serbia: Teodosic 9, Radivojevic 3, Erceg 2, Labovic 3, Markovic 6 (4 rebs), Jaric 11 (6 as), Milicic 18 (13 rebs), Aleksandrov 4, Velickovic 8 (6 rebs), Gurovic 19
DNP: Tepic, Cvetkovic.

   Germany suffered first defeat - Sep. 6, 2007 
Germany has lost the last game in group-play against Lithuania (80:84) and completed the first stage of the EURO on second place in Group C.
Though Lithuania was ahead with 21 points during the third quarter and dominated the first half completely the Germans managed to come back and reduced the score to 68:70 with seven minutes left to play in the game. Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) hit a three-pointer and two free-throws to cut down the lead to one point (80:81) eleven seconds before the end of the fourth quarter. Darius Songaila (205-C/F-78, agency: Priority Sports, college: Wake Forest) was fouled and converted one of his two attempts from the line. Ademola Okulaja (202-F-75, college: N.Carolina) now had the final chance for Germany to tie the score. But while driving to the hoop the German Forward was charged for an offensive foul. Rimantas Kaukenas (193-G-77, college: Seton Hall) poured in the final two points from the charity stripe.
Germany will now go into the Qualifying Round to take on Slovenia, France and Italy. The next game will be on Saturday against Tony Parker and "Les Bleus".
Germany: Nowitzki (28pts, 9rbs), Okulaja (12pts, 7rbs), Garrett (10pts), Hamann (8pts), Roller (8pts), Greene (5pts, 5rbs), Femerling (4pts), Herber (3pts), Arigbabu, Demirel, Gruenheid (DNP).
Lithuania: D. Lavrinovic (18pts, 5rbs), Jasikevicius (15pts, 10as), Siskauskas (13pts, 6rbs), Songaila (11pts), Kleiza (10pts), Kaukenas (9pts, 9rbs), K. Lavrinovic (5pts, 5rbs), Jasaitis (3pts), Macilius, Gustas (DNP), Jankunas (DNP), Javtokas (DNP)

   Italy defeats Poland  - Sep. 6, 2007 
Team Italy managed to defeat Poland, 79-70, at the end of a nervous game, in which the Azzurri have been ahead in the score all the time, but they played conditioned by the importance of the game, the only way to advance in the Eurobasket 2007 competition. This time, Italy had a very good night in 3 points shooting (12-21 at the end), and Marco Belinelli (196-G-86) topped the score with 20 points, while Andrea Bargnani (209-F/C-85) scored 19 points, and grabbed 7 rebounds to be the game MVP. Italian Serie A fresh addition Adam Wojcik (207-F-70, agency: Beo Basket) was the pest at the Polish side, with 12 points. Italy will now face an hard job on saturday afternoon, when will meet Lithuania, winnner of Group C

   Dissapointing Turkey To Next Round - Sep. 5, 2007 
After suffering two heavy losses and showing no character at all Turkey took down Czech Republic on Day 3 and grabbed the Madrid ticket to face Italy, France and Slovenia. Turkish NT opened the game with a 15-2 run thanks to Hidayet Turkoglu&Mehmet Okur duo and never looked back till the end as team captain Ibrahim Kutluay (198-F/G-74) hit his shots from beyond the three line. Bogdan Tanjevic's neverending rotation once again caused a trouble for Turkey while Lubos Barton and Petr Benda helped Czech team cut a 18 point deficit to 6 in the last quarter but sinking the free throws - 17/31 in total though - in the cruical moments sealed the deal for Turkey. Turkoglu chipped in 22 points, 5 boards and 3 assists as Mehmet Okur registered a double double and Ibrahim Kutluay poured in 17. On the other hand Lubos Barton and Petr Benda totally added 36 points and 8 rebounds for Czech Republic.
Czech Republic(72): Vrubl 9, Benes 0, Whitfield 6, Kraus 9, Welsch 5, Sokolovsky 4, Lubos Barton (200-F/G-80, college: Valparaiso) 22, Necas 3, Petr Benda (203-F/C-82, agency: Court Side) 14, Houska 0
Turkey(80): Ender Arslan 6, Ermal Kuqo 7, Engin Atsur 0, Ersan Ilyasova 1, Ibrahim Kutluay 17, Kerem Gonlum 4, Mehmet Okur (210-C/F-79) 16, Kaya Peker 7, Hidayet Turkoglu (206-F-79) 22
(15-28, 31-46, 49-59, 72-80)

   Croatia 85 - 84 Spain - Sep. 5, 2007
With less than 3 seconds remaining, Marko Tomas (200-G-85) scored an incredible three-pointer that gave a very important win to Croatia in front of the World Champions. Fuenlabrada guard completed a good game that finished with a sensational shot that represented the first Spanish defeat after 28 victories in a row.
'Pepu' pupils started very concentrated, with Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) scoring from inside and Rudy and Carlos Jimenez (203-F-76) from outside (9-15). Ofensive Spanish game worked perfect, with Jose Manuel Calderon (190-G-81) directing his teammates perfectly, but giving Croatia the chance to score also very easy, playing a soft defense that didn't become a problem while points arrived. Spain seemed to feel confortable inside court, playing as its used, and halftime arrived with host team winning by +10 (40-50).
But problems arrived in third quarter, when points didn't come and Croatia started to score easily, with Popovic, Tomas and Davor Kus (190-G-78) scoring from behind the arc (56-58 with less than 5 minutes remaining for the end of the period). A Jasmin Repesa technical foul seemed to be moment for Spanish to react, but 'Reds' missed the free throws and the next attack. An unknown Spain couldn't score as usual, and because of this offensive colapse, defense wasn't working and Croatia took advantage of it.
In the last quarter, a Davor Kus shot represented the maximum advantage (77-70), and then appeared the best Rudy Fernandez (197-G-85). DKV Joventut forward led his teammates with his points and the Spanish reaction (77-81). Another Davor Davor Kus three-pointer shot reduced diferences and Rudy missed the next shot. Croatia overcome with the last Tomas three pointer and in the last possesion, Fernandez tried an impossible shot that didn't enter thanks to Mario Kasun (213-C-80) and Zoran Planinic (198-G-82) defense.

   Portugal 77 - Latvia 67-Portugal in next stage,historical act - Sep. 5, 2007
Portugal needed 16 points advantage over Latvia or a Croatia win (wich happened-almost a miracle well deserved) to advance in the next stage with 4000persons in the San Pablo arena( more Latvians then portuguese supporters).
Portugal as usual started better then the other team and thru Elvis Evora , Joao Gomes the portuguese star playing great as always and Francisco jordao with a 3 point shot got a lead of 7-0 with Biendris always strong in the rebounds getting in the FT line the first Latvia points (7-1 with 7.27 minuts to play),Portugal was a authentic warrion team hustling to get every rebound and every ball they could get and Latvia was awfull in the 3point shots,Portugal needed to make some faults thet custed them alot of FT to Latvia,with a stronger defense and 3 point shots aswell Joao Gomes dunk show gave Portugal a lead of 17-9 in the end of the first quarter.
Many TO´s and fouls gave Latvia the opurtunity to recover 4.35m with Biedrins dunk on a rebound(18-17 Latvia lead)Miguel Miranda responded with a 3 point shot ,and thru many 3 point shots for Portugal that was near perfection on this side ended the 2nd quarter with a liltle advange because Maria Fernandes and Joao Santos scored two 3 points giving them a lead of 28-24 in the half.
Evora openned the second half and Felipe da Silva with a pair of baskets gave 32-24 Portugal lead but Latvia dominated the period with a great defense and many FT and some 3 point shots made got a tie with Hilmanis -6.20m (32) ,Jordao and Joao Santos socred a pair of 3´s to make a lead of 38-35.
Biedrins with 3 fouls got in the bench and Latvia 3pt shot missed, Portugal scored more points (55-44).
Portugal keeped playing their basket show in the final quarter ,opening with 3FT by Mario Fernandes(58-44),aceleration in the scorer and Biedriens was allready back in the game with 8.30m ,Portugal was virtualy in the next stage because got a lead of 17 points(61-44),Latvia only scored in penetrations and in the FT line,the responded and got to 61-55 and later on with a 3 by Elvis with 5m gave hope to Portugal(64-55)right before he got fouled out , till the end of the game was around 10 pts difference for Portugal always leading .
Final result 77-67 and Portugal waited 2.30hours without hope that Croatia would beat Spain wich happened and Portugal in the next round,wich is a dream for portuguese basketball but well deserved.

   Slovenia-Poland 70-52 - Sep. 5, 2007
Slovenia pulled away late in the third quarter to beat Poland 70-52 and clinch their second win of the EuroBasket.
Poland started the game with a run 9-4. Later they played also very well in the both sides: offence and defence ending first quarter 19-13. Unfortunately for them in the first three minutes Slovenia scored 7 points while Poland - 0 (20-19). From this part of the game Slovenia has been still expanding its advantage ending the half of the game by result 34-26. In a one moment of third quarter Poland trailed 39-33 but Slovenia hit them with a 23-6 run. The game was over.
Slovenian center Erazem Lorbek had a game-high 16 points and pulled down eight rebounds while team-mate Jaka Lakovic chipped in with 15 points.
Filip Dylewicz finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds while team-mate Andrzej Pluta led the Poles in scoring with 12 points. What is worth underlining Poland were out-rebounded 46 to 28 and it was a key why they lost.
Slovenia shot 19 of 23 (83%) from the charity stripe while Poland were 11 of 16 (65%).
SLOVENIA-POLAND 70-52 (13-19, 21-7, 12-7, 24-19)
Slovenia: E. Lorbek 16, Lakovic 15, Nesterovic 11, Smodis 6, Jagodnik 5, Dragic 5, Vidmar 5, Slokar 4, D. Lorbek 3, Cebular 0, Klobucar 0
Poland: Pluta 12, Dylewicz 9, Witka 8, Frasunkiewicz 7, Kitzinger 5, Koszarek 4, Hyzy 4, Pietras 2, Szewczyk 1, Woloszyn 0, Skibniewski 0, Wojcik 0.

   European Champs : France on the way to second round - Sep. 5, 2007 
For his second game in the competition, France has avoided the italian booby trap with a 69-62 win. Tony Parker (183-G-80) showed the way to all his teammates, scoring a record-breaking 36pts. The french team had a terrible start, with a 0-7 run to begin the game. However, there wasn't any reason to panic, since France had the weapons to dominate, as far as the athletic skills are concerned.Led by 3 after one quarter, by 4 at half-time, France had an excellent 3rd quarter with a 20-11 run, playing quick and scoring the long distance shots, still led by Tony Parker. However, the blue players were a little bit disturbed by the clock shutdown with a couple of minutes to go. Each time the clock was down, an italian player scored a basket. France took the lead for the last time with 2 minutes to go, while italian started missing some shots. Bargnani had a terrific first half (12pts) but was almost invisible during the second half. Tony Tony Parker, MVP of the 2007 finals in the NBA, had his best game ever in a FIBA competition and will have to finish the job tomorrow vs Slovenia.
France: Gomis, Sangare,Diawara, Tony Parker 36, Ferchaud, Pietrus 8, Kirksay 11, Diaw 9, Turiaf 3, Weis 2

   Greece beat Serbia 68:67 after over time  - Sep. 5, 2007
Serbia lost second game on the EuroBasket 2007. This time "Mosquitoes" had a chance for the win but that chance gone forever 4 seconds before the end of over time.
Both teams showed their nerves at the beginning of the game which resulted with just 10 points after five and a half minutes of the first quarter (7:3 for Greece). Serbia again struggled from behind the arc (1 of 7) so defending European champions had 12:11 after first period. Very quick in the second quarter Serbia made couple of unnecessary fouls what experienced Greek players exploited and were concentrated from the FT line making 24:18. That was a signal for Serbia to intensify defense and after Erceg's dunk equalized 26:26. Later they took first lead on the game 28:29 but teams went on the half time equalized 31:31.
Both teams continued with missing the shots as Greece scored 6 and Serbia just 4 points after almost 7 minutes of the third quarter. In the center of the last period Serbia took lead again 42:46 after Jaric's two free throws and Milicic's left sky hook. One minute before the end Dikoudis made very important 3-pointer for 51:51 after what Papalukas scored 2 FT. Jaric missed tough shot from the paint and Radivojevic immediately committed foul. In the last offense of regular time Milan Gurovic received the ball in the center of the court scoring amazing 3-pts shot of the board and brought over time to Serbia 56:56. Later, Greece made plus 4 but still Serbia had a last chance on 68:67 but Marko Jaric was indecisive and finished the offense without shot attempt.
Clutch player for Greece was Dimos Dikoudis (207-F/C-77, agency: Court Side) who added 20 points and 8 rebounds. Except of him only, Vasilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) recorded double digits for Greece, 10 points and 3 assists. Marko Jaric (198-G-78) collected 18 points and 6 rebounds. Darko Milicic (212-C-85) dominated in the paint against Papadopoulos adding 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks while Milan Gurovic (207-F-76, agency: Beo Basket) followed them scoring 14 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. Once again Serbia had disappointing percentage for 3-pts, only 3 of 20 (15 %).

Greece - Serbia 68:67 (12:11,19:20,25:22,12:14)
Papaloukas 8, Bourousis, Zisis 2, Spanoulis 10 (3 as), Vasilopoulos 3, Pelakanos, Chatzivrettas 5, Dikoudis 20 (8 rebounds), Tsartsaris 7, Diamantidis 3, Papadopoulos 3, Kakiouzis 6.
Serbia: Teodosic 3, Radivojevic 2, Erceg 9 (12 rebs), Labovic, Markovic, Jaric 18 (6 rebs), Milicic 17 (6 rebs, 3 blk), Aleksandrov 2, Velickovic 2, Tepic, Gurovic 14 (8 rebs)
DNP: Cvetkovic.
Serbia will play against Israel tomorrow at 18:00h.

   Second fall for Italy  - Sep. 5, 2007
Team Italy suffered a second defeat at Eurobasket 2007, this time from France, a traditional contender that lots of times had imposed its superior athleticism to the Azzurri. The game ended 62-67, and Italy played very badly only in the last quarter, forgotting to defend and fight as its players were used to. Italy started well, with Andrea Bargnani (209-F/C-85) scoring all the first 7 points of the game, for a deceiving 7-0 after 4 minutes of play. Bargnani was the Italian top scorer at the end with 16 pts. Marco Belinelli (196-G-86) added 15 points, but he too gave his best in the first half, almost disappearing when the game became tough. Massimo Bulleri (188-G-77), instead, never stopped battling, ending the game with 11 pts, 3 assists and 1 rebound, but Italy yesterday was probably in need of a true point guard to run its offense in a better way. The man of the game was Tony Parker (183-G-80). The Eva Longoria's husband scored 36 points, grabbed 2 rebs and dished 3 assits, no one of the Italians was able to limit him. USA-FRA Tariq Kirksay (199-F-79, college: Iona) added 11 points, all scored in the second half, and was the only other French to end the game in double digits, while Boris Diaw (203-F/C-82) ended the game with 9 points and 8 rebounds. The last resort for Italy is tonight game vs. Poland, the last chance to advance to the second leg of the competition for both the teams.

   France - Italy : 69 - 62 - Sep. 5, 2007 
The second match was important for the both team. Yesterday, Italy has lost his game at the last second and France wanted to consolidate his first place.
Italy started the game very good and after 3 minutes, the score was 7-0 for Italy. We had to wait until the 5th minutes to see the first points of the French team (3 points of Tony Parker).
With a good Bargnani (the first choice in the NBA Draft this year), after 17 minutes of the game, Italy has a 9 points length (33-24).
In the half time, the score is 36 - 31 for Italy.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the both teams had the same score : 41 - 41.
In the second period, the French can count of Tony Parker and Kirksay (8 points in the last 10 minutes). The French team imposed its game in the last five minutes.
Tony Parker finished the game with 36 points, a very good game for him, the best one with the French team.
France : Parker (36), Pietrus (8), Kirksay (11), Diaw (9), Turiaf (3), Weis (2)
Italy : Belineli (15), Basile (1), Mancinelli (7), Sorgana (3), Marconato (2), Mordente (5), Bargani (16), Bulleri (11), Gigli (2)

   Lithuania beat Czech Republic - Sep. 4, 2007
Lithuania got their second win in Eurobasket 2007. Czech Republic was beat by 20 points 95:75.
The game started evenly, no team had a big advantage. Czech Republic scored most of their points from mid-range while Lithuania collected most points by scoring from inside the free-throw area. Lithuaina broke away in the center of the quater and constantly increased thei lead. The first quater finished 32:15.
The highlites of the second quater were two unsportsmanlike fouls: one by Radek Necas (204-F-80) and one by Linas Kleiza (203-F-85, agency: Interperformances, college: Missouri). The Balts increased their lead even more after a steal and a dunk from Giedrius Gustas (190-G-80, agency: Interperformances), who made the score 46:24. The quater ended with a 3 point play from Ksystof Lavrinovic (210-C-79) with time runnning out. Lithuania led 54:31 after 3 quaters.
The third quater was better for the Czechs who closed down the difference to 12 (60:48), but Lithuania managed to straighten up and after Linas Kleizas alley-oop pass which was finished with a one hand dunk from Darjus Lavrinovic (212-C-79) (70:52). The third ends at 72:55.
Lithuania starts to make one mistake after another to see the Czechs get closer and closer. The score is 75:62 after Jiri Welsch (200-F-80) finishes a fast break with a dunk. But Lithuanians managed to fight back again and won the game 95:75.
Lithuania: Ksystof Lavrinovic 22, Linas Kleiza 14, Darjus Lavrinovic 12
Czech Republic: Jiri Welsch 18+6 assists, Petr Benda 14+7 boards, Lubos Barton 13+8 boards

   Russia got an easy victory over Israel. - Sep. 4, 2007
Russia got an easy victory over Israel at second day of eurobasket. Russia played with big confidence and deep understanding of game from first second till the last.
Israeli basketball players struggled against good Blatt's defence and were lucky to stay close at first quarter 17-15 scoring some good shots over defender's hands.
Russia controlled game combining low-tempo attacks with fast-breaks and playing strong defence. JR Holden leaded his teammates with couple of right decisions in attack.
Some of his shots and good assits made a double-digit advantage in the second quarter that was grown till the end of the game. Andrei Kirilenko did another great game
making good stats 10 pts + 5 rebs + 1 assists before his replacement at second quarter. But these stats doesn't show how perfect was his game. He allways found
the right way for attack even playing against two or three opponents in episods. Israeli's players understood soon that this evening must be a very long for them.
Russia - Israel 90:56 (17:15, 23:13, 26:13, 24:15)
Russia : J.R. Holden (185-G-76, college: Bucknell) 18 pts + 5 rebs + 3 ass + 3 steals, Andrei Kirilenko 17 pts + 13 rebs + 5 ass,
Israel: Lior Eliahu 17 pts + 6 rebs.

   Croatia 90 - Portugal 68 - Sep. 4, 2007 
The game started really bad for both teams with many Tournovours and missed shots , with 2-2 by Francisco Jordao scoring first portuguese points ,till the minute 7.40 when Joao Gomes thru a penetration fallowed by a dunk got the momento of the game ,fallowed by a rebound and a dunk by Mario Kasun (4-4),Joao Gomes responded and gave Portugal a lead like against Spain game(6-4),Croatia with a 3point shot got their first lead in the game(7-6)by Zoran Planinic ,Joao Gomes keeped doing his show and was the only portuguese player in a high level during the game ,only stoped by his early 3 fouls with 1.54m in the first quarter(he penetretaded and was scoring by dunks and jump shots ,from any side of the court he was doing a great show with FT,3point shots aswell )Kasun with 6 points in the first quarter always responded to Joao Gomes thru dunks and jump shots ,the quarter ended with a tie 19-19-13 points made by Joao Gomes and Croatia got a liltle before before the end of the period but Portugal responded.
Second quarter-More equilibrium in the game,but Portugal in the entire game missed many 3 point shots and without Joao Gomes and Joao Santos both with 3 fouls ,Croatia made the lead of the game (24-19)but Kasun got sideline during the period because he got a liltle injury in his leg but nothing serious ,because he got back in the game in the second half.
This was another game with many fouls .
Portugal in some time during the period cuted Croatia lead because Elvis Evore in the inside game was doing his job (32-31)and (35-34) but in the final minute of the period Croatia made two 3 point shots and to the half got a lead of 42-36.
Third Quarter - Jordao made 3 points in the return of the game (42-39)but Kasun returned in the game and Croatia got a lead of 51-39 all fruits of a great defense pression on portuguese defense-ofensive transaction,and alot of portuguese tournavours made this the decision period where Croatia got their lead for good ,Popovic,Markota and pretty much all PG made a show of 3´s (70-46),Portugal comeback till be with a result at the end of the period(75-57)with Joao Gomes returning and Elvins in the paint scoring a basket,but it wasn´t enaught because the 3rd quarter had a result of 33-14.
Fouth Quarter-With the game dicided both teams changed some baskts and Croatia didn´t scored for 5minuts but the diferense between both was was always around 20points ,arriving to a final result of 90-68 for Croatia.
Portugal had 14 TO´s against Croatia 7 TO´s and shoted really bad behind the arc of 6.25m.
“Once again, we didn't start badly,” said Cunha.
“We never could get on top of them.”
“It was psychologically a different game because of yesterday,” he said.
Marko Banic, the Croatian forward, had eight points in the game.
He said the team play was much improved.
“Yesterday, we didn't play like a team,” Banic said.
“Today, we played much better. We just need to keep playing better defense.”

   German National Team gets second win - Sep. 4, 2007 
Germany rolled over Turkey in the second game at the European Championships in Spain and improved to 2:0 before the last fixture of the group-play against Lithuania on Wednesday. Simply put, Germany was the better team and showed a great allround-performance, while the Turkish players never found the key to the game. The final score was 79:49.
Dirk Nowitzki (211-F-78) led all scores and finished with 24 points, but nearly the whole German roster got involved in offense this time, letting no doubt from beginning on. Leading 16:11 after ten minutes, the Germans continued to impress on both ends of the court until halftime. And the hard work paid off, as Turkey struggled to get open shots. After two quarters Germany was ahead with 13 (40:27) and kept pushing when the second half started. With ten minutes left to go the German lead had improved to 58:39. The Turkish players seemed to have given up very early and all they did trying to turn things around was shooting the ball from long range and disregarding the fact that basketball is not an individual game. Hitting only 3 of 22 attempts from beyond the arch and 14 of 34 from the field totally plus a FT-percentage of 50% (12/24) is enough to say about the performance of the Turkish team that night. Meanwhile, the Germans made their easy shots and a little bit more than that to get a win, which somehow came unexpected in such convincing manner.
The Germans will take on Lithuania on Wednesday in a clash of two unbeaten teams to battle for the first place in Group C.
Germany: Nowitzki (24pts, 6rbs), Okulaja (13pts, 9rbs), Greene (10pts), Jagla (8pts, 6rbs), Demirel (6pts), Femerling (4pts, 5rbs), Garrett (4pts), Arigbabu (3pts), Roller (3pts), Hamann (2pts), Herber (2pts), Gruenheid.
Turkey: Turkoglu (15pts), Atsur (7pts), Ilyasova (6pts, 6rbs), Peker (6rts), Kurtoglu (5pts), Okur (5pts, 5rbs), Akyol (3pts), Gonlum (2pts), Arslan, Demirel, Erden, Kutluay.

   Slovenia crushes Poland and moves to second stage - Sep. 4, 2007
Slovenia has already qualified to the second stage of Euro 2007 as crushed Poland 70-52. Slovenia outrebounded the opponent 46-28 and limited Poland to just 7 points in the second quarter and to only 8 points in the third period. Radoslav Nesterovic registering a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, Erazem Lorbek posted 16 points and grabbed 8 rebounds and Jaka Lakovic had 15 points and 5 assists.
SLOVENIA 70 (13+21+12+24): Cebular, Lakovic 15, Capin DNP, Dragic 5, Nesterovic 11, Smodis 6, Slokar 4, Klobucar, Jagodnik 5, D.Lorbek 3, Vidmar 5, E.Lorbek 16.
POLAND 52 (19+7+8+18): Woloszyn, Pluta 12, Skibniewski, Witka 8, Dylewicz 9, Hyzy 4, Wojcik, Pietras 2, Szewczyk 1, Kitzinger 5, Frasunkiewicz 7, Koszarek 4.

   Injury prone Capin out of EC! - Sep. 4, 2007
Slovenian guard Aleksandar Capin will miss the rest of European Championship after suffering a knee injury during the game against Italy. He will be sidelined at least three weeks.

   Successful beginning for Greece - Sep. 4, 2007 
Greece successfully started its way to successfully defend its European title with a 76-66 win over Israel in the second game of Group A. Israel, coming into the game with some huge momentum from the additional previous week's qualifying round, fought toughly against the title-holders. Greece couldn't put their opponents away until the final quarter, when they caught fire from the 3-point line, connecting on five of seven three-point shots at one point.
After Antonis Fotsi's (210-F-81) injury, Greek team's two other power forwards - Kostas Tsartsaris (210-F-79) and Dimos Dikoudis (207-F/C-77, agency: Court Side) - had to recover this absence and they did well, combined for 30 points on 66% shooting from the field, 11 rebounds and two blocks. Even more, Kostas Tsartsaris stepped up in the last quarter with two crucial baskets from beyond the arc.
It took Israel almost three minutes to get its first points on the board, and by then Greece already led 7-0. Jeron Roberts (194-G/F-76, agency: Gross Zeev ISA, college: Wyoming) woke the challengers with five points in a row, and his seventh point was followed by Yotam Halperin (196-G-84, agency: Arik Krayn Services)'s three-pointer to give Israel their first lead of the night. Greece though answered with four points in a row to take a 19-15 lead at the end of the first period, but Yotam Halperin was just getting warmed up. He added seven points, and together with a great job in the paint by Yaniv Green (206-F-80, agency: Arik Krayn Services), helped Israel take a surprising 31-28 lead with a little under a minute left in the half. Kostas Tsartsaris though tied the game at 31 with his first successful three-point shot at the end of the first half. At that time, Greece had two out of 11 from the long range, but rediscovered its touch in the second half.
Yotam Halperin made it 42-40 to the Israeli side with 3:38 to play in the third, but for the next 11 minutes the Greek defense clamped down on their opponents. On the offensive end, Panagiotis Giannakis' team hit just about everything from downtown. When the score was tied at 46-46, Dimitris Diamantidis (196-G-80) hit a three-pointer which started a rain of three's by Greece. The team hit five three-pointers - all by different players - out of six attempts in a period of 4:30 minutes, to take a seven-point lead. Kostas Tsartsaris followed Dimitris Diamantidis and then Theodoros Papaloukas (200-G-77, agency: Interperformances) and Vasilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) follow on from them.
After Vasilis Spanoulis broke the "trend" with a two-point shot, Theodoros Papaloukas hit another long bomb (he finally finished with three out of three) to make it a 66-59 game for Greece.
Israel didn't give up just yet as Yotam Halperin converted another three-point play to cut the deficit to four, only for Kostas Tsartsaris to hit from long range line once again with 2:28 to play. The shot took whatever spirit Israel had left and seal the game, which ended at a 10-point difference for Greece (76-66).

   France - Poland : 74 - 66 - Sep. 4, 2007
Despite of the 19 points of the best scorer of the match and the oldest player of the competition (37 years old), A. Wojick, France has beaten the team of Polen in the opening group D match in Alicante.
France started well his match and after 9 minutes, the team reached the biggest lead of the game 22-12. The Polen played their game and were efficient in the painting. For France, it was the opposite, in the half time, France shouted more at the 6,25 meter line (17) than at 2 points.
In the 22 minutes, the Polish took the control of the game for some minutes, 38-35. The tiredness of the Polish and the athletic power of the French made the difference, in the 33 minutes, the lead for France was again of 10 points (65-55).
At the end of the game, the score is 70 - 63.
According to Tony Parker, even if this game was not the best, it is an important victory.
Poland : Koszarek (5), Kitzinger (7), Pluta (6), Frasunkiewicz (6), Dylewicz (8), Woloszyn (3), Szewczyck (12), Wojcik (19)
Crotia : Paker (16), Ferchaud (3), Gomis (9), Diaw (10), Diawara (10), Kirksay (12), Giffa (3), Badiane (4), Turiaf (7), Weis (2)

   Savrasenko gave a big heart and Kirilenko performed at high level - Sep. 3, 2007
Savrasenko gave a big heart and Kirilenko performed at high level as Russia started Eurobasket-2007 with victory over Serbia.
Russia - Serbia 73:65 (13:21, 17:17, 18:16, 17:19)
Rusia started strong with 9:0 spurt and took leadership all the way. Russian center Savrasenko had a difficult match-up against NBA-star Darko Milicicic
and fought with big heart inside paint. Still whole team heading by great coach Davide Blatt showed great khemistry helping each other as in defence either in attack.
But awful performance in free shots of Serbian players also was an important factor in final Russian victory. Start of the game was pretty nervous and Serbian
players were unlucky in episods while Russians demonstrated good tactic and mental power to finish 38:30 first half.
Kirilenko leaded his teammates after break making fantastic game. Russian leader easy found way in any situation for succesful attack working hard in defence also.
Experienced Zahar Pashutin scored decisive three-pointer in last minutes making a key-points-difference for comfortable Russian victory.
Russia: Andrei Kirilenko (205-F-81) 24 pts + 12 rebs + 3 bs + 3 ass, Alexei Savrasenko (215-C-79) 11 pts + 5 rebs + 1ass, Victor Khryapa 11 pts + 9 rebs, Nikita Morgunov 10 pts + 5 rebs.
Serbia: Milan Gurovic 24 pts, Milos Teodosic 15 pts.

   Kakiouzis: The gold medal is our aim at Eurobasket, again - Jul. 27, 2007
This time it's not a prophecy like it was in 2005. The Greek national team is now at its first stage of its preparation ahead of Eurobasket 2007, at Karpenisi, and its captain, Michalis Kakiouzis (206-C-76), took some time and answered a few questions at the Greek's National Federation's site about Greek team's defence of its title.
Q: Talk about the challenges of regaining the title and remaining at the top.
Michalis Kakiouzis: “At least this year we had the time to rest a little bit. We needed this time off. Now, we are all really happy just to be here, all together once more. We all know that we have to work really hard each and every day, each and every practice to get where we want.”
Q: We understand that your training has involved a lot of running at Karpenisi?
Michalis Kakiouzis: “This is the hardest part of the preparation. But we all know that this is the place where we are going to put the foundations of our effort. My only wish for now is for all of us to be healthy until the end”.
Q: Do you still insist that your only goal is to win another title?
Michalis Kakiouzis: “Yes! Our goal must be the title, since we are already the champions of Europe. We have set on ourselves very high goals, we have created many expectations. And we know that. We want the title; we want to stay at the top. It's not a prophecy or something like that. It's a matter of setting a goal”.
Q: Is it a burden for you that you are going to Spain as the European Champions?
Michalis Kakiouzis: “No. We got over that in Japan and I think we did it successfully. This doesn't mean that we are not going to try to give our best. We know that our opponents will have an extra motive playing against us, because they want to beat the champions. But I believe that it's up to us. We have to play nice basketball and of course to get the results we need”.
Q: Your group is not exactly what you could call ‘easy'. What do you think of your first round competition?
Michalis Kakiouzis: “We are going to face two teams that have great basketball tradition. Russia and Serbia are strong teams. And we'll get the strongest team from the additional qualifying round. Maybe all this will turn out for our best. It will keep us on guard from the very first day. We are not expecting easy games and it will not be easy for us to beat our opponents. We know that the path is narrow and difficult to pass. But we want to get to the destination we have determined: the gold medal”.

   Doron Jamchy: I hope we will make Giannakis' life difficult the evening of our possible game at Spain - Jul. 9, 2007 
Doron Jamchy (197-F/G-61), the best Israeli shooter of all time, one of its greatest players and Israel's top scorer of all times, with 4.224 points, 11 Israeli Championships won with Maccabi Tel Aviv and 7 Israeli State Cups, was present at Athens 1st Eurostar and gave at a brief interview, stating though some interesting things:
Q: What do you think are the chances of Israel to qualify from the Additional Qualifying Round to the forthcoming Eurobasket 2007 of Spain?
D.J.: First of all, I hope we can do it. However, it will not be easy to qualify and as an example I bring our loss from Portugal at the previous round, which brought us to the additional round instead of the final round of Eurobasket. We have a very talented team, with many talented players, although we still have the disadvantage of not having a full knowledge of our roster for the games. If it was difficult to qualify with our initial roster, after the withdrawals of Arnold and Burstein it would be even more difficult.
Q: If Israel qualifies, it will face Greece at the very first game of the first round of the Eurobasket 2007. What do you think of such a game, especially since Greece, in such a case, will have few games to be prepared for the game (we remind that the team to qualify to Group A of Granada will become just 3 days before Eurobasket's beginning)?
D.J.: The most games between Greece and Israel during the last years have been almost equal. However, generally there were also games with big differences for Greece. Of course, we made it difficult for Greece to qualify at Beograd and I think that our game at that Tuesday gave Greece a strong, mental especially, advantage for the rest of Eurobasket 2005. We raise their self-esteem a lot. In any case, Greece is a very difficult and talented team, the champions of Europe and 2nd team of World Championship, a very strong team. Giannakis is a very good friend of me and I hope we will make his life difficult that evening (we should have qualified firstly, of course).
Q: Do you have any idea of the presence of Israel's funs at Spain?
D.J.: With our national team the things are very different than with Maccabi and the presence of its funs at Euroleague's Final 4etc. Certainly, some people will follow us at Spain, but in any case I believe that Greeks will be much many at Granada than we.
Q: And something about the 1st Eurostar?
D.J.: It is always very good for me and I feel very happy when I have the chance to feel the great Greek hospitality for one more time. I feel also happy to meet again my friends - journalists - and to feel the support and admiration of all my years at the past. I really feel blessed to be here in Athens and join all these great players and old friends.

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