View: Mobile | Desktop
 
FOLLOW US:  Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  RSS
Men Women
Upcoming Events
Sep 22: GER: ProA starts
Sep 23: GER: BBL starts
Sep 23: ENG: BBL starts
Sep 23: IRL: Premier League starts
Sep 23: FRA: ProA starts
Sep 24: CZE: NBL starts
Authors:
Join Us!!! We are looking for someone to help us cover European Championships basketball. Please send us an e-mail.
  2008     Other seasons     2010  


Check also WOMEN European Champs. 2009

All Rosters
European Championships Final Standings
1. Spain
2. Serbia
3. Greece
4. Slovenia
5. France
6. Croatia
7. Russia
8. Turkey
9-10. FYR Macedo.
9-10. Poland
11-12. Germany
11-12. Lithuania
13-16. Latvia
13-16. Israel
13-16. U.Kingdom
13-16. Bulgaria

Points Per Game
 1 Gasol, P. ESP18,7 
 2.Parker, T. FRA17,8 
 3.Lorbek, E. SLO16.4 
 4.Ilyasova, E. TUR16,1 
 5.Spanoulis, GRE15,5 
Rebounds Per Game
 1. Gortat, POL10,8 
 2. Gasol, P. ESP8,3 
 3. Lorbek E. SLO7.4 
 4. Ilyasova, TUR7,3 
 5. Bourousis, GRE7,3 
Assists Per Game
 1. Teodosic, SRB5,2 
 2. Ponkrashov, RUS4,9 
 3. Logan, POL4,5 
 4. Parker, T. FRA4,4 
 5. Koszarek, POL4.3 
Steals Per Game
 1. Fernandez, ESP2,1 
 2. Parker, FRA1,8 
 3. Lavrinovic, LTU1,7 
 4. Calathes, GRE1.6 
 5. Monya, RUS1.6 
Blocks Per Game
 1. Gasol, P. ESP2,2 
 2. Gortat, POL2,0 
 3. Mozgov, RUS1,3 
 4. Gasol, M. ESP1,3 
 5. Ilyasova, E. TUR1,3 
Qualifying round
Group E Bydgoszcz
 1. France 5-0 
 2. Russia 3-2 
 3. Greece 3-2 
 4. Croatia 2-3 
 5. FYR Macedon. 1-4 
 6. Germany 1-4 
Group F Lodz
 1. Slovenia 4-1 
 2. Turkey 4-1 
 3. Serbia 3-2 
 4. Spain 3-2 
 5. Poland 1-4 
 6. Lithuania 0-5 
Group Places 13-16
 1. Bulgaria 0-0 
 2. U.Kingdom 0-0 
 3. Israel 0-0 
 4. Latvia 0-0
Preliminary Round
Group A (Poznan)
 1. Greece 3-0 
 2. Croatia 2-1 
 3. FYR Macedon. 1-2 
 4. Israel 0-3 
Group B (Gdansk)
 1. France 3-0 
 2. Russia 1-2 
 3. Germany 1-2 
 4. Latvia 1-2 
Group C (Warszawa)
 1. Slovenia 2-1 
 2. Serbia 2-1 
 3. Spain 2-1 
 4. U.Kingdom 0-3 
Group D (Wroclaw)
 1. Turkey 3-0 
 2. Poland 2-1 
 3. Lithuania 1-2 
 4. Bulgaria 0-3
Spain tore apart Serbia 85-63 to capture their first-ever EuroBasket gold medal in Katowice (photo: eurobasket2009.org)
Spain 2009 ROSTER
Starting Five in BOLD letters
Pau Gasol
Gasol
Ricard Rubio
Rubio
Juan Carlos Navarro
Navarro
Felipe Reyes
Reyes
Sergio Llull
Llull
4 Pau Gasol 214-F/C-80 Los Angeles Lakers USA
5 Rudy Fernandez 197-G-85 Portland Trail Blazers USA
6 Ricard Rubio 192-G-90 Regal FC Barcelona Spain
7 Juan Carlos Navarro 192-G-80 Regal FC Barcelona Spain
8 Victor Claver 204-F/C-88 Valencia B.C. Spain
9 Felipe Reyes 203-F/C-80 Real Madrid Spain
10 Carlos Cabezas 186-G-80 BC Khimky Moscow Region Russia
11 Raul Lopez 182-G-80 BC Khimky Moscow Region Russia
12 Sergio Llull 178-G-87 Real Madrid Spain
13 Marc Gasol 212-C-85 Memphis Grizzlies USA
14 Alex Mumbru 201-F-79 Bizkaia Bilbao Basket Spain
15 Jorge Garbajosa 205-C/F-77 Real Madrid Spain

Sergio Scariolo Head Coach BC Khimky Moscow Region Russia
Jesus Mateo Assistant Alta Gestion Fuenlabrada Madrid Spain
Juan Antonio Orenga Assistant MMT Estudiantes Madrid Spain
Jenaro Diaz Assistant Viopisa Gijon Baloncesto Spain


Eurobasket.com All-European Championships Awards 2009 - Sep 20, 2009

All-European Championships 1st Team 2009
Pau Gasol
Gasol
Juan Carlos Navarro
Navarro
Erazem Lorbek
Lorbek
Milos Teodosic
Teodosic
Rudy Fernandez
Fernandez
Best Player: Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) of Spain
Best Guard: Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) of Spain
Best Forward: Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84) of Slovenia
Best Center: Pau Gasol of Spain
Best Coach: Dusan Ivkovic of Serbia

1st Team
PG: Juan Carlos Navarro of Spain
SG: Milos Teodosic (195-G-87) of Serbia
SF: Rudy Fernandez (197-G-85) of Spain
PF: Erazem Lorbek of Slovenia
C: Pau Gasol of Spain

2nd Team
PG: Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82) of Greece
SG: Ersan Ilyasova (207-F-87) of Turkey
SF: Hedo Turkoglu (206-F-79) of Turkey *plays also as point guard and power forward positions
PF: Marijonas Petravicius (208-F/C-79) of Lithuania
C: Marcin Gortat (213-C-84) of Poland

3rd Team
PG: Tony Parker (183-G-80) of France
SG: Roko-Leni Ukic (195-G-84) of Croatia
SF: Kelly McCarty (201-F-75) of Russia
PF: Lior Eliyahu (205-F-85) of Israel
C: Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) of Serbia

Honorable Mention
Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) of Slovenia
David Logan (184-G-82) of Poland
Ioannis Bourousis (212-C-83) of Greece
Pero Antic (210-F-82) of FYR Macedonia  


Finals results and stats - Sep. 20, 2009 
FINAL
Spain - Serbia 85-63
Spain went into the 2009 EuroBasket Final trying to bury the nightmare of their last gasp loss to the hand of JR Holden on home soil in Madrid two years earlier and after a slow start to this tournament in Poland, none of that mattered as Serbia and 40 minutes stood between them and their supposed destiny. Could Serbia, the youngest team in the tournament, average age less than 23 years old spring another big surprise? Spain went onto court with P Gasol, Fernandez, Rubio, Navarro and Garbajosa while Serbia has Tepic, Teodosic, Tripkovic, Velickovic and Krstic. It was Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80), the leading scorer in the championships that fittingly got the first score of the final after Fernandez dumped it off to him in the paint. However that lead lasted barely a minute as Uros Tripkovic scored a triple from the top, a feat repeated by Navarro from the corner. Krstic then finished inside and the game was tied 5-5. Three minutes in and Rubio spotted up from the same location as Navarro and the outcome was the same as he sunk the three-pointer. Gasol then extended the Spanish lead with a turnaround jumper, again from a Fernandez assist and when Rudy then made his third assist to Garbajosa in the corner, he made Spain's third triple of the game and at 13-7 after five minutes, things already looked ominous for Serbia. Navarro then made a jump shot and Serbia were on the ropes and the early feeling was that a blowout was a possibility. Spain were moving the ball very well and when Fernandez stepped back and drilled home a trey, the double figure lead was established. By the time Raul Lopez finished in transition, Ivkovic called time-out his team 20-7 behind and caught in a Spanish whirlwind. Little wonder that the Spanish fans were celebrating early. Serbia found some respite when Markovic got to the line and made two free-throws. Spain were not only moving the ball but also very aggressive on the glass on the offensive end and that handed Marc Gasol the chance of his first points of the game as he sunk both free throws to take the game out to 22-9 with a little over 90 seconds remaining. Navarro then showed some nice dribble penetration before stopping and making a jump shot but thankfully for Serbia, Tripkovic made another big perimeter play to barely keep his team in the contest. A nice fake on the arc and drive to the hoop for Velickovic helped matters further as he gave a taste of what he can bring to the ACB this season at Real and that little flurry meant Serbia trailed 24-14 at the end of the first - a scoreline that could have been a lot worse but for the last 90 seconds. Serbia extended their run to 7 points at the start of the second as Velickovic made a nice baseline fadeaway but a tip-in by Marc Gasol got Spain back ticking over on the scoreboard again. Ivan Paunic drove to the bucket and was fouled by Mumbru and he made one from the line to reduce the gap to single figures before Marc Gasol fouled Velickovic and despite only just over a minute gone in the period, it was the fifth foul by the Spanish and he went made one free-throw. It was quite astonishing that Spain had managed to commit five foul in 80 seconds during this early stage of the game and in a comfortable position so not surprisingly Coach Scariolo wanted to talk it over with the refs. Fernandez was then blocked and not surprisingly when the ball ended back in his hands on the arc, he couldn't help himself but to shoot - an airball. Serbia had edged themselves back into the game with an aggressive approach but that aggression was matched by Pau Gasol as he ripped down a big dunk to make it 28-18. Fernandez was then back in the action again as he exploded to the hoop and was fouled, sinking both free-throws. He then made a spectacular reverse lay-up in transition and Spain were back on top again at 32-18. Serbia were finding it tough going and after Pau came up with a block and Reyes scored inside on the break, it was time-out Serbia again with just under six minutes left .Tripkovic, another player about to make his ACB debut made a couple of free-throws to slow Spain down. Pau Gasol was next to step up on the line but he missed both and then got the chance to redeem himself as Fernandez grabbed the rebound, found Navarro who threw it up to the Lakers star for a big alley-oop play. Rubio then made two free-throws and the blowout was all but confirmed with 4 minutes still to go until Serbia could find refuge in the locker rooms. Pau Gasol then made it 40-20 inside to spark cheers of 'MVP' from the Spanish fans. Dusan Ivkovic was doing everything in his power to keep encouraging his players to believe and Nenad Krstic made a couple from the line. The class of the Spanish was then underlined with a terrific play, outrageously nonchalant ball movement and patience finding Rubio wide open and home alone. He knocked down the triple and Serbia barely had time to breathe. Krstic made a lay-up but Fernandez cancelled that out with two more free throws before Pau Gasol threw another one down. It was getting embarrassing as Gasol then came up with another block and already the MVP was barely in doubt. Velickovic made a score on the fast break for Serbia but Navarro made another triple. Then with 12 seconds left, Teodosic responded with his own three-pointer but summing up a stunning first half display, Pau Gasol made a lay-up on the buzzer to leave the court with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 2 big blocks and his team 52-29 ahead and the gold medal already hanging round their necks - barring the biggest comeback in EuroBasket history. Spain were quickly back into the swing in the second half with a quick score from Rubio but Velickovic came back with a tip-in. Pau Gasol grabbed his first points of the third quarter from the free-throw line annoyed with himself he didn't convert when fouled and had to settle for two free-throws. Krstic then scored inside before then almost doing the same but he was hammered and had to make one point from the line, missing his second attempt. Spain were perhaps less fluid than in that stunning first half but the twenty point lead was always there or thereabouts as Pau Gasol came up with a monster rejection of Velickovic who was left floored by the experience. To his credit, Velickovic hen responded with a triple next time down the floor and Coach Scariolo called time-out to probably try and get his team back firing on offence with just four points in four minutes. Navarro got one to drop inside as Serbia defence focused on Marc Gasol while Teodosic responded with a lay-up. The Serbia fans tried to lift their team, in far bigger numbers than previously seen. Milenko Tepic gave them reason to cheer with a lovely spin move to the hoop and the gap dropped to 17 at 58-41. In what was turning into a courageous quarter for Serbia, Krstic then made a jump shot and was fouled by Marc Gasol. He made the free-throw and his team had outscored Spain 15-6 in just over six minutes. Just when it looked like Serbia could dream of an unlikely comeback at 58-44, Marc Gasol showed good perseverance inside and Rudy Fernandez made a lay-up. That meant time-out for Ivkovic with fewer than three to go until the final period. Felipe Reyes entered the game and the Real Madrid forward scored within a couple of seconds showing some range with a nice jump shot - the margin was back out to 20 points and when Fernandez shrugged off the attentions of some vigorous Serbian defence to make a jumper of his own, it was 66-44 with 90 seconds left. At least the Greek fans were making plenty of noise too in order to add to the atmosphere - sometimes a problem in blowouts but their incessant drumming and chanting kept the intensity inside the Arena up to a decent level. Still celebrating their bronze medal of course and perhaps enjoying watching a different team feeling the power of the Spanish. The all action Reyes loves a battle and he went strongly in the lane but was fouled hard, something he never minds and he made both with 6 seconds left to complete the scoring in the penultimate period. Spain headed into the last quarter with the same 23 point margin as they did at half-time at 67-44. It was a quiet start to the last ten minutes for both teams until Kosta Perovic threw one down aggressively and seconds later, Carlos Cabezas joined the party for the first time and instantly made an impression with a triple from the corner. That allowed the chants of 'Champions' to ring from the Spanish fans and the Spanish number 10 then made a jump shot just in case anybody thought it the celebrations were premature. After Tripkovic grabbed a put back the chants of 'Ole, Ole' went up as each Spanish player caught the ball and it ended perfectly with Real Madrid guard Sergio Llull grabbing a bucket as he was fouled. That led to another Serbian time out at 74-48. When he returned, Llull completed the 'And1'. Reyes was certainly enjoying himself and he grabbed another inside score as Spain became rampant and beared down on the thirty point barrier. Cabezas too highlighting the depth of the Spanish team as he moved to 7 points in four minutes. Pamesa Valencia center Perovic grabbed an inside score and then Raduljica made it a rare two scores in a row for Serbia but Pau Gasol was back scoring (already with a double double) as he got the fans chanting 'MVP' once again. The biggest EuroBasket margin in a final was 31 points in 1985 and Spain had just under three minutes to break that record but Serbia kept going. Raduljica scoring again and then Tripkovic draining a triple to put any record out of the picture. Cabezas went to the hoop and dropped it off to Llull at the last minute for a nice play and with just under a minute left the Spanish fans went for it and the celebrations started in earnest. Popovic made one free-throw and then Spain put the icing on the cake as Lull threw one up for Claver to finish with a spectacular reverse dunk. While Velickovic hit the last points of the Final with a triple the fiesta go into full swing as Spain were crowned European Champions for the first time with a classy and resounding 85-63 success.


3rd place
Greece - Slovenia 57-56
In arguably the best atmosphere of the tournament to date, both sets of boisterous supporters made for a superb pre-tip feeling ahead of this bronze medal game as the two losing semi-finalists tried to end their time at EuroBasket 2009 on a real high. Greece having been demolished by Spain and Slovenia having lost that overtime heart-breaker against Serbia after throwing away a double figure lead at the half. Both teams started at a high tempo and Peperoglou got the Greeks ahead with a three-pointer quickly followed by a drive to the hoop by Spanoulis. If their sluggish start was disappointing, the Slovenian supporters didn't show it but only increased the decibel level as they then watched Nachbar drill home a triple from the wing as he finally opened the Slovenian account. Shortly afterwards the former NBA man repeated the trick to hand Slovenia the lead. That lasted only seconds as Greece went inside to Sofoklis Schortsanitis (206-C-85) (206-C-85) and then a smart drive to the hoop and finish by Zsis gave Greece a 9-6 advantage. Slokar went up strong down the other end of the floor and was fouled and subsequently made both free throws while teammate Klobucar made one soon after to tie the game up at 9-9. Big Slovenia favourite Erazem Lorbek then finished with a nice right handed hook shot going to the hoop and Greece called a time-out with 3:34 to go in the opening period and 9-11 behind. Both teams then went scoreless for a few minutes until Calathes fouled Brezec and the big man stroked home two from the line to extend Slovenia's narrow lead. Greece were badly in need of some offence and it was Sofoklis Schortsanitis who provided it. He went up powerfully with his right hand for a score and also drew Golemac into the foul but missed the bonus strike. The Greeks were really pounding the ball inside and Bourousis who had been quiet gave Domen Lorbek (198-G/F-85) little option but to foul when mis-matched in the paint. Before the Greek center could get to the line, Coach Zdvoc called time-out with just under a minute remaining. While Bourousis could only make one, Greece got the offensive rebound and ended up with Sofoklis Schortsanitis being fouled by Jagodnik who was called for an unsportsmanlike foul. Sofoklis Schortsanitis made both to get Greece in front and after Slovenia threw the ball away again, Greece got the last possession. As Sofoklis Schortsanitis was looking pretty invincible, he ended up with the ball and powered his way on the baseline to spin to the hoop for a buzzer beater. He punched the air in delight and both teams headed to their respective benches with Greece 16-13 ahead courtesy of scoring the last seven points of the period. Greece took their run out to 14-0 at the start of the second with a triple from the corner by Bourousis, a nice two handed finish by Printezis and yet another move in the low post by Sofoklis Schortsanitis who really was impressing. That run handed Greece a double figure lead at 23-13 and finally Slovenia managed to snap a terribly dry spell as Erazem Lorbek made a shot. The very active Printezis restored the ten point margin from the line and then Slokar looking frustrated with Slovenian indecisiveness grabbed the ball, went on a left handed dribble evading the Greek defence and jammed it home. Sofoklis Schortsanitis was continuing to look hard to guard and after being man-handled by Slokar he made a free throw to keep Slovenia at arms length at 26-17. Erazem Lorbek then made an inside play with four minutes to go until the midway point of the game and Greece ahead 26-19. What happened next had everyone other than the Slovenian fans laughing as Sofo was again pretty much assaulted by Brezec inside but still managed somehow to get the ball in the hoop and it was a time-out for Zdovc again - still trying to figure out how to guard the Greece number 15. Sofoklis Schortsanitis then went to the line to complete the 'And1' and take his tally to 14 points, more than double any other player on the court. Erazem Lorbek then made a big three pointer to cut the gap to seven at 29-22. Greece decided to call time-out with just under two minutes to go. When the play resumed, Udrih made two from the line and then Calathes scored with a nice little jump shot. Neither side could make a play in the last sixty seconds and Greece led 31-24 at the break. After such a low scoring first two quarters it was always going to be fascinating to see how the second half would pan out and whether Slovenia could lock down Sofoklis Schortsanitis. However it was fellow big man Bourousis that was the first to score with a nice put back while for Slovenia, their big man Primoz Brezec converted first. Soon Sofoklis Schortsanitis was back at it again, scoring inside and drawing another foul which he sunk to take the margin back to ten at 36-26. Midway through the quarter and still Slovenia couldn't make a shot consistently and Greece were happy to pack the paint and cut off any drives to the hoop. Slovenia managed only those 2 points from Brezec in five minutes until finally Jaka Lakovic got one to drop from the perimeter for his team which re-energised the Slovenian fans. It led to Coach Kazlauskas to call time-out with 4.37 to go in the penultimate period and surely knowing a Slovenia run would come at some point. Zsis got the first points after the play re-started with two free-throws and then Nachbar made one down the other end. There was then a spectacular passage of play as Sofoklis Schortsanitis came up with a big block on Erazem Lorbek only for the ball to find Slokar who buried a three. However Sofoklis Schortsanitis was back in the action next time down as he again powered his way up to the hoop, made the play and was fouled although he missed the extra point. Erazem Lorbek was also not put off by the block in the previous play and he converted to make it 40-35.Fotsis then went up strong to convert and he too drew a foul which he missed. Slovenia then got a steal and lay-up in transition by Nachbar and Calathes missed a wide open triple in the last offence of the period for Greece but they still held the upper hand at 42-37 heading into the last ten minutes of the game. Amazingly Slovenia were at this point shooting 23% from both inside and out, unable to get any easy looks in the half-court and transition and triples both rarities. It didn't help when Slokar missed a dunk. Still the Slovenian fans tried their best to rouse their team in pursuit of a medal, this time Slokar getting fouled as put up a shot in the paint and he made both to make it a one shot game at 42-39. That also highlighted the fact Greece were drying up outside of Sofoklis Sofoklis Schortsanitis, something rectified by Bourousis who drained his second triple of the game. Lakovic then made a jumper and it was 45-41 with 8 minutes left until bronze was decided. Udrih then made an outside shot and suddenly it was a one point game with Greece now needing the likes of Spanoulis to come to the party but he tried to force it and was called for an offensive foul. After looking completely flat, Slovenia had the ball back and a much needed time out for Greece as the momentum switched to the Greens - now making a better effort without Smodis and Dragic on the court. Calathes steadied Greek nerves with a nice penetration and floating shot which dropped but moments later Lakovic was on the line although he could make one. That made it 47-45 with just over five minutes in the game. After a time-out it was developing into another nail biting game. Erazem Lorbek made one from the line and within seconds, both teams were in the penalty as Sofoklis Schortsanitis kept Greece in front sinking both from the free throw line. On the next play, the big man continued to make space for himself inside and Jagodnik couldn't cope so had to foul and again he made both to move to 23 points. He then grabbed a big rebound as Greece kept ahead at 51-46 but then committed an offensive foul with just over 2 minutes left, his fourth and it was time out. Lakovic made a play with a big three as the action resumed and as Spanoulis threw up an air ball from the perimeter in response, he looked for a foul but didn't get it. Erazem Lorbek tried to tie the game up but didn't make a turnaround jumper with a minute left then Greece delivered a dagger shot. The ball was kicked out on penetration to the hoop and Fotsis took his opportunity with a pivotal triple. There were 31 seconds left and it was 54-49 Greece. Lakovic got a quick look at the hoop with a left handed lay-up before Domen Lorbek fouled out after a quick foul on Spanoulis who missed his first but made his second to keep it at a two shot game. Lakovic went for the same play as previously and was fouled, almost getting it to drop but had to settle for two points from the line with 18 seconds left. This time it was Zsis who was fouled, his team 55-53 in front and a chance to make life really tough for Slovenia. He made both and that effectively sealed the game. Or at least that is what everybody thought until Lakovic sunk another one from the arc. Spanoulis then got the inbound and managed to run a good few seconds off the clock down the court before being fouled at 57-56. Again he missed his first and this time also his second but with 4 seconds left Slovenia got the ball to Nachbar who couldn't make a tough shot. That left the sounds of Zorba The Greek booming out of the Arena and it was tough on Zdovc, his players and their great fans.

5th place
France - Croatia 69-62
France wrapped up their EuroBasket campaign with a difficult win over Croatia. They overcame the absence of Tony Parker to tame Croatia at the end. France led throughout the major part of the game and managed to withhold furious comeback attemts from their opponents to celebrate at the end. Turiaf and Antoine Diot (191-G-89) put France ahead in the starting minutes. Nando De Colo soon came up with 7 points as France grabbed a 16:9 lead. Nando De Colo capped the first period with three points as Les Bleus enjoyed a 21:12 lead. Croatia opened the second quarter with a 10:2 run to cut the distance to just a single point. Antoine Diot and Mahinmi kept France in charge with timely buckets. Then Antoine Diot exploded with back-to-back trebles as the French team built a 34:24 advantage at halftime. Kasun dragged Croatia within 9 but France immediately responded. Mahinmi and Antoine Diot teamed up for five points in a row to make it 41:27. France maintained the double-digit lead before Croatia exploded with 10:0 spurt narrowing the deficit at 5 points with ten minutes remaining. Croatia continued their run at the start of the fourth frame scoring first four points. Ali Traore finally snapped the rally accouting for a lay-up. Bokolo immdeiatelly followed with a trey to give France a 51:45 lead. But Davor Kus matched it on the other end to keep Croatia close. Ali Traore, Nicolas Batum and Alain Koffi did not allow Croatia to get closer restoring a 7-point cushion. Banic and Bokolo traded three-point attempts before Loncar converted a three-point play to drag Croats within 4. Nicolas Batum exploded with five points in a row to balloon the margin at 9 points with under 3 minutes to go. Rozic fired a three-pointer but Les Bleus responded with a jumper from Alain Koffi and dunk from Ali Traore to silence their counterparts. Antoine Diot fired 18 points to lead the way for France. Nando De Colo added 15 points, while Nicolas Batum and Alain Koffi had 8 points each in the victory. Davor Kus responded with 18 points for Croatia. Sandro Nicevic had 12 points and 9 rebounds in the losing case.

7th place
Turkey - Russia 66-89
Turkey-Russia 66:89 Turkey: Omer Asik (211-C-86) 24+11 rebs, Erden 9 Russia: Fridzon 26, Ponkrashov 16, Zozulin 16 The defending champions of Eurobasket, Russia finished on the seventh place in Poland. Tonight the team beat Turkey 89:66 as the latter is 8th. Turkey was too good from the start and exploded with 9-0 run when Omer Asik closed it with a dunk. Sokolov responded wit a dunk for 9:2, while Ponkrashov tied the score at 10:10. Fridzon gave his team 13:12 and Zozulin closed the opening frame at 26:18. Russia started to increase the lead in the second frame and reached 37:23, when Ponkrashov nailed a three. Russia kept the necessary difference until the end of the half and had 11-point advantage. Omer Asik sent the teams to the lockers for 51:40 as Russia was the winner of the fist half. Russia continued to control the game in the beginning of the third period and had 60:45 midway through the frame when Fridzon fired his 17th point. He also scored two free throws later in the frame for 62:47, while Turkey cut the gap a bit at the end. Atsur nailed a three for 66:58, while Onan closed thirty minutes of the game with 68:59. In the fourth period Ponkrashov made it 74:61 and Omer Asik reduced to 74:63 as he posted his 22nd point. Ponkrashov nailed another two for 75:63 with 6 minutes to go. Fridzon answered all the questions in the game for 81:66 from the perimeter.Turkey did not score in the game anymore, while Russia added 8 more points. Fridzon paced all the winners with 26 points. Ponkrashov and Zozulin followed him with 16 points each for the 7th place. Omer Asik exploded with 24 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort, while Erden notched 9.


First Eurobasket Gold For Spain As Pau Gasol Leads The Way - Sep. 20, 2009 
Spain went into the 2009 EuroBasket Final trying to bury the nightmare of their last gasp loss to the hand of JR Holden on home soil in Madrid two years earlier and after a slow start to this tournament in Poland, none of that mattered as Serbia and 40 minutes stood between them and their supposed destiny. Could Serbia, the youngest team in the tournament, average age less than 23 years old spring another big surprise? Spain went onto court with P Gasol, Fernandez, Rubio, Navarro and Garbajosa while Serbia has Tepic, Teodosic, Tripkovic, Velickovic and Krstic. It was Pau Gasol, the leading scorer in the championships that fittingly got the first score of the final after Fernandez dumped it off to him in the paint. However that lead lasted barely a minute as Uros Tripkovic scored a triple from the top, a feat repeated by Navarro from the corner. Krstic then finished inside and the game was tied 5-5. Three minutes in and Rubio spotted up from the same location as Navarro and the outcome was the same as he sunk the three-pointer. Gasol then extended the Spanish lead with a turnaround jumper, again from a Fernandez assist and when Rudy then made his third assist to Garbajosa in the corner, he made Spain's third triple of the game and at 13-7 after five minutes, things already looked ominous for Serbia. Navarro then made a jump shot and Serbia were on the ropes and the early feeling was that a blowout was a possibility. Spain were moving the ball very well and when Fernandez stepped back and drilled home a trey, the double figure lead was established. By the time Raul Lopez finished in transition, Ivkovic called time-out his team 20-7 behind and caught in a Spanish whirlwind. Little wonder that the Spanish fans were celebrating early. Serbia found some respite when Markovic got to the line and made two free-throws. Spain were not only moving the ball but also very aggressive on the glass on the offensive end and that handed Marc Gasol the chance of his first points of the game as he sunk both free throws to take the game out to 22-9 with a little over 90 seconds remaining. Navarro then showed some nice dribble penetration before stopping and making a jump shot but thankfully for Serbia, Tripkovic made another big perimeter play to barely keep his team in the contest. A nice fake on the arc and drive to the hoop for Velickovic helped matters further as he gave a taste of what he can bring to the ACB this season at Real and that little flurry meant Serbia trailed 24-14 at the end of the first - a scoreline that could have been a lot worse but for the last 90 seconds.

Serbia extended their run to 7 points at the start of the second as Velickovic made a nice baseline fadeaway but a tip-in by Marc Gasol got Spain back ticking over on the scoreboard again. Ivan Paunic drove to the bucket and was fouled by Mumbru and he made one from the line to reduce the gap to single figures before Marc Gasol fouled Velickovic and despite only just over a minute gone in the period, it was the fifth foul by the Spanish and he went made one free-throw. It was quite astonishing that Spain had managed to commit five foul in 80 seconds during this early stage of the game and in a comfortable position so not surprisingly Coach Scariolo wanted to talk it over with the refs. Fernandez was then blocked and not surprisingly when the ball ended back in his hands on the arc, he couldn't help himself but to shoot - an airball. Serbia had edged themselves back into the game with an aggressive approach but that aggression was matched by Pau Gasol as he ripped down a big dunk to make it 28-18. Fernandez was then back in the action again as he exploded to the hoop and was fouled, sinking both free-throws. He then made a spectacular reverse lay-up in transition and Spain were back on top again at 32-18. Serbia were finding it tough going and after Pau came up with a block and Reyes scored inside on the break, it was time-out Serbia again with just under six minutes left .Tripkovic, another player about to make his ACB debut made a couple of free-throws to slow Spain down. Pau Gasol was next to step up on the line but he missed both and then got the chance to redeem himself as Fernandez grabbed the rebound, found Navarro who threw it up to the Lakers star for a big alley-oop play. Rubio then made two free-throws and the blowout was all but confirmed with 4 minutes still to go until Serbia could find refuge in the locker rooms. Pau Gasol then made it 40-20 inside to spark cheers of 'MVP' from the Spanish fans. Dusan Ivkovic was doing everything in his power to keep encouraging his players to believe and Nenad Krstic made a couple from the line. The class of the Spanish was then underlined with a terrific play, outrageously nonchalant ball movement and patience finding Rubio wide open and home alone. He knocked down the triple and Serbia barely had time to breathe. Krstic made a lay-up but Fernandez cancelled that out with two more free throws before Pau Gasol threw another one down. It was getting embarrassing as Gasol then came up with another block and already the MVP was barely in doubt. Velickovic made a score on the fast break for Serbia but Navarro made another triple. Then with 12 seconds left, Teodosic responded with his own three-pointer but summing up a stunning first half display, Pau Gasol made a lay-up on the buzzer to leave the court with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 2 big blocks and his team 52-29 ahead and the gold medal already hanging round their necks - barring the biggest comeback in EuroBasket history.
Spain were quickly back into the swing in the second half with a quick score from Rubio but Velickovic came back with a tip-in. Pau Gasol grabbed his first points of the third quarter from the free-throw line annoyed with himself he didn't convert when fouled and had to settle for two free-throws. Krstic then scored inside before then almost doing the same but he was hammered and had to make one point from the line, missing his second attempt. Spain were perhaps less fluid than in that stunning first half but the twenty point lead was always there or thereabouts as Pau Gasol came up with a monster rejection of Velickovic who was left floored by the experience. To his credit, Velickovic hen responded with a triple next time down the floor and Coach Scariolo called time-out to probably try and get his team back firing on offence with just four points in four minutes. Navarro got one to drop inside as Serbia defence focused on Marc Gasol while Teodosic responded with a lay-up. The Serbia fans tried to lift their team, in far bigger numbers than previously seen. Milenko Tepic gave them reason to cheer with a lovely spin move to the hoop and the gap dropped to 17 at 58-41. In what was turning into a courageous quarter for Serbia, Krstic then made a jump shot and was fouled by Marc Gasol. He made the free-throw and his team had outscored Spain 15-6 in just over six minutes. Just when it looked like Serbia could dream of an unlikely comeback at 58-44, Marc Gasol showed good perseverance inside and Rudy Fernandez made a lay-up. That meant time-out for Ivkovic with fewer than three to go until the final period. Felipe Reyes entered the game and the Real Madrid forward scored within a couple of seconds showing some range with a nice jump shot - the margin was back out to 20 points and when Fernandez shrugged off the attentions of some vigorous Serbian defence to make a jumper of his own, it was 66-44 with 90 seconds left. At least the Greek fans were making plenty of noise too in order to add to the atmosphere - sometimes a problem in blowouts but their incessant drumming and chanting kept the intensity inside the Arena up to a decent level. Still celebrating their bronze medal of course and perhaps enjoying watching a different team feeling the power of the Spanish. The all action Reyes loves a battle and he went strongly in the lane but was fouled hard, something he never minds and he made both with 6 seconds left to complete the scoring in the penultimate period. Spain headed into the last quarter with the same 23 point margin as they did at half-time at 67-44.

It was a quiet start to the last ten minutes for both teams until Kosta Perovic threw one down aggressively and seconds later, Carlos Cabezas joined the party for the first time and instantly made an impression with a triple from the corner. That allowed the chants of 'Champions' to ring from the Spanish fans and the Spanish number 10 then made a jump shot just in case anybody thought it the celebrations were premature. After Tripkovic grabbed a put back the chants of 'Ole, Ole' went up as each Spanish player caught the ball and it ended perfectly with Real Madrid guard Sergio Llull grabbing a bucket as he was fouled. That led to another Serbian time out at 74-48. When he returned, Llull completed the 'And1'. Reyes was certainly enjoying himself and he grabbed another inside score as Spain became rampant and beared down on the thirty point barrier. Cabezas too highlighting the depth of the Spanish team as he moved to 7 points in four minutes. Pamesa Valencia center Perovic grabbed an inside score and then Raduljica made it a rare two scores in a row for Serbia but Pau Gasol was back scoring (already with a double double) as he got the fans chanting 'MVP' once again. The biggest EuroBasket margin in a final was 31 points in 1985 and Spain had just under three minutes to break that record but Serbia kept going. Raduljica scoring again and then Tripkovic draining a triple to put any record out of the picture. Cabezas went to the hoop and dropped it off to Llull at the last minute for a nice play and with just under a minute left the Spanish fans went for it and the celebrations started in earnest. Popovic made one free-throw and then Spain put the icing on the cake as Lull threw one up for Claver to finish with a spectacular reverse dunk. While Velickovic hit the last points of the Final with a triple the fiesta go into full swing as Spain were crowned European Champions for the first time with a classy and resounding 85-63 success.


Greeks Grab Bronze In Another Heartbreaker For Slovenia - Sep. 20, 2009 
In arguably the best atmosphere of the tournament to date, both sets of boisterous supporters made for a superb pre-tip feeling ahead of this bronze medal game as the two losing semi-finalists tried to end their time at EuroBasket 2009 on a real high. Greece having been demolished by Spain and Slovenia having lost that overtime heart-breaker against Serbia after throwing away a double figure lead at the half. Both teams started at a high tempo and Peperoglou got the Greeks ahead with a three-pointer quickly followed by a drive to the hoop by Spanoulis. If their sluggish start was disappointing, the Slovenian supporters didn't show it but only increased the decibel level as they then watched Nachbar drill home a triple from the wing as he finally opened the Slovenian account. Shortly afterwards the former NBA man repeated the trick to hand Slovenia the lead. That lasted only seconds as Greece went inside to Sofoklis Schortsanitis (206-C-85) and then a smart drive to the hoop and finish by Zsis gave Greece a 9-6 advantage. Slokar went up strong down the other end of the floor and was fouled and subsequently made both free throws while teammate Klobucar made one soon after to tie the game up at 9-9. Big Slovenia favourite Erazem Lorbek then finished with a nice right handed hook shot going to the hoop and Greece called a time-out with 3:34 to go in the opening period and 9-11 behind. Both teams then went scoreless for a few minutes until Calathes fouled Brezec and the big man stroked home two from the line to extend Slovenia's narrow lead. Greece were badly in need of some offence and it was Sofoklis Schortsanitis who provided it. He went up powerfully with his right hand for a score and also drew Golemac into the foul but missed the bonus strike. The Greeks were really pounding the ball inside and Bourousis who had been quiet gave Domen Lorbek little option but to foul when mis-matched in the paint. Before the Greek center could get to the line, Coach Zdvoc called time-out with just under a minute remaining. While Bourousis could only make one, Greece got the offensive rebound and ended up with Sofoklis Schortsanitis being fouled by Jagodnik who was called for an unsportsmanlike foul. Sofoklis Schortsanitis made both to get Greece in front and after Slovenia threw the ball away again, Greece got the last possession. As Sofoklis Schortsanitis was looking pretty invincible, he ended up with the ball and powered his way on the baseline to spin to the hoop for a buzzer beater. He punched the air in delight and both teams headed to their respective benches with Greece 16-13 ahead courtesy of scoring the last seven points of the period.

Greece took their run out to 14-0 at the start of the second with a triple from the corner by Bourousis, a nice two handed finish by Printezis and yet another move in the low post by Sofoklis Schortsanitis who really was impressing. That run handed Greece a double figure lead at 23-13 and finally Slovenia managed to snap a terribly dry spell as Erazem Lorbek made a shot. The very active Printezis restored the ten point margin from the line and then Slokar looking frustrated with Slovenian indecisiveness grabbed the ball, went on a left handed dribble evading the Greek defence and jammed it home. Sofoklis Schortsanitis was continuing to look hard to guard and after being man-handled by Slokar he made a free throw to keep Slovenia at arms length at 26-17. Erazem Lorbek then made an inside play with four minutes to go until the midway point of the game and Greece ahead 26-19. What happened next had everyone other than the Slovenian fans laughing as Sofo was again pretty much assaulted by Brezec inside but still managed somehow to get the ball in the hoop and it was a time-out for Zdovc again - still trying to figure out how to guard the Greece number 15. Sofoklis Schortsanitis then went to the line to complete the 'And1' and take his tally to 14 points, more than double any other player on the court. Erazem Lorbek then made a big three pointer to cut the gap to seven at 29-22. Greece decided to call time-out with just under two minutes to go. When the play resumed, Udrih made two from the line and then Calathes scored with a nice little jump shot. Neither side could make a play in the last sixty seconds and Greece led 31-24 at the break.


After such a low scoring first two quarters it was always going to be fascinating to see how the second half would pan out and whether Slovenia could lock down Sofoklis Schortsanitis. However it was fellow big man Bourousis that was the first to score with a nice put back while for Slovenia, their big man Primoz Brezec converted first. Soon Sofoklis Schortsanitis was back at it again, scoring inside and drawing another foul which he sunk to take the margin back to ten at 36-26. Midway through the quarter and still Slovenia couldn't make a shot consistently and Greece were happy to pack the paint and cut off any drives to the hoop. Slovenia managed only those 2 points from Brezec in five minutes until finally Jaka Lakovic got one to drop from the perimeter for his team which re-energised the Slovenian fans. It led to Coach Kazlauskas to call time-out with 4.37 to go in the penultimate period and surely knowing a Slovenia run would come at some point. Zsis got the first points after the play re-started with two free-throws and then Nachbar made one down the other end. There was then a spectacular passage of play as Sofoklis Schortsanitis came up with a big block on Erazem Lorbek only for the ball to find Slokar who buried a three. However Sofoklis Schortsanitis was back in the action next time down as he again powered his way up to the hoop, made the play and was fouled although he missed the extra point. Erazem Lorbek was also not put off by the block in the previous play and he converted to make it 40-35.Fotsis then went up strong to convert and he too drew a foul which he missed. Slovenia then got a steal and lay-up in transition by Nachbar and Calathes missed a wide open triple in the last offence of the period for Greece but they still held the upper hand at 42-37 heading into the last ten minutes of the game.

Amazingly Slovenia were at this point shooting 23% from both inside and out, unable to get any easy looks in the half-court and transition and triples both rarities. It didn't help when Slokar missed a dunk. Still the Slovenian fans tried their best to rouse their team in pursuit of a medal, this time Slokar getting fouled as put up a shot in the paint and he made both to make it a one shot game at 42-39. That also highlighted the fact Greece were drying up outside of Sofoklis Schortsanitis, something rectified by Bourousis who drained his second triple of the game. Lakovic then made a jumper and it was 45-41 with 8 minutes left until bronze was decided. Udrih then made an outside shot and suddenly it was a one point game with Greece now needing the likes of Spanoulis to come to the party but he tried to force it and was called for an offensive foul. After looking completely flat, Slovenia had the ball back and a much needed time out for Greece as the momentum switched to the Greens - now making a better effort without Smodis and Dragic on the court. Calathes steadied Greek nerves with a nice penetration and floating shot which dropped but moments later Lakovic was on the line although he could make one. That made it 47-45 with just over five minutes in the game. After a time-out it was developing into another nail biting game. Erazem Lorbek made one from the line and within seconds, both teams were in the penalty as Sofoklis Schortsanitis kept Greece in front sinking both from the free throw line. On the next play, the big man continued to make space for himself inside and Jagodnik couldn't cope so had to foul and again he made both to move to 23 points. He then grabbed a big rebound as Greece kept ahead at 51-46 but then committed an offensive foul with just over 2 minutes left, his fourth and it was time out. Lakovic made a play with a big three as the action resumed and as Spanoulis threw up an air ball from the perimeter in response, he looked for a foul but didn't get it. Erazem Lorbek tried to tie the game up but didn't make a turnaround jumper with a minute left then Greece delivered a dagger shot. The ball was kicked out on penetration to the hoop and Fotsis took his opportunity with a pivotal triple. There were 31 seconds left and it was 54-49 Greece. Lakovic got a quick look at the hoop with a left handed lay-up before Domen Lorbek fouled out after a quick foul on Spanoulis who missed his first but made his second to keep it at a two shot game. Lakovic went for the same play as previously and was fouled, almost getting it to drop but had to settle for two points from the line with 18 seconds left. This time it was Zsis who was fouled, his team 55-53 in front and a chance to make life really tough for Slovenia. He made both and that effectively sealed the game. Or at least that is what everybody thought until Lakovic sunk another one from the arc. Spanoulis then got the inbound and managed to run a good few seconds off the clock down the court before being fouled at 57-56. Again he missed his first and this time also his second but with 4 seconds left Slovenia got the ball to Nachbar who couldn't make a tough shot. That left the sounds of Zorba The Greek booming out of the Arena and it was tough on Zdovc, his players and their great fans.

Semifinals - Sep. 19, 2009 
Group Places 5-8
France - Turkey 80-68
France earned the vital win at the European championship in Poland. They overcame Turkey to clinch the spot at the 2010 World Championship. Tony Parker exploded with 28 points and 10 assists to propel the team to the win. Turkey got to a storming start to the game as they scored 26 points in the first frame worth a 14-point lead at the first intermission. Turkey maintained the lead throughout the second term. Atsur and Suler gave the Turkish team a 19-point buffer at the start of the quarter. Batum and Diot stopped the bleeding and dragged France closer. However Turkey stayed calm and ensured a 43:32 halftime lead. But Les Bleus managed to recover as they changed complexion of the game drastically in the third stanza. Tony Parker, Florent Pietrus (202-F-81, agency: Octagon) and Nicolas Batum paced France to a 61:59 advantage with ten minutes to go in the game. Tony Parker poured in 10 points in a row at the start of the final frame as Les Bleus grabbed a 71:59 lead. Turkey could not recover from the shock. They accounted for just 9 points in the final stanza and had to surrender at the end. Antoine Diot, Nicolas Batum and Florent Pietrus scored 13 points each for France. Turiaf added 6 points in the winning effort. Hedo Turkoglu came up with 13 points, 6 boards and 3 assists for Turkey. Omer Asik added 11 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.

Russia - Croatia 69-76
Croatia clinched the spot at the 2010 World Championship in Turkey. They toppled Russia at the EuroBasket today to secure the ticket to the next years showdown. Roko-Leni Ukic knocked down 18 points and issued 8 assists to pace Croatia. Russia will have a chance to book the last train to Turkey when they face the World Championship hosts in the battle for the 7th spot tomorrow. Mario Kasun opened the game with a free throw but Sergey Monya quickly put Russia up with a three-pointer. Roko-Leni Ukic triggered a 7:0 run from the Croats as they surge in front 10:6. But Sergey Monya looked unstoppable in the frame as he poured in 8 points to pull Russia back in charge 14:12. Nicevic and Planinic capped the first frame with four points in a row as Croatia earned an 18:14 lead. Russia did not allow their opponents to run away at the start of the second frame. The teams kept it close and soon Timofey Mozgov and Zozulin gave Russia a 26:24 lead. Vorontsevich and Sergey Bykov extended the margin at 6 points midway through the second stanza. Zozulin followed with two free throws as the margin increased at 8-point mark. Vorontsevich opened a double-digit lead for Russia before Roko-Leni Ukic capped the half with a lay-up making it 33:41. Roko-Leni Ukic fueled a 12:0 run from Croatia in the third term. The team gained a 47:45 advantage. Kelly McCarty drew things level but Roko-Leni Ukic and Loncar responded with six points in a row to ensure a 53:47 lead for Croatia. The pressure grew on both teams nevertheless Russia dealt with it as they crowned the third stanza with a 9:5 run to trail by just two points with ten minutes to go. Kelly McCarty hit two free throws to level things at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Mario Kasun and Marin Rozic restored a 4-point lead for Croatia with seven minutes to go. Ponkrashov and Kus exchanged free throws and after a number of misses Sergey Monya drained a triple to knot things up at 65. Nicevic followed a timeout with four points in a row as Croatia surged back in front. Sergey Bykov answered with a lay-up to keep Russia within striking distance with just under 3 minutes left. Marin Rozic accounted for just one free throws out of two attempts making it 70:67 for Croatia with two minutes remaining. Sergey Bykov missed a lay-up and Roko-Leni Ukic punished Russia on the other end hitting a three-pointer. David Blatt called for timeout but Sergey Bykov missed another attempt right after it. Planinic also came up empty after his attempt, while Sergey Bykov dropped both free throws to narrow the distance. Kus was put to the stripe and hit one of his attempts. He missed the second one but won the offensive rebound. Marin Rozic got the ball and got fouled to account for both attempts sealing the win for Croatia. Croatia: Roko-Leni Ukic 18, Marin Rozic 14, Mario Kasun 12 Russia: Sergey Monya 18, Timofey Mozgov 9, Kelly McCarty 9

Group Semifinals
Spain - Greece 82-64
The first EuroBasket 2009 semi-final between Spain and Greece began to the sound three hugely noisy set of supporters, not only the Spanish and Greek fans but also the Lithuanian fans also out in great numbers. In a near capacity Spodek Arena it was Spain who drew first blood, Rudy Fernandez slamming home anb assist from Jorge Garbajosa before MVP in waiting Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) drained a long jump shot. Greece finally got off the mark two minutes into the contest as big man Bourousis scored inside. Soon Greece saw the task that was to lie ahead of them as 'La Bomba' lived up to his name with the first triple of the game. However not to be outdone Zsis drained a three-pointer as the shot clock counted down and within seconds Spanoulis tied the game up at 7-7 in a frantic opening. Navarro was looking hot as he moved to five points while down the other end Ricky Rubio found himself having to guard Bourousis in the paint - perhaps one of the biggest mis-matches in the tournament! While Bourousis didn't get the chance to convert, seconds later he found himself in the same spot and powered his way up tempting Rubio into fouling and the Greek star gleefully accepted the bonus from the line to hand Greece a 9-10 lead. Down the other end of the floor opposing center Pau Gasol was looking dominant already and he grabbed an easy looking hook shot to restore the Spanish advantage. When Bourousis managed to get another inside score for Hellas it was clear that both players would be hugely influential. Garbajosa got a put back on the fast break for Spain and then Fotsis re-adjusted nicely for a sweet looking jumper as the game really flowed brilliantly well. Pau Gasol was trying to keep pace with Bourousis and he did so with gusto as he nonchalantly stepped back to drain his first trey as Spain moved 16-14 in front. Fotsis was doing a decent job for Greece and he found himself back on the line and made both to tie the game up with just over 2 minutes left of a pulsating first quarter. After rimming out on a previous triple attempt, Fernandez went inside and made a bucket as well as drawing the foul to complete an impressive' 'And 1' play. Things got even better for him and his team seconds later when he grabbed a steal and made a no look pass to Pau Gasol who rammed it home, again drawing a foul and not surprisingly it was time for a Greek time out as they trailed 21-16. With Gasol missing the extra free throw Greece had the chance to narrow the gap again but the Spanish defence was proving a tough nut to crack with Cabezas shackling Spanoulis pretty well and he showed his prowess on offence too as he buried a three-pointer to complete an 8-0 run for the Spanish. That run was broken by Printezis who came up with a big dunk and a foul shot for a nice play but defensively Greece were struggling. Even Alex Mumbru came off the bench for an inside score but at least Greece finished the opening period with a flourish as Printezis finished a three man fast break to get back into the contest at 26-21. Greece turned to 'Big Sofo' to try and help inside with Pau Gasol but it wasn't Pau who was doing the damage early in the second as Felipe Reyes made a lay-up on the break before Spain exposed some lax Greek perimter defence through another triple from Navarro as Spain opened up the first double-digit lead of the game at 31-21. Greece were looking lacklustre with Spanoulis so well guarded and nothing was coming easy for them. Mumbru found himself on the line for a free-throw and he grabbed one of two as Spain converted the first six points of the quarter, in fact it became eight when Marc Gasol scored with a nice reverse lay-up and the game was really beginning to slip away from Greece - they were on the wrong end of a devastating 18-5 run since the first quarter and a time-out was called as they tried to stop the rot at 34-21. Even with the irrepressible Pau Gasol sat on his backside on the bench, Greece couldnt find any penetration or make a shot until finally the drought was broken with a big three in the quarter by Spanoulis. However the guard then turned the ball over next time down as Reyes got himself on the line as the Spanish broke down the floor. He made one and was joined again by Pau on the floor as Spain looked to press home their advantage, this time Fernandez getting one to drop off the glass to extend the lead to 37-24. Greece then got Spain in the penalty with over four minutes to go and Nikolaos Zsis made two only for Rubio and Calathes, wo yoiung guys to get in a tangle with Rubio also making both from the line after drawing the foul. Bourousis managed to get himself back in the game after a real lull with a nice tip-in and then Navarro fouled Fotsis who had the chance to narrow the deficit to single digits for the first time in a while bu he missed his second so it stayed ten points at 39-29. The number of foul shots with both teams now in foul trouble slowed the game down and Pau Gasol was next up, making one of two before things got a little ugly with words exchanged by Coach Scariolo and Bourousis who were both subject of technical fouls which cancelled each other out. The distraction was not as big as the one caused by Allen Iverson whose face came up on the big screens as he sat courtside and gave a little wave. Moments later Fotsis drained a big three and at 40-32 to go with 2:44 left in the half, Scariolo called a time-out and the crowd rocked with the cheerleders to some Michael Jackson tunes as they drew for breath. Just when it looked like Greece might haul themselves back into the game at a pivotal time, Sergio Llull entered the game and dropped a bomb from outside to restore the double figure lead although Zsis did strike one from the line seconds later. However after a foul by Schortsanitis, Pau Gasol made two from the line and there was fun down the other end of the floor. Big Sofo went up three times, missing under pressure on both occassions but finally got one to drop and pumped his fist as he drew the foul and converted the three-point play. It gave Greece some great momentum as Calathes put home a sweet bucket on the break to narrow to 45-38. Fernandez then made a score only for Sofo to get another inside lok as he muscled out the defence in typical fashion, much to the delight of the Greek supporters, hinting a comeback could be on the cards. Perhaps the big guy got a little too excited on the next possession as he tried to steamroller two Spanish defenders going on a long drive to the hoop and in what was probably the easiest refereeing call of the entire tournament, he picked up his second offensive foul. That handed Spain the ball 47-40 ahead with 11 seconds left of the half and after a time-out it was Fernandez that completed the scoring as Navarro dished up an assist to him under the hoop as he finished to hand Spain a 49-40 half-time lead. The third quarter started with Rubio slicing through the Greek defence like a knife through butter as he went to the hoop on a long arching drive almost unchallenged. Pau Gasol then made a lay-up off the glass. Spanoulis opened the Greek account but after a hustle play in the paint, Pau was at it again getting one to drop inside. Three minutes into the second half and Greece were back on the ropes at 55-42. Fernandez was producing some nice offensive rebounding and the Greek bench were getting a little heated and were warned by the referees. The game was being played at a far slower pace than in the opening although the intesity in terms of physicality barely dropped a notch. After Pau Gasol handed a defensive rebound to Rubio who was off and running, the problems of Greece mounted. The guard had both Fernandez and Navarro open on the wings having beaten the Greek defence down the floor and he chose Rudy who dropped the triple leading to a time out with Greece on the wrong end of a 9-2 opening to the second half at 58-42. A nice little jump shot on the run gave Calathes a score to inject some life back into Greece and as Printezis got a rebound and put back, the margin was back to 12 points but that last seconds as Pau Gasol was perfect from the line before being withdrawn. It was 60-46 with three minutes until the final quarter beckoned. Spanoulis made a nice play goin to the hoop but this time Marc Gasol was the one doing the damage with a fadeaway. Greece looked to lack belief and not surprising in the face of some tough Spanish defence. That gave the platform for another score as Cabezas made a lay-up with the Greek defence AWOL and we entered ther last minute of the penultimate period. Thankfully for Greece, Calathes made a three at the top to keep a little chink of light for them while on the last possessions neither teams could make a play and it was 64-51 heading into the last ten minutes. The last quarter began with a beautiful right handed dunk by Real Madrid guard Sergio Llull and again it was a slow start to the game for Greece as the same player then made two from the line. Spain were looking impregnable and the final nail in the Greek coffin came when Carlos Cabezas delivered a big triple to take the margin out to 20 points for the first time at 71-51. That didn't stop the great Greek fans from continuing their relentless support for their team although obviously despite 8 minutes left to go in the semi-final it was the Spanish fans scenting that elusive gold medal being just one game away with this game in the bag. It was exhibition stuff by Spain as Llull made another play and time-out Greece came more in hope and desperation with a bronze medal to be played for the following day than any feasible way of clawing back this one against the truly rampant World Champions. As the final quarter began to peter out as any kind of a realistic contest, Spain just continued to enjoy themselves and to play the game like a true fiesta - something the Spanish fans will be enjoying tonight and possibly tomorrow too. Greece tried in vain but they could make no impression as Spain ran out comfortable winners 82-64. It meant that for all of their early tournament malaise and general inability to live up to their reputation during the first group stage, Spain are now just 40 minutes away from a gold medal. Whether that waranted the SPanish fans chanting 'Champions' in anticipation, who knows although Slovenia and Serbia might have something to say about that. Greece meanwhile now think about bronze.

Serbia - Slovenia 96-92 (1OT)
Both teams lined up looking to make it to the Final of Eurobasket final of 2009 with the dubious task of trying to deny Spain gold and due to the spectacular noise and atmosphere of the Slovenian team the game could have been played on Slovenian soil - it was hard to believe this game was in Katowice, Poland. Serbia went with Tepic, Milos Teodosic (195-G-87) (195-G-87), Tripkovic, Raduljica and Krstic while Slovenia chose Lakovic, Brezec, Nachbar, Lorbek and Lorbek. It was Miroslav Raduljica who opened the scoring and that was followed by another bucket for Serbia as Milos Teodosic finished a strong right handed lay-up in the lane. Nachbar then got the Greens underway with a nice baseline jump shot. In the face of some deafening jeers Serbia managed to restore their early momentum with a nice Krstic jump shot having come up with block moments beforehand. Serbia were playing some strong defence and it looked like it was going to be a real war of attrition. Especially when Brezec put up an air ball having had some perhaps surprise form from outside in these championships. Some nice penetration into the key and a right handed hook off the glass by Dormen Lorbek broke a barren spell for both teams as the game approached the midway point of the opening period. Nachbar went to the line for two foul shots on that five minute mark and sunk them both to ensure a tied game at 6-6 in a defence dominated period, both teams rebounding pretty well defensively with cheap putbacks a rare commodity. Slovenia got Serbia in the penalty and it as Dormen Lorbek who handed Slovenia the lead. After Kristic missed a turnaround jumper, Raduljica committed a silly foul on the rebound and that put Nachbar back on the line to take the Slovenian advantage out to 6-10. With three minutes remaining, not surprisingly Coach Ivkovic called a time-out, his team having suffered an 8-0 run by their opponents. Not to be outdone by his brother, Erezam Lorbek suddenly came to life and drew a foul on an inside score to also convert the bonus and at 13-6 it was the Slovenian defence proving to be the difference. Serbia could get nothing going and it was looking tough during a scoreless five minutes. Down the other end Slovenia were still earning their points from the line, Nachbar making both again and almost coming up with a double digit lead at15-6. Kosta Perovic then ended a truly miserable offensive period for Serbia with two free throws of his own from the line and Coach Ivkovic was left hoping that the worse may have been over. Another cheap foul, this time on Slokar put Perovic back on the line and he made one. Markovic had the arduous task of following Lakovic all over the court and his attention was just too much as he also fouled to allow the combo guard to also make one of two free-throws. Entering the last minute of the period Serbia could get nothing much to drop but Perovic was fouled yet again on another big rebound and once more he made just one to make it 10-16. Just when Serbia were slowly creeping back up on Slovenia, Samo Udrih buried a triple and you've guessed it, down the other end of the court, Perovic was back shooting free throws and he made just one - again. That gave Slovenia the last possession but they weren't decisive enough but left the court 11-19 in front thanks mainly to 10 of 11 free throw shooting. Erazem Lorbek scored the first bucket of the second quarter off a nice assist inside by Lakovic but Perovic replied instantly. Serbia were however getting nothing in transition with Slovenia nicely organised on defending the fast break but Perovic was coming up big time for them - this time with a nice tip dunk from a missed Tepic lay-up. Slovenia then let Serbia back in as Slokar committed an unsportsmanlike foul and Velickovic made them pay with both free-throws and it was time out by Jure Zdovc his team still ahead but looking less comfortable at 17-21. He might have been figuring out a way to stop Perovic but it didn't work as the center scored again to move into double-figures and make it a 2 point game. However Erazem Lorbek soon responded and the Slovenian fans were on their feet when the same player went inside and drew a foul on Bjelica put managed to get the drop and this time it was Ivkovic calling time out with 7 minutes left and his team 19-25 behind. Lorbek completed the 'And-1'. Serbia needed the likes of Krstic, Velickovic and Milos Teodosic to really step it up if they wanted to grind this one out. Markovic grabbed a great offensive rebound and put back on the run before some controversy over whether Dormen Lorbek had drained a triple as the shot clock sounded. It was basket good and Slovenia were 21-29 ahead. Serbia were stone cold from outside and Bjelica rimming out put them 0/8 in the game while Brezec compounded their pain with an inside score and a bonus from the free-throw line which opened up a double figure lead at 21-32 with just under 4 minutes to go until the interval. Much to the relief of Serbian fans, their team came up with five straight points, a three-pointer in the corner from Milos Teodosic and a monster dunk by Krstic and that led Zdovc to call a time-out for Slovenia having seen his teams advantage almost halved in just 20 seconds. Nachbar came up with a smart play straight out of the time-out, faking the three and looking to drive as he drew the foul on Bjelica and made both from the line. There were jeers from Slovenian fans when Brezec was called for a foul on Milos Teodosic who could only make one and Serbia continued to chase the Slovenian shadow. Slovenia went to Erezam Lorbek in the paint and he drew a foul on Krstic as the fans chanted 'MVP, MVP', perhaps as a hint to the watching media who vote in these matters. He made them both but Krstic replied. Seconds later Erezam Lorbek had the fans chanting MVP even louder after a gorgeous tip slam in traffic. It was 29-38 to the Greens. Milos Teodosic made two from the line for Serbia but it was Dormen Lorbek scoring next time down, also from the free-throw position and he sunk both to keep Slovenia in control. Krstic got another inside bucket and he was beginning to steadily grow in influence but it never looked quite enough and especially when Dormen Lorbek sunk a trey from the corner to put Slovenia ten points up at 33-43. A tight game was beginning to open up as Krstic scored again before Erezam Lorbek returned to the line to more chants of support. With 11 seconds left of the half and down by ten, Bjelica rimmed out and it was a shot that realistically Serbia needed to make as they headed into the locker room trailing 35-45. Amazingly, the Lorbek brothers scoring around 80% of Slovenian points in the half! Serbia began the second half with the first basket, an inside basket by Krstic and in a similar pattern to the first half it was Erezam Lorbek who was straight back into the action as the Slovenian heartbeat with a triple on the shot clock buzzer. Milenko Tepic then made a decisive move to the hoop to slam home an open score and the difference was single figures. It was going to be intriguing to see if Serbia could make some outside shots but again little dropped in their first couple of attempts. Tepic was trying to take the game to Slovenia and another tough move drew the foul and he cut the deficit to just seven points at 41-48. While Serbia were more aggressive they remained stone cold from the arc and that misery was compounded when Nachbar drained a three and Ivkovic incurred a technical foul which led to Lakovic making one from the line. Serbia were 11 points behind at 41-52. Serbia then came up with a little burst of scoring six points in a hurry. Tepic making a lay-up and then one free throw before a triple from Velickovic and suddenly it was 47-52 and Slovenia called time-out to try and regain some composure and stop the Serbian momentum. After an offensive foul by Udrih, Velickovic got a lucky one to drop after bouncing on the rim and it was suddenly a one shot game instead of a double digit contest. Erezam Lorbek then got a much needed score for Slovenia which was followed up by a fourth foul on Tripkovic to send Dormen Lorbek to the line for two free-throws to make it 49-56 with 90 seconds left in the period. Kosta Perovic was back on the line again, this time for the first time in the half and he made both. Erazem Lorbek then rashly picked up what could be a crucial fourth foul and it was a really needless one as Tepic again narrowed the gap to make it a one shot game. Paunic then fouled Golemac and the big man made one to hand Serbia the ball with just over 40 seconds left and Perovic went strong to get back to the free-throw line. He sunk both and the game was delicately poised at just two points difference. Serbia then came up with a steal and with less than one second left, Golemac fouled Markovic and he made one to get within one point of Slovenia in a great quarter for Serbia. Serbia then completed the comeback when Milos Teodosic nailed a triple to start the final period and after a free throw by Lakovic, he was at it again, burying another three-pointer and suddenly Slovenia were in trouble at 62-58 and their talisman Erezam Lorbek on foul trouble and on the bench with four fouls. It led to Jure Zdovc to call a time out with seven minutes left. The coach decided to risk putting his big player back into the game and it paid instant dividends as he went up strong and got fouled making both to move to 23 points. However Tepic made a beautiful play with a drive and high shot way up on the glass that drew gasps from the crowd but not as much as when Dormen Lorbek sunk a three-pointer from way downtown to make it 64-63 and cut the gap. The crowd went wild but incredibly Perovic then went and restored the advantage with an inside score and foul shot as he finished the three point play inside. The game was on an absolute knife edge. The nervous tension inside the Spodek was palpable and Nachbar made one from the line for Slovenia as their fans prayed their team could regain control in the last five or six minutes. It was time out with 5:36 remaining and a gold or silver medal was still on the line for both teams. Erezam Lorbek was back on the line and he made both before a pivotal moment in the game when Nachbar drew a cheap foul on Tepic. Not only did it allow him to make one from the line to tie the game up but it was the fifth for Tepic who left the court. However Serbia still had Milos Teodosic and he made a tough lay up in the paint before a massive three-pointer by Jagodnik gave Slovenia the lead once more with three minutes left at 69-70. Jagodnik then got another bucket to take Slovenia into a further lead before Milos Teodosic made one from the line. The Arena then erupted as Dormen Lorbek sunk a triple to give his team a 70-75 lead with two minutes to go and it was time-out Serbia with Krstic to go on the line when the action resumed. The NBA man made both and it was a one shot game again. However when Jagodnik then delivered an absolute dagger from the corner the place went crazy again and Serbia looked like they might be done. Not a bit of it as Lakovic fouled Milos Teodosic on a triple attempt and he made all three to make it 75-78 with 80 seconds left. On the next two possessions there were two pivotal plays, Krstic coming up with a superb block and then Brezec called for a fifth foul and an unsportsmanlike on Milos Teodosic who made one from the line. On the resulting possession he missed the lay-up and it was tough to bear for the guard. 35 seconds left and Krstic fouled Lakovic who made one from the line only for Milos Teodosic to make amends with a huge, huge three from the top to tie the game up with a big time triple at 79-79. That effectively gave Slovenia the last possession but Lakovic couldnt make the play and with a couple of seconds left Velickovic threw one up but it was short and that mean....take a breath - overtime! Krstic scored the first points of the extra period with a tip-in off a Velickovic missed lay-up and the tension really was unbearable. The big man then repeated almost the same play as Slovenia failed to box out and they found themselves trailing 83-79. That led to a quick time out by Jure Zdovc as the small band of Serbian fans made themselves heard above the Slovenian hoardes for pretty much the first time in the night. They were shouting even more loudly when Uros Tripkovic then struck from downtown to hand his team a 7 point lead, their biggest of the night at just the right time. Slokar then made two free-throws to maintain hope for Slovenia at 86-81. Udrih then held his nerve from the line for the Greens and it was a one shot game with just over two minutes and Nachbar was fouled next time down. He made one and Serbia then went to Milos Teodosic who buried another massive triple. At 89-84 Dormen Lorbek made a lay-up and there was 45 seconds left and Nachbar drew a foul on Velickovic after a defensive rebound. This time he made both and it was a one point game at 89-88 and in another stunning play - the hot hand Milos Teodosic made another huge triple. Just when it looked like it was over for sure, Lakovic then made a three-pointer with 12 seconds to go. It was time-out and Serbia 92-91 ahead - with the ball on the half way line. Lakovic had to foul out by fouling Milos Teodosic and he went to the line. He was just the man Serbia needed to keep a cool head and he made both. Serbia smartly fouled Samo Udrih down the court so he couldnt get a triple chance but he did make one from the line. With Slovenia having to foul, Velickovic went to seal the game with five seconds left - something he did to secure a truly remarkable win. Slovenia were cruising and while some might say they blew it, Serbia deserve the credit for a stunning achievement to make the Final with so many guys missing. Meanwhile the 32 point performance of Milos Teodosic will live long in the memory.


Stunning Serbia Slay Slovenia In Overtime Thriller To Make Final - Sep. 19, 2009 
Both teams lined up looking to make it to the Final of Eurobasket final of 2009 with the dubious task of trying to deny Spain gold and due to the spectacular noise and atmosphere of the Slovenian team the game could have been played on Slovenian soil - it was hard to believe this game was in Katowice, Poland. Serbia went with Milenko Tepic, Milos Teodosic (195-G-87), Uros Tripkovic (196-G-86, agency: Beo Basket), Miroslav Raduljica (213-C-88, agency: Octagon) (213-C-88, agency: Octagon) and Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) while Slovenia chose Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78), Primoz Brezec (216-F/C-79), Bostjan Nachbar (207-G/F-80), Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) and Domen Lorbek (198-G/F-85). It was Miroslav Raduljica who opened the scoring and that was followed by another bucket for Serbia as Milos Teodosic finished a strong right handed lay-up in the lane. Bostjan Nachbar then got the Greens underway with a nice baseline jump shot. In the face of some deafening jeers Serbia managed to restore their early momentum with a nice Nenad Krstic jump shot having come up with block moments beforehand. Serbia were playing some strong defence and it looked like it was going to be a real war of attrition. Especially when Primoz Brezec put up an air ball having had some perhaps surprise form from outside in these championships. Some nice penetration into the key and a right handed hook off the glass by Domen Lorbek broke a barren spell for both teams as the game approached the midway point of the opening period.

Nachbar went to the line for two foul shots on that five minute mark and sunk them both to ensure a tied game at 6-6 in a defence dominated period, both teams rebounding pretty well defensively with cheap putbacks a rare commodity. Slovenia got Serbia in the penalty and it as Domen Lorbek who handed Slovenia the lead. After Kristic missed a turnaround jumper, Miroslav Raduljica committed a silly foul on the rebound and that put Nachbar back on the line to take the Slovenian advantage out to 6-10. With three minutes remaining, not surprisingly Coach Ivkovic called a time-out, his team having suffered an 8-0 run by their opponents. Not to be outdone by his brother, Erazem Lorbek suddenly came to life and drew a foul on an inside score to also convert the bonus and at 13-6 it was the Slovenian defence proving to be the difference. Serbia could get nothing going and it was looking tough during a scoreless five minutes.

Down the other end Slovenia were still earning their points from the line, Nachbar making both again and almost coming up with a double digit lead at15-6. Kosta Perovic (217-C-85) then ended a truly miserable offensive period for Serbia with two free throws of his own from the line and Coach Dusan Ivkovic (agency: Beo Basket ) was left hoping that the worse may have been over. Another cheap foul, this time on Uros Slokar (210-F/C-83) put Perovic back on the line and he made one. Stefan Markovic (194-G-88) had the arduous task of following Lakovic all over the court and his attention was just too much as he also fouled to allow the combo guard to also make one of two free-throws. Entering the last minute of the period Serbia could get nothing much to drop but Perovic was fouled yet again on another big rebound and once more he made just one to make it 10-16. Just when Serbia were slowly creeping back up on Slovenia, Samo Udrih (195-G-79) buried a triple and you've guessed it, down the other end of the court, Perovic was back shooting free throws and he made just one - again. That gave Slovenia the last possession but they weren't decisive enough but left the court 11-19 in front thanks mainly to 10 of 11 free throw shooting.

Erazem Lorbek scored the first bucket of the second quarter off a nice assist inside by Lakovic but Perovic replied instantly. Serbia were however getting nothing in transition with Slovenia nicely organised on defending the fast break but Perovic was coming up big time for them - this time with a nice tip dunk from a missed Tepic lay-up. Slovenia then let Serbia back in as Slokar committed an unsportsmanlike foul and Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) made them pay with both free-throws and it was time out by Jurij Zdovc his team still ahead but looking less comfortable at 17-21.

He might have been figuring out a way to stop Perovic but it didn't work as the center scored again to move into double-figures and make it a 2 point game. However Erazem Lorbek soon responded and the Slovenian fans were on their feet when the same player went inside and drew a foul on Nemanja Bjelica (209-F/C-88, agency: Interperformances) put managed to get the drop and this time it was Ivkovic calling time out with 7 minutes left and his team 19-25 behind. Lorbek completed the 'And-1'. Serbia needed the likes of Krstic, Velickovic and Milos Teodosic to really step it up if they wanted to grind this one out. Markovic grabbed a great offensive rebound and put back on the run before some controversy over whether Dormen Lorbek had drained a triple as the shot clock sounded. It was basket good and Slovenia were 21-29 ahead. Serbia were stone cold from outside and Bjelica rimming out put them 0/8 in the game while Brezec compounded their pain with an inside score and a bonus from the free-throw line which opened up a double figure lead at 21-32 with just under 4 minutes to go until the interval.

Much to the relief of Serbian fans, their team came up with five straight points, a three-pointer in the corner from Milos Teodosic and a monster dunk by Krstic and that led Zdovc to call a time-out for Slovenia having seen his teams advantage almost halved in just 20 seconds. Nachbar came up with a smart play straight out of the time-out, faking the three and looking to drive as he drew the foul on Bjelica and made both from the line. There were jeers from Slovenian fans when Brezec was called for a foul on Milos Teodosic who could only make one and Serbia continued to chase the Slovenian shadow. Slovenia went to Erazem Lorbek in the paint and he drew a foul on Krstic as the fans chanted 'MVP, MVP', perhaps as a hint to the watching media who vote in these matters. He made them both but Krstic replied. Seconds later Erazem Lorbek had the fans chanting MVP even louder after a gorgeous tip slam in traffic. It was 29-38 to the Greens.

Milos Teodosic made two from the line for Serbia but it was Domen Lorbek scoring next time down, also from the free-throw position and he sunk both to keep Slovenia in control. Krstic got another inside bucket and he was beginning to steadily grow in influence but it never looked quite enough and especially when Domen Lorbek sunk a trey from the corner to put Slovenia ten points up at 33-43. A tight game was beginning to open up as Krstic scored again before Erazem Lorbek returned to the line to more chants of support. With 11 seconds left of the half and down by ten, Bjelica rimmed out and it was a shot that realistically Serbia needed to make as they headed into the locker room trailing 35-45. Amazingly, the Lorbek brothers scoring around 80% of Slovenian points in the half!
Serbia began the second half with the first basket, an inside basket by Krstic and in a similar pattern to the first half it was Erazem Lorbek who was straight back into the action as the Slovenian heartbeat with a triple on the shot clock buzzer. Milenko Tepic (198-G-87, agency: Beo Basket) then made a decisive move to the hoop to slam home an open score and the difference was single figures. It was going to be intriguing to see if Serbia could make some outside shots but again little dropped in their first couple of attempts. Tepic was trying to take the game to Slovenia and another tough move drew the foul and he cut the deficit to just seven points at 41-48. While Serbia were more aggressive they remained stone cold from the arc and that misery was compounded when Nachbar drained a three and Ivkovic incurred a technical foul which led to Lakovic making one from the line. Serbia were 11 points behind at 41-52.


Serbia then came up with a little burst of scoring six points in a hurry. Tepic making a lay-up and then one free throw before a triple from Velickovic and suddenly it was 47-52 and Slovenia called time-out to try and regain some composure and stop the Serbian momentum. After an offensive foul by Udrih, Velickovic got a lucky one to drop after bouncing on the rim and it was suddenly a one shot game instead of a double digit contest. Erazem Lorbek then got a much needed score for Slovenia which was followed up by a fourth foul on Tripkovic to send Domen Lorbek to the line for two free-throws to make it 49-56 with 90 seconds left in the period. Kosta Perovic was back on the line again, this time for the first time in the half and he made both. Erazem Lorbek then rashly picked up what could be a crucial fourth foul and it was a really needless one as Tepic again narrowed the gap to make it a one shot game. Paunic then fouled Jurica Golemac (209-F-77) and the big man made one to hand Serbia the ball with just over 40 seconds left and Perovic went strong to get back to the free-throw line. He sunk both and the game was delicately poised at just two points difference. Serbia then came up with a steal and with less than one second left, Golemac fouled Markovic and he made one to get within one point of Slovenia in a great quarter for Serbia.

Serbia then completed the comeback when Milos Teodosic nailed a triple to start the final period and after a free throw by Lakovic, he was at it again, burying another three-pointer and suddenly Slovenia were in trouble at 62-58 and their talisman Erazem Lorbek on foul trouble and on the bench with four fouls. It led to Jurij Zdovc to call a time out with seven minutes left. The coach decided to risk putting his big player back into the game and it paid instant dividends as he went up strong and got fouled making both to move to 23 points. However Tepic made a beautiful play with a drive and high shot way up on the glass that drew gasps from the crowd but not as much as when Dormen Lorbek sunk a three-pointer from way downtown to make it 64-63 and cut the gap. The crowd went wild but incredibly Perovic then went and restored the advantage with an inside score and foul shot as he finished the three point play inside. The game was on an absolute knife edge.
The nervous tension inside the Spodek was palpable and Nachbar made one from the line for Slovenia as their fans prayed their team could regain control in the last five or six minutes. It was time out with 5:36 remaining and a gold or silver medal was still on the line for both teams. Erazem Lorbek was back on the line and he made both before a pivotal moment in the game when Nachbar drew a cheap foul on Tepic. Not only did it allow him to make one from the line to tie the game up but it was the fifth for Tepic who left the court. However Serbia still had Milos Teodosic and he made a tough lay up in the paint before a massive three-pointer by Goran Jagodnik gave Slovenia the lead once more with three minutes left at 69-70. Jagodnik then got another bucket to take Slovenia into a further lead before Milos Teodosic made one from the line.
The Arena then erupted as Dormen Lorbek sunk a triple to give his team a 70-75 lead with two minutes to go and it was time-out Serbia with Krstic to go on the line when the action resumed. The NBA man made both and it was a one shot game again. However when Jagodnik then delivered an absolute dagger from the corner the place went crazy again and Serbia looked like they might be done. Not a bit of it as Lakovic fouled Milos Teodosic on a triple attempt and he made all three to make it 75-78 with 80 seconds left. On the next two possessions there were two pivotal plays, Krstic coming up with a superb block and then Brezec called for a fifth foul and an unsportsmanlike on Milos Teodosic who made one from the line. On the resulting possession he missed the lay-up and it was tough to bear for the guard. 35 seconds left and Krstic fouled Lakovic who made one from the line only for Milos Teodosic to make amends with a huge, huge three from the top to tie the game up with a big time triple at 79-79. That effectively gave Slovenia the last possession but Lakovic couldnt make the play and with a couple of seconds left Velickovic threw one up but it was short and that mean....take a breath - overtime!

Krstic scored the first points of the extra period with a tip-in off a Velickovic missed lay-up and the tension really was unbearable. The big man then repeated almost the same play as Slovenia failed to box out and they found themselves trailing 83-79. That led to a quick time out by Jurij Zdovc as the small band of Serbian fans made themselves heard above the Slovenian hoardes for pretty much the first time in the night. They were shouting even more loudly when Uros Tripkovic then struck from downtown to hand his team a 7 point lead, their biggest of the night at just the right time. Slokar then made two free-throws to maintain hope for Slovenia at 86-81. Udrih then held his nerve from the line for the Greens and it was a one shot game with just over two minutes and Nachbar was fouled next time down. He made one and Serbia then went to Milos Teodosic who buried another massive triple. At 89-84 Domen Lorbek made a lay-up and there was 45 seconds left and Nachbar drew a foul on Velickovic after a defensive rebound. This time he made both and it was a one point game at 89-88 and in another stunning play - the hot hand Milos Teodosic made another huge triple. Just when it looked like it was over for sure, Lakovic then made a three-pointer with 12 seconds to go. It was time-out and Serbia 92-91 ahead - with the ball on the half way line. Lakovic had to foul out by fouling Milos Teodosic and he went to the line. He was just the man Serbia needed to keep a cool head and he made both. Serbia smartly fouled Samo Udrih down the court so he couldnt get a triple chance but he did make one from the line. With Slovenia having to foul, Velickovic went to seal the game with five seconds left - something he did to secure a truly remarkable win. Slovenia were cruising and while some might say they blew it, Serbia deserve the credit for a stunning achievement to make the Final with so many guys missing. Meanwhile the 32 point performance of Milos Teodosic will live long in the memory.




Spanish Sights Now On Gold As Greek Search For Bronze - Sep. 19, 2009 
The first EuroBasket 2009 semi-final between Spain and Greece began to the sound three hugely noisy set of supporters, not only the Spanish and Greek fans but also the Lithuanian fans also out in great numbers. In a near capacity Spodek Arena it was Spain who drew first blood, Rudy Fernandez slamming home an assist from Jorge Garbajosa before MVP in waiting Pau Gasol drained a long jump shot. Greece finally got off the mark two minutes into the contest as big man Bourousis scored inside. Soon Greece saw the task that was to lie ahead of them as 'La Bomba' lived up to his name with the first triple of the game. However not to be outdone Zsis drained a three-pointer as the shot clock counted down and within seconds Spanoulis tied the game up at 7-7 in a frantic opening.

Navarro was looking hot as he moved to five points while down the other end Ricky Rubio found himself having to guard Bourousis in the paint - perhaps one of the biggest mis-matches in the tournament! While Bourousis didn't get the chance to convert, seconds later he found himself in the same spot and powered his way up tempting Rubio into fouling and the Greek star gleefully accepted the bonus from the line to hand Greece a 9-10 lead. Down the other end of the floor opposing center Pau Gasol was looking dominant already and he grabbed an easy looking hook shot to restore the Spanish advantage.

When Bourousis managed to get another inside score for Hellas it was clear that both players would be hugely influential. Garbajosa got a put back on the fast break for Spain and then Fotsis re-adjusted nicely for a sweet looking jumper as the game really flowed brilliantly well. Pau Gasol was trying to keep pace with Bourousis and he did so with gusto as he nonchalantly stepped back to drain his first trey as Spain moved 16-14 in front.

Fotsis was doing a decent job for Greece and he found himself back on the line and made both to tie the game up with just over 2 minutes left of a pulsating first quarter. After rimming out on a previous triple attempt, Fernandez went inside and made a bucket as well as drawing the foul to complete an impressive' 'And 1' play. Things got even better for him and his team seconds later when he grabbed a steal and made a no look pass to Pau Gasol who rammed it home, again drawing a foul and not surprisingly it was time for a Greek time out as they trailed 21-16.

With Gasol missing the extra free throw Greece had the chance to narrow the gap again but the Spanish defence was proving a tough nut to crack with Cabezas shackling Spanoulis pretty well and he showed his prowess on offence too as he buried a three-pointer to complete an 8-0 run for the Spanish. That run was broken by Printezis who came up with a big dunk and a foul shot for a nice play but defensively Greece were struggling. Even Alex Mumbru came off the bench for an inside score but at least Greece finished the opening period with a flourish as Printezis finished a three man fast break to get back into the contest at 26-21.


Greece turned to 'Big Sofo' to try and help inside with Pau Gasol but it wasn't Pau who was doing the damage early in the second as Felipe Reyes made a lay-up on the break before Spain exposed some lax Greek perimeter defence through another triple from Navarro as Spain opened up the first double-digit lead of the game at 31-21. Greece were looking lacklustre with Spanoulis so well guarded and nothing was coming easy for them.

Mumbru found himself on the line for a free-throw and he grabbed one of two as Spain converted the first six points of the quarter, in fact it became eight when Marc Gasol scored with a nice reverse lay-up and the game was really beginning to slip away from Greece - they were on the wrong end of a devastating 18-5 run since the first quarter and a time-out was called as they tried to stop the rot at 34-21.

Even with the irrepressible Pau Gasol sat on his backside on the bench, Greece couldnt find any penetration or make a shot until finally the drought was broken with a big three in the quarter by Spanoulis. However the guard then turned the ball over next time down as Reyes got himself on the line as the Spanish broke down the floor. He made one and was joined again by Pau on the floor as Spain looked to press home their advantage, this time Fernandez getting one to drop off the glass to extend the lead to 37-24.

Greece then got Spain in the penalty with over four minutes to go and Nikolaos Zsis made two only for Rubio and Calathes, two young guys to get in a tangle with Rubio also making both from the line after drawing the foul. Bourousis managed to get himself back in the game after a real lull with a nice tip-in and then Navarro fouled Fotsis who had the chance to narrow the deficit to single digits for the first time in a while but he missed his second so it stayed ten points at 39-29.

The number of foul shots with both teams now in foul trouble slowed the game down and Pau Gasol was next up, making one of two before things got a little ugly with words exchanged by Coach Scariolo and Bourousis who were both subject of technical fouls which cancelled each other out. The distraction was not as big as the one caused by Allen Iverson whose face came up on the big screens as he sat courtside and gave a little wave.




Moments later Fotsis drained a big three and at 40-32 to go with 2:44 left in the half, Scariolo called a time-out and the crowd rocked with the cheerleaders to some Michael Jackson tunes as they drew for breath. Just when it looked like Greece might haul themselves back into the game at a pivotal time, Sergio Llull entered the game and dropped a bomb from outside to restore the double figure lead although Zsis did strike one from the line seconds later. However after a foul by Schortsanitis, Pau Gasol made two from the line and there was fun down the other end of the floor.

Big Sofo went up three times, missing under pressure on both occasions but finally got one to drop and pumped his fist as he drew the foul and converted the three-point play. It gave Greece some great momentum as Calathes put home a sweet bucket on the break to narrow to 45-38. Fernandez then made a score only for Sofo to get another inside look as he muscled out the defence in typical fashion, much to the delight of the Greek supporters, hinting a comeback could be on the cards. Perhaps the big guy got a little too excited on the next possession as he tried to steamroller two Spanish defenders going on a long drive to the hoop and in what was probably the easiest refereeing call of the entire tournament, he picked up his second offensive foul. That handed Spain the ball 47-40 ahead with 11 seconds left of the half and after a time-out it was Fernandez that completed the scoring as Navarro dished up an assist to him under the hoop as he finished to hand Spain a 49-40 half-time lead.

The third quarter started with Rubio slicing through the Greek defence like a knife through butter as he went to the hoop on a long arching drive almost unchallenged. Pau Gasol then made a lay-up off the glass. Spanoulis opened the Greek account but after a hustle play in the paint, Pau was at it again getting one to drop inside. Three minutes into the second half and Greece were back on the ropes at 55-42. Fernandez was producing some nice offensive rebounding and the Greek bench were getting a little heated and were warned by the referees. The game was being played at a far slower pace than in the opening although the intensity in terms of physicality barely dropped a notch. After Pau Gasol handed a defensive rebound to Rubio who was off and running, the problems of Greece mounted. The guard had both Fernandez and Navarro open on the wings having beaten the Greek defence down the floor and he chose Rudy who dropped the triple leading to a time out with Greece on the wrong end of a 9-2 opening to the second half at 58-42.



A nice little jump shot on the run gave Calathes a score to inject some life back into Greece and as Printezis got a rebound and put back, the margin was back to 12 points but that last seconds as Pau Gasol was perfect from the line before being withdrawn. It was 60-46 with three minutes until the final quarter beckoned. Spanoulis made a nice play goin to the hoop but this time Marc Gasol was the one doing the damage with a fadeaway. Greece looked to lack belief and not surprising in the face of some tough Spanish defence. That gave the platform for another score as Cabezas made a lay-up with the Greek defence AWOL and we entered ther last minute of the penultimate period. Thankfully for Greece, Calathes made a three at the top to keep a little chink of light for them while on the last possessions neither teams could make a play and it was 64-51 heading into the last ten minutes.

The last quarter began with a beautiful right handed dunk by Real Madrid guard Sergio Llull and again it was a slow start to the game for Greece as the same player then made two from the line. Spain were looking impregnable and the final nail in the Greek coffin came when Carlos Cabezas delivered a big triple to take the margin out to 20 points for the first time at 71-51.
That didn't stop the great Greek fans from continuing their relentless support for their team although obviously despite 8 minutes left to go in the semi-final it was the Spanish fans scenting that elusive gold medal being just one game away with this game in the bag. It was exhibition stuff by Spain as Llull made another play and time-out Greece came more in hope and desperation with a bronze medal to be played for the following day than any feasible way of clawing back this one against the truly rampant World Champions.

As the final quarter began to peter out as any kind of a realistic contest, Spain just continued to enjoy themselves and to play the game like a true fiesta - something the Spanish fans will be enjoying tonight and possibly tomorrow too. Greece tried in vain but they could make no impression as Spain ran out comfortable winners 82-64.
It meant that for all of their early tournament malaise and general inability to live up to their reputation during the first group stage, Spain are now just 40 minutes away from a gold medal. Whether that waranted the SPanish fans chanting 'Champions' in anticipation, who knows although Slovenia and Serbia might have something to say about that. Greece meanwhile now think about bronze.





Slovenia got 2-point victory over Croatia in the semifinals - Sep. 18, 2009 
Slovenia headed into this game as favourites and backed by another noisy set of fans, bringing back memories of their Group round in Warsaw while Croatia were still looking for their first impressive performance having laboured their way into the quarters. One factor was definately how Jasmin Repesa (agency: World Sport Agency ) would play his guard combinations and that was going to prove crucial. Both teams started the game slowly with Mario Kasun (213-C-80) getting the first point of the game from the line after being fouled on a big dunk attempt while Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) got Slovenia off the mark inside.

Croatia were pounding the ball inside to Kasun and he got one to drop off the glass to put Croatia in front, while Nachbar sporting a wristband after his injury worries made one from the line. Ukic then scored with an open shot before scoring again with a beautiful floater. Croatia were fired up and they had their fists pumping after forcing Slovenia into a 24 second violation and their delight continued after Planinic penetrated an got one to drop. That forced Jurij Zdovc into calling a time out with his team trailing 11-4 and having struggled at the offensive end in the opening five minutes or so.

Slovenia responded after the time out through the irrepressible Erazem Lorbek and narrowed the gap but Croatia only faltered briefly and after a flurry of triples by both teams, they held the advantage at 25-18 at the end of the first quarter - thanks mainly to 12 points from Roko-Leni Ukic (195-G-84) who really showcased his NBA quality.

At the start of the second period and much to his relief, the previously well shackled Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) finally got a score, not from the arc as usual but a lay-up in transition. Next time down the floor the veteran Sandro Nicevic (210-C-76, agency: Beo Basket) made a jump shot and maintained the advantage of the Croatians. The Slovenian fans were then on their feet when Lakovic finally made a shot from outside and not only that but he also drew the foul for a rare four point play and suddenly it was 24-27 and a one shot game less than two minutes into the period.

After Erazem Lorbek continued his good work by drawing a foul and with their lead evaporating, Coach Jasmin Repesa (agency: World Sport Agency ) called a well needed time-out for the Croatian team and as the players re-emerged, Lorbek cut the gap to just two points at at 25-27 after scoring and missing one of his free-throws. The action then hotted up even further as Goran Jagodnik (202-F-74, agency: Beo Basket) was called for a needless unsporstmanlike foul on Sandro Nicevic under the basket and the forward stroked home both free-throws before missing an inside chance from the resulting possession.

Goran Jagodnik then made amends for his indiscretion by converting two free-throws and it was very much game on although the referees were calling the game very tightly so it didnt quite ebb and flow as some of us might have liked - though an understandable strategy in the circumstances. With just over five minutes remaining until the half time break, Slovenia were desperately trying to get themselves level and into the lead but Zoran Planinic (199-G-82) had other ideas as he sunk a triple to put his team 32-27 in front. When Slovenia then handed possession back to Croatia courtesy of a technical foul for flopping by Bostjan Nachbar (207-G/F-80), it was time for Zdovc to call another time-out and for the small but loud and very merry band of Croatian fans to dance in their seats.

They were dancing even more vigourously when Roko-Leni Ukic converted both free-throws and then Zoran Planinic pump faked and finished a lay-up inside. It gave Croatia a healthy advantage and when Bostjan Nachbar rimmed out with a triple attempt it gave them the chance of a double-figure lead and they took it through Sandro Nicevic again inside - with something of a lucky drop.

Nachbar reduced the arrears with a couple from the line and with 3 minutes left Primoz Brezec (216-F/C-79) came into the game to try and shore up what as looking to be a really soft Slovenian key. The wily Nikola Prkacin (208-C-75) showed he still has what it takes with a beautiful spin on the baseline for a gorgeous looking move to the hoop and without Lorbek who knows where Slovenia would have been. The forward buried a three and it kept his team in touching distance otherwise Croatia might have been out of sight.

Prkacin made one from the line and then Ukic drove to the hole and finished with a sublime running one handed release to restore the double digit lead for the unfancied Croatians. Mario Stojic (198-G/F-80, agency: Interperformances) then got an easy put back which was a real killer for Slovenia who were doing nothing inside defensively. Ukic then grabbed a steal and made a behind the back pass in mid air to Marko Popovic (185-G-82, college: S.Idaho JC) on the break and with the 7-0 run, the game looked to be ebbing away from Slovenia - their history of choking at vitals stages in big tournaments coming back to possibly haunt them.

Things were looking bleak but a technical foul by Marko Popovic gave Slovenia a chance of limiting the damage before the half time buzzer and Jaka Lakovic made both free throws before this time the other Lorbek came alive as Domen made a shot on he buzzer to reduce a one sided half to just 8 points as the interval at 39-47.

The mood was certainly different inside the Arena as Domen Lorbek (198-G/F-85) scored two free-throws at the start of the second although that joy was tempered by Planinic making a free throw to get Croatia going in the second half. Erezam Lorbek then drilled a triple from the top and the noise from the Slovenian fans was suddenly deafening. That noise subsided when Kasun sunk a long looking jump shot and Croatia were 6 ahead at 50-44.

Erezam Lorbek then made a jump shot before a huge triple by Jaka Lakovic sent the Slovenian fans into raptures and seconds later, the comeback was complete as the stunning Lorbek made an inside score to hand Slovenia a 51-50 advantage. Lorbek was just unstoppable and he made another score seconds later as Slovenia threatened to take control having looked dead and buried in midway through the second quarter. It was riveting stuff and Croatia had to find a way to stop the CSKA forward who was rampant and already with 23 points to his name.

What was also important was that Slovenia had really turned up their defensive effort and it was in stark contrast to the first half complacency. They also grabbed successive offensive rebounds and Croatia were the ones looking flat footed. They also had the last shot of the game but Ukic rimmed out to sum up a miserable quarter as Croatia left the court to listen to their coach 53-50 behind.

Croatia could really get nothing to drop and their drought was clearly irritating Coach Repesa and you've guessed it, Erazem Lorbek was at it again, starting the Slovenian scoring in this last quarter too. You wondered if Croatia might just find some momentum again at just the right time but another missed shot didnt add credence to such a notion. Eventually Vujcic broke the barren run which seemed to last for an eternity and his inside score put it back to a one shot game. It was very quickly a one shot game as Ukic converted with a little one handed jump shot on the run and it was time out Slovenia with seven minutes left and they were 55-54 in front.

Nicevic was tasked with man handling Lorbek off the ball and that attention handed Uros Slokar (210-F/C-83) the chance to make a tough jumper but within seconds Nikola Vujcic had reduced the gap.

Slokar then drilled a big three and both teams traded buckets with the last by Vujcic keeping it a one shot game at 63-60 with three minutes remaining. If Erazem Lorbek as hot offensively he also showed his defensive prowess with a big block as the Slovenian fans gave him the cheers he deserved.

Bostjan Nachbar then made two big free-throws to give Slovenia a five point margin with just over two minutes to go and they had one foot in the semi-finals. Amidst deafening jeers Planinic rimmed out from way downtown but so did Nachbar with what would have been a real dagger.
Nicevic then used all of his experience to draw a foul insideHe made both and then both teams missed to give Slovenia the ball with 30 seconds left and 65-62 in front. Nachbar then made the play of the game making a jump shot with a second left on the clock and while Repesa went mental at no 24 second violation and Ukic drained a three it didn't matter - Slovenia were through to the semi-finals and up against old foes Serbia.


Greece beat Turkey in overtime in the most exciting final stage game so far - Sep. 18, 2009 
Prior to tip-off for this game between these arch rivals, the media were informed about a tragic event that occurred in a nearby coal mine, where 12 coal miners lost their lives. In a fitting tribute, everybody inside the Spodek Arena paid their respect with a well observed period of silence.


The Greek fans were as usual in boisterous mood and vastly outnumbered their counterparts making a raucous sound even before the game had started.
The first points of the contest were scored by Omer Asik (211-C-86) and followed by 3-pointer by Omer Onan (194-G-78) as Turkey started brightly but the Greeks responded as Ioannis Bourousis (212-C-83, agency: FCM) got them off the mark.

Turkey tried to maintain their early advantage, but after Spanoulis 3-pointer, the Greeks tied the game at 7-7 before Zisis rattled off 5 consecutive points to hand his team their first lead of the game at 12-9. Moments later Turkey tied the game up again and then Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) challenged NBA star Hedo Turkoglu (206-F-79) down each end of the floor with the Greeks taking back the lead at 17-14 heading into the second period. Not surprisingly that gave the noisy Greek supporters even more reason to increase the tempo off the court, this game more than just about basketball with national pride coming into play too. Greece had put together a very good defence, especially against Turkish leader Turkoglou, who ended the first quarter with no points and that would need to continue.

The second quarter started the same way as the Greeks kept storming the Turkish side. After the effective dunk of Schortsanitis followed two free throws, and then a Zisis' bucket, Greece extended their lead to 24-16.The Greek team were playing more aggressively, especially at the defensive end and Turkoglu was finally put on the bench to be replaced by Ender Arslan (190-G-83) but initially the game did not change much.


Eventually the Greeks missed a few free throws and the chance to increase their lead. Turkey looked like they could not find any response to that tough defence of the Greek team and when Turkoglu went back on the court for last 4 minutes of the quarter, he might not have been able to find his rhythm but his team did rally to get within three points going into the locker room at the half time break.

Turkey started the second half as they had finished the first, getting back the lead at 32-31 but as the roller-coaster ride continued, Greece responded quickly getting back into a 4-point lead. The game was very tough and neither team were budging or giving each other a shot at breaking away, much better for the fans than the two relative blowouts in the first two quarter-finals. By the end of the third quarter Greece still had their noses in front at 47-46 to underline the closeness of the contest.

The last quarter started similar way to the penultimate period although things changed in the 6th minute when the Turks got back in front and then increased the lead to 4-points (56-52) after five consecutive points from Turkoglu. Suddenly it was the Greek team which was in trouble as Turkoglu took the initiative on both boards.

After another triple by the NBA man, Turkey found themselves ahead 63-57 up with just two minutes left before the final buzzer and Spanoulis tried his best to speed up the game for Greeks. He was scoring on and initializing every action. Thanks to his influence, Greece managed to close the gap to 2 points (63-61) helped by a massive Nikolaos Zisis 3-pointer.Then what looked to be Impossible happened. 40 seconds before the end of the game another action initiated by again by Spanoulis resulted in a nice assist to Giorgos Printezis (206-F-85, agency: FCM) and his 3-pointer changed the momentum as Greece edged back in front at 64-63. Bogdan Tanjevic called time out for Turkey and with the ball, Turkoglu missed the pass for an easy score inside.

A quick foul by Tunceri and that put Zisis on the foul line but crucially he misses one of two free throws. It was 65-63 for Greece and 18 more seconds to go. The last second hero was Ender Arslan. He waited with the ball for over 10 seconds, drove on the basket and after a superb re-adjustment, got to the hoop to secure the points for Turkey and with that terrific play - overtime.
Greece managed to get an early 5-point lead after Spanoulis and Antonis Fotsis (210-F-81) converted before Turkey cut the lead to 2 points (69-72) after a bucket by Tunceri. Vassilis Spanoulis then drained what looked to be a real dagger but within seconds, Ersan Ilyasova responded in kind to put the score to 72-75 just one minute before the end.


Turkoglu then charged the basket and got an important 2-pointer cutting Greeks lead to 1 point (75-74). Then the Magic man tried to make a big play and arguably made a big mistake in trying to force the situation but unlike a few seconds earlier, this time under severe pressure and he missed. Zisis then quickly drew a foul with just 10 seconds left and missed another from the line but got the other one. Both teams had done their best to throw the gamne away and with the last possession of a thrilling game, Arslan could not repeat his regular time shot and Greece marched on to the semi-finals sparking triumphant scenes on he buzzer both on the court and in the crowd.




Four games penalty for Kambala - Sep. 18, 2009 
Kaspars Kambala (206-C-78, college: UNLV) of Latvia was handed a four-game suspension for his intentional, unprovoked act of violence against Germany's Steffen Hamann, after the game of their respective teams in the EuroBasket 2009 Preliminary Round, in Gdansk, Poland on September 9th.

After examining the evidence available, including video footage and the report by the game commissioner, FIBA Europe's Single Disciplinary Judge ruled that this act of violence is subject to article 126.3 of FIBA Europe Regulations and sanctioned Kaspars Kambala to a disqualification of four (4) National Team games within FIBA Europe official competitions (i.e. excluding friendly games) and a fine of EUR 6.000.


Blue edges White at the Champions U18 All-Star Game - Sep. 18, 2009 
Blue Team was slightly better over White at the Champions U18 All-Star Game, edging them by two points (77-75). The game was very close and no team could get any larger lead. The game belong to the centers, where White team was dominated by German Philipp Neumann (210-C-92) and Serb Dejan Musli (214-C-91, agency: Octagon). But the MVP goes to Blue team leader Lithuanian Jonas Valanciunas (211-C-92).

White - Blue 75-77
White: Naumann 14, Prostran 13, Musli 10, Andjusic 9, Dekic 8, Binev 5, Czerapowicz 5, Person 4, Kulvietis 4, Eilingsfeld 3
Blue: Valanavicius 18+19 reb (!!!), Radovic 12+9REB, Radosavljevic 11, Peciukevicius 9, Meiers 7, Muric 6, De Nicolao 4, Chrysikopoulos 4, Antipov 4, Nedovic 2


Champion U18 All Star Game - Sep. 18, 2009 
FIBA Europe started to follow Euroleague idea about organizing separate all-star game for top youngsters in Europe.
Euroleague uses model of qualification games for the best youth clubs on the continent and best teams make it to the final stage when they play at the same time when Euroleague teams play their Final Four.
FIBA Europe focused on the individual players instead of clubs. They selected the group of most talented youngsters and they will play the all-star game later today.
The players were split into two teams. The reosters:

Blue Team:
4 Andrea De Nicolao 185-G-91 Benetton Treviso Italy
5 Augustas Peciukevicius 190-G-91 Zalgiris Kaunas Lithuania
6 Nemanja Nedovic 192-G-91 Crvena Zvezda Beograd Serbia
7 Sebastian Szymanski 186-G-91 PGE Turow Zgorzelec Poland
8 Lazar Radosavljevic 201-F-91 Crvena Zvezda Serbia
9 Linos-Spyridon Chrysikopoulos 205-F-92 Aris Thessaloniki Greece
10 Edo Muric 202-F-91 TCG Mercator Skofja Loka Slovenia
11 Pavel Antipov 204-F-91 Spartak St.Petersburg Russia
12 Nemanja Radovic 206-F/C-91 Mornar Basket Bar Montenegro
14 Jonas Valanciunas 211-C-92 Perlas Vilnius Lithuania
15 Martins Meiers 202-C-91 BK Ventspils Latvia
Damien Jennings Head Coach UWIC Archers United Kingdom
Sven Van Camp Coach Assistant Kangoeroes-Boom Belgium

White Team:
4 Toni Prostran 183-G-91 KK Zadar Croatia
5 Andreas Person 188-G-91 Uppsala Basket Sweden
6 Danilo Andjusic 190-G-91 Mega Vizura Serbia
7 Emil Binev 198-F-91 Chernomorets Burgas Bulgaria
8 Christopher Czerapowicz 197-F-91 Sanda Basket Sweden
9 Saulius Kulvietis 204-F-91 KKM-Aisciai Kauno Lithuania
10 Janos Eilingsfeld 198-F/C-91 PVSK Pannonpower Pecs Hungary
11 Branislav Djekic 205-F/C-91 BC Partizan Igokea Beograd Serbia
14 Philipp Neumann 210-C-92 Brose Baskets Bamberg Germany
15 Dejan Musli 214-C-91 FMP Zeleznik Beograd Serbia
Coaches: Jyri Lohikoski (FIN) and Zeljko Djokic (SRB)


Summary of the Quarterfinals in Poland  - Sep. 18, 2009 
France - Spain 66-86
The second game of the quarterfinals was between defending champion Spain and 'black horse' of the tournament France. Especially France made a long way qualifying to the tournament as the last team and entering play-offs as the biggest favorite. Spain disappointed from the very beginning, but played better from game to game. So everything could happen tonight. Both teams had NBA players in their roster. Both teams approached the game as a heavy weight contest. No team could really establish any lead in the first minutes. When France scored, Spain (usually Fernandez and Navarro) responded right away. Pietrus tried to stop Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80), but similarly like during the NBA finals and trying to defend Kobe, it was no match for much taller Gasol. France tried to play closer to the basket, while Spain was better in long-distance shooting. When Spain got two consecutive 3-point shoots and got 6-point lead, French coach called first time-out. It did not help much and Spaniards were having still a good game. French were very athletic, but not as tall as Spanish players. They could not find anyone to stop Pau Gasol in the middle. It was interesting to watch duo of Tony Parker (183-G-80) and Ricard Rubio (192-G-90) defending each other. Young star Rubio successfully stopped experienced star Parker. The first quarter ended with 10-point lead of Spanish team. Second quarter started with changed Spanish roster. Ricard Rubio, Rudy Fernandez and Pau Gasol stayed on the bench. But the situation did not change for better for French team. When Spain was 16 points ahead (35-19), France got another time out. It allowed Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo to put even more main players on the bench. Spanish fans felt at that moment that evening belongs to them and they will have the reason to celebrate. Spain maintained the lead for the rest of second quarter. Especially come back on the court Pau Gasol helped Spaniards get few easy dunks. He got 8 points in five minutes. The second quarter ended with 15-point lead (47-32) of Spanish team. The third quarter started with aggressive game by French team. Rubio and Pau Gasol played their usual game getting points. Ronny Turiaf (208-C/F-83, agency: Priority Sports, college: Gonzaga) got 8 (!!!) points from inside ignoring much taller Pau Gasol. France managed to eliminate Spaniards lead to 13 points. But then few quick actions of Spain and the lead raised to 20 points. Tony Parker, who had a very bad day was sent on the bench in last minutes of that quarter. Thanks to three successful free throws of Nando De Colo (202-G-87) allowed France to end this quarter 'just' with 21 points (52-73) behind. At that point no one in the arena really believed in French team any more. The last quarter started with French leader Tony Parker still on the bench. Ronny Turiaf got quickly his 5th personal foul and went on the bench too. But Spanish coach allowed Pau Gasol to rest on the bench. It looked more like both teams already settled the game and everything was already over. But French players tried their best. Suddenly Alain Koffi (207-C-83) got his first (6!!!) points this evening. Spanish lead shrunk to just 11 points (77-66). Parker was sent back on the court. After two points first by Rudy Fernandez and then by Pau Gasol (81-66 for Spain), French coach called time out. Pau Gasol got another dunk. 17-points lead for Spain and just two more minutes of the game. Everything was over. Spanish team received standing ovation from their supporters. The game anded 86-66 for Spain. They will face in the semifinals the winner of game between Greece and Turkey. The MVP of the game was an easy choice: Pau Gasol.

Russia - Serbia 68-79
Russia vs Serbia was the first game of the Final Stage of Eurobasket 2009. The final stage games took place in Spodek Arena for decades the main sport arena in Poland. Serbia beat Russia 79-68 in a contest they controlled the majority of nthe game with better offensive chemistry and solid team defense. Russia struggled throughout the game offensively forcing bad shots and the lacked any team cohesion. Uros Tripkovic (196-G-86, agency: Beo Basket) played a brilliant game torching the Russians with 18 points and was the leading scorer in the game. Milos Teodosic (195-G-87) was fantastic as he hit a couple of dagger 3 pointers every time Russia made a serious run in the second half and finished with 12 points. Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) added 10 points, Kosta Perovic (217-C-85) and Novica Velickovic both scored 13 points for the winners. Russisa was led by Vitaly Fridzon (195-G-85) who scored 15 points and Sergey Monya (204-F-83) who scored 12 for the Russian team. The first quarter started with Serbia establishing their inside game with Krstic the NBA player who scored 9 early points. However Russia made a run with the smooth perimeter shooting of Kelly McCarty the former Kentucky player. Russia led 24-23 at the end of first quarter. Serbia started the second quarter by applying tremendous ball pressure and opened up 8-0 run. Russia called a time out and David Blatt mobilized his players to play more better defense. In the next few minutes both teams went cold and no one could score any points. The first team to wake up was Serbia and they increased their lead to 38-24 with perfect 17-0 run. Serbia was moving the ball, they had better penetration and organized defense. Even a second time out did not help Russian team. finally McCarty broke the quiet spell hitting one of two free throws. The Russians managed to stop the Serbian run, but they were still far from getting their rhythm. The Second quarter completely belong to Serbs and it ended with 15-point lead (43-28) for Serbia. The third quarter: Serbia started strong with 5 consecutive points. Russians got two dunks in next 3 minutes. But Serbia put quite strong defense, which made the difference. The Russians did not have too much to lose so they tried to press Serbs but Ivkovic's team is not a new at this level and they easily controlled the game. The game turned into a tough defensive contest with a lot of mistakes by both teams. The Serbs maintained still 16-20 point lead. Finally Serbia made a few mistakes, which allowed Russia to get back to the game. They cut the lead one-by-one ending the third quarter with 11-point distance to Serbia 43-54. The Russians began the last quarter with full-court pressure but Serbia still was the better team. They played smart and had a better shot selection. The Serbs increased the lead to 16 points (59-43). The time factor worked for Serbs, so Russians were the ones trying to shot quickly but not successfully. Sergey Monya and Vitaly Fridzon of Russia and twice Milos Teodosic exchanged three-pointers, which did not change anything on the court and Serbia still had 15-point lead. Two free throws of Sergey Bykov followed with three-pointer of Fridzon cut Serbs lead to just 10 points (56-66). Kosta Perovic's two free throws, Velickovic another 2 free throws and then Uros Tripkovic's 2-pointer gave back 15-point lead for Serbia. After the time out taken by Serbia, it looked like both teams came back on the court being determined not to change anything. The Russians simply could not do anything right and the Serbians managed to keep control of the game with more precise team play..

Turkey - Greece 74-76 OT1
Just before the game the media were informed about very tragic event which happened in nearby coal mine, where 12 coal miners lost their life. So we observed a minute of silence prior to game start. Greek fans were in definite majority and they started with a loud support for their team even before the game started. The first points were scored by Omer Asik (211-C-86) and followed by 3-pointer of Omer Onan (194-G-78). Greeks responded with 2-pointer of Ioannis Bourousis. Turkish tried still maintain 5-ponts lead, but after Spanoulis 3-pointer Greeks tied the game at 7-7. Then Zisis turn with 5 consecutive points and Greeks took their first lead 12-9. But Turkey equaled the game quite quickly. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) challenged NBA star Hedo Turkoglu (206-F-79) and Greeks took back the lead 15-14. Greece won that part 17-14. Their supporters were quite loud and no surprise as the games between these two countries are more than just about sport. Greece put a very good defense, especially against Turkish leader Turkoglu, who ended the first quarter with no points. The second quarter started the same way how the first one ended. Greeks kept storming Turkish side. After effective dunk of Schortsanitis followed with his two free throws, and then Zisis' 2-pointer Greece got 8 point lead 24-16. Greek team played more aggressively, especially on defensive end. Turkoglu was finally put on the bench being replaced by Ender Ender Arslan (190-G-83). The game did not change much. Greeks lost few free throws and chance to increase their lead. But Turks could not find response to tough defense of Greek team. Turkoglu went back on the court for last 4 minuted of the quarter. But he was still not able to find his rhythm and ended this period with no points. Greece managed to maintain 3-point lead at the half time. Turkey started the third quarter with Turkoglu on the bench and ...getting long-waiter lead 32-31. Greeks responded quickly getting back 4-point lead. The game was very tough and very close. How much different than first two games we could see yesterday. It was an extra passion, not just basketball. Greece managed to maintain 2-3 point lead till the end of that part of the game. Third quarter ended 47-46 for Greece. The last quarter started similar way like the third one. However the things changed in the 6th minute when Turks got first 1-point and then increased it to 4-point lead (56-52) after five consecutive (first this game) points of Turkoglu. Now it was Greek team which was in trouble. But Turkoglu took initiative on both boards. After his another 3-pointer, Turkey was already 6 points ahead (63-57) just two minutes before game end. Spanoulis tried his best to speed up the game for Greeks. He was scoring on initializing every action. Greeks managed to close the gap to 2 points (63-61) after Zisis 3-pointer. Impossible happened. 40 second before the end of the game another action initiated by Spanoulis, nice assist to Giorgos Printezis (206-F-85, agency: FCM) and his 3-pointer changes lead for Greek team (64-63). Tanjevic calls time out for Turkey. Turks keep the ball and ...Turkoglu misses the pass. Quick foul by Tunceri and Zisis misses one of two free throws. 65-63 for Greece and 18 more seconds to go. The last second hero was Ender Arslan. Waited with the ball for over 10 seconds, drove on the basket and ...got 2 points for Turkey. Here we have overtime. Greece managed to get 5-point lead after Spanoulis and Antonis Fotsis (210-F-81) actions. Turks cut the lead to 2 points (69-72) after 2-pointer of Tunceri. Spanoulis's killing 3-pointer followed by Ilyasova's 3-pointer response put the score to 72-75 just one minute before the end. Turkoglu charged the basket and got important 2-pointer cutting Greeks lead to 1 point (75-74). Here Turkoglu follows with a big mistake trying to charge basket the same way like few seconds earlier, but this time against three Turks. He misses and Zisis quickly draws the foul in just 10 seconds left. Misses one, but got another one. Greeks got 74-76 lead. Ender Arslan could not repeat regular time shot and Greece wins the game 76-74.

Slovenia - Croatia 67-65
Slovenia headed into this game as favorites and backed by another noisy set of fans, bringing back memories of their Group round in Warsaw while Croatia were still looking for their first impressive performance having labored their way into the quarters. One factor was definitely how Repesa would play his guard combinations and that was going to prove crucial. Both teams started the game slowly with Mario Kasun getting the first point of the game from the line after being fouled on a big dunk attempt while Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) got Slovenia off the mark inside. Croatia were pounding the ball inside to Kasun and he got one to drop off the glass to put Croatia in front, while Nachbar sporting a wristband after his injury worries made one from the line. Ukic then scored with an open shot before scoring again with a beautiful floater. Croatia were fired up and they had their fists pumping after forcing Slovenia into a 24 second violation and their delight continued after Zoran Planinic (199-G-82) penetrated an got one to drop. That forced Jure Zdovc into calling a time out with his team trailing 11-4 and having struggled at the offensive end in the opening five minutes or so. Slovenia responded after the time out through the irrepressible Erazem Lorbek and narrowed the gap but Croatia only faltered briefly and after a flurry of triples by both teams, they held the advantage at 25-18 at the end of the first quarter - thanks mainly to 12 points from Ukic who really showcased his NBA quality. At the start of the second period and much to his relief, the previously well shackled Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) finally got a score, not from the arc as usual but a lay-up in transition. Next time down the floor the veteran Nicevic made a jump shot and maintained the advantage of the Croatians. The Slovenian fans were then on their feet when Jaka Lakovic finally made a shot from outside and not only that but he also drew the foul for a rare four point play and suddenly it was 24-27 and a one shot game less than two minutes into the period. After Erazem Lorbek continued his good work by drawing a foul and with their lead evaporating, Coach Repesa called a well needed time-out for the Croatian team and as the players re-emerged, Lorbek cut the gap to just two points at at 25-27 after scoring and missing one of his free-throws. The action then hotted up even further as Jagodnik was called for a needless unsporstmanlike foul on Nicevic under the basket and the forward stroked home both free-throws before missing an inside chance from the resulting possession. Jagodnik then made amends for his indiscretion by converting two free-throws and it was very much game on although the referees were calling the game very tightly so it didnt quite ebb and flow as some of us might have liked - though an understandable strategy in the circumstances. With just over five minutes remaining until the half time break, Slovenia were desperately trying to get themselves level and into the lead but Zoran Planinic had other ideas as he sunk a triple to put his team 32-27 in front. When Slovenia then handed possession back to Croatia courtesy of a technical foul for flopping by Nachbar, it was time for Zdovc to call another time-out and for the small but loud and very merry band of Croatian fans to dance in their seats. They were dancing even more vigourously when Ukic converted both free-throws and then Zoran Planinic pump faked and finished a lay-up inside. It gave Croatia a healthy advantage and when Nachbar rimmed out with a triple attempt it gave them the chance of a double-figure lead and they took it through Nicevic again inside - with something of a lucky drop. Nachbar reduced the arrears with a couple from the line and with 3 minutes left Brezec came into the game to try and shore up what as looking to be a really soft Slovenian key. The wily Prkacin showed he still has what it takes with a beautiful spin on the baseline for a gorgeous looking move to the hoop and without Lorbek who knows where Slovenia would have been. The forward buried a three and it kept his team in touching distance otherwise Croatia might have been out of sight. Prkacin made one from the line and then Ukic drove to the hole and finished with a sublime running one handed release to restore the double digit lead for the unfancied Croatians. Stojic then got an easy put back which was a real killer for Slovenia who were doing nothing inside defensively. Ukic then grabbed a steal and made a behind the back pass in mid air to Popovic on the break and with the 7-0 run, the game looked to be ebbing away from Slovenia - their history of choking at vitals stages in big tournaments coming back to possibly haunt them. Things were looking bleak but a technical foul by Popovic gave Slovenia a chance of limiting the damage before the half time buzzer and Jaka Lakovic made both free throws before this time the other Lorbek came alive as Domen made a shot on he buzzer to reduce a one sided half to just 8 points as the interval at 39-47. The mood was certainly different inside the Arena as Domen Lorbek scored two free-throws at the start of the second although that joy was tempered by Zoran Planinic making a free throw to get Croatia going in the second half. Erezam Lorbek then drilled a triple from the top and the noise from the Slovenian fans was suddenly deafening. That noise subsided when Kasun sunk a long looking jump shot and Croatia were 6 ahead at 50-44. Erezam Lorbek then made a jump shot before a huge triple by Lakoic sent the Sloovenian fans into raptures and seconds later, the comeback was complete as the stunning Lorbek made an inside score to hand Slovenia a 51-50 advantage. Lorbek was just unstoppable and he made another score seconds later as Slovenia threatened to take control having looked dead and buried in midway through the second quarter. It was riveting stuff and Croatia had to find a way to stop the CSKA forward who was rampant and already with 23 points to his name. What was also important was that Slovenia had really turned up their defensive effort and it was in stark contrast to the first half complacency. They also grabbed successive offensive rebounds and Croatia were the ones looking flat footed. They also had the last shot of the game but Ukic rimmed out to sum up a miserable quarter as Croatia left the court to listen to their coach 53-50 behind. Croatia could really get nothing to drop and their drought was clearly irritating Coach Repesa and you've guessed it, Erazem Lorbek was at it again, starting the Slovenian scoring in this last quarter too. You wondered if Croatia might just find some momentum again at just the right time but another missed shot didnt add credence to such a notion. Eventually Vujcic broke the barren run which seemed to last for an eternity and his inside score put it back to a one shot game. It was very quickly a one shot game as Ukic converted with a little one handed jump shot on the run and it was time out Slovenia with seven minutes left and they were 55-54 in front. Nicevic was tasked with man handling Lorbek off the ball and that attention handed Slokar the chance to make a tough jumper but within seconds Vujcic had reduced the gap. Slokar then drilled a big three and both teams traded buckets with the last by Vujcic keeping it a one shot game at 63-60 with three minutes remaining. If Erazem Lorbek as hot offensively he also showed his defensive prowess with a big block as the Slovenian fans gave him the cheers he deserved. Bostjan Nachbar then made two big free-throws to give Slovenia a five point margin with just over two minutes to go and they had one foot in the semi-finals. Amidst deafening jeers Zoran Planinic rimmed out from way downtown but so did Nachbar with what would have been a real dagger. Nicevic then used all of his experience to draw a foul insideHe made both and then both teams missed to give Slovenia the ball with 30 seconds left and 65-62 in front. Nachbar then made the play of the game making a jump shot with a second left on the clock and while Repesa went mental at no 24 second violation and Ukic drained a three it didn't matter - Slovenia were through to the semi-finals and up against old foes Serbia.


World Champions Spain knocks Undefeated France out of the event - Sep. 17, 2009 
The second game of the quarterfinals was between world champion Spain and 'black horse' of the tournament France. Especially after France qualified to the tournament as the last team and entering play-offs as the biggest favorite. Spain was disappointing in the the very beginning, but played better from game to game. So everything could happen tonight. Both teams featured NBA players in their roster.

Spain easily defeated France 86-66 with Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) simply destroying the French interior guys. Spain played more physical and shot a lot better from the outside.

Tony Parker (183-G-80) struggled with the Spanish defense and turned the ball over a lot with his team mates following him with with bad outside shooting.

The France starting team featured four NBA players but the quality and experience of Spain was too much for the French.

The game began as a heavy weight contest as both teams came out swinging. Neither team could really establish any lead in the first minutes. When France scored, Spain (usually Fernandez and Navarro) responded right away. Pietrus tried to stop Pau Gasol, but this was a no contest as well.. France tried to compete by playing closer to the basket, while Spain was better in long-distance shooting. When Spain got two consecutive 3-point shoots and got 6-point lead, the French coach called first time-out. It did not help much and as the Spaniards were having a good game. The French were very athletic, but not as tall as Spanish players. They could not find anyone to stop Pau Gasol in the middle. It was interesting to watch duo of Tony Parker and Ricard Rubio (192-G-90) defending each other. Young star Rubio successfully stopped the experienced star Parker. The first quarter ende with a 10-point lead for the Spanish team.

The second quarter started with Ricard Rubio, Rudy Fernandez (197-G-85) and Pau Gasol on the bench. But the situation did not change for the French team. When Spain was 16 points ahead (35-19), France called another time out. It allowed the Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo to rest his quality players. The Spanish fans felt at that moment that evening belonged to them and they will have a reason to celebrate. Spain maintained the lead for the rest of second quarter especially when Pau Gasol came back to the court and got a few easy dunks. He scored 8 points in five minutes. The second quarter ended with 15-point lead (47-32) of Spanish team.
The third quarter started with aggressive play by French team. Rubio and Pau Gasol played their usual game by scoring easy points. Turiaf scored a quick eight points from inside over the much taller Pau Gasol. France managed to erase the Spaniards lead to 13 points. However Spain responded and increased the lead raised to 20 points. Tony Parker, who had a very bad day was sent on the bench in last minutes of that quarter. Thanks to three successful free throws of Nando De Colo (202-G-87) allowed France to end this quarter 'just' with 21 points (52-73) behind. At that point no one in the arena really believed in French team any more.
The last quarter started with French leader Tony Parker still on the bench. Turiaf quickly picked up his 5th personal foul and went on the bench too. But Spanish coach allowed Pau Gasol to rest on the bench. It looked more like both teams already settled the game and everything was already over. But French players tried their best. Suddenly Alain Koffi (207-C-83) scored his first (6!!!) points this evening and the role players for France injected some energy to the game and the Spanish lead shrunk to just 11 points (77-66). Parker was sent back on the court and after baskets by Rudy Fernandez and then by Pau Gasol (81-66 for Spain), the French coach called another time out. Pau Gasol scored another easy dunk off of a penatraion and kick. Spain opened up a 17 point lead with two minutes remaining in the game. The game was over and the Spanish team received a standing ovation from their supporters. Spain will face in the semifinals the winner of game between Greece and Turkey.
The MVP of the game was an easy choice: Pau Gasol.


Serbia beats Russia in the first game of quarterfinals 79-68 - Sep. 17, 2009 
Russia vs Serbia was the first game of the Final Stage of Eurobasket 2009. The final stage games took place in Spodek Arena for decades the main sport arena in Poland.

Serbia beat Russia 79-68 in a contest they controlled the majority of nthe game with better offensive chemistry and solid team defense.

Russia struggled throughout the game offensively forcing bad shots and the lacked any team cohesion. Uros Uros Tripkovic (196-G-86, agency: Beo Basket) played a brilliant game torching the Russians with 18 points and was the leading scorer in the game. Milos Teodosic (195-G-87) was fantastic as he hit a couple of dagger 3 pointers every time Russia made a serious run in the second half and finished with 12 points. Nenad Kristic added 10 points, Kosta Kosta Perovic (217-C-85) and Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) both scored 13 points for the winners.

Russisa was led by Vitaly Fridzon (195-G-85) who scored 15 points and Sergey Monya (204-F-83) who scored 12 for the Russian team.

The first quarter started with Serbia establishing their inside game with Krstic the NBA player who scored 9 early points. However Russia made a run with the smooth perimeter shooting of Kelly McCarty (201-F-75, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: S.Mississippi) the former Kentucky player. Russia led 24-23 at the end of first quarter. Serbia started the second quarter by applying tremendous ball pressure and opened up 8-0 run. Russia called a time out and David Blatt mobilized his players to play more better defense. In the next few minutes both teams went cold and no one could score any points. The first team to wake up was Serbia and they increased their lead to 38-24 with perfect 17-0 run. Serbia was moving the ball, they had better penetration and organized defense. Even a second time out did not help Russian team. finally McCarty broke the quiet spell hitting one of two free throws. The Russians managed to stop the Serbian run, but they were still far from getting their rhythm.

The Second quarter completely belong to Serbs and it ended with 15-point lead (43-28) for Serbia.
The third quarter: Serbia started strong with 5 consecutive points. Russians got two dunks in next 3 minutes. But Serbia put quite strong defense, which made the difference. The Russians did not have too much to lose so they tried to press Serbs but Ivkovic's team is not a new at this level and they easily controlled the game. The game turned into a tough defensive contest with a lot of mistakes by both teams.

The Serbs maintained still 16-20 point lead. Finally Serbia made a few mistakes, which allowed Russia to get back to the game. They cut the lead one-by-one ending the third quarter with 11-point distance to Serbia 43-54.
The Russians began the last quarter with full-court pressure but Serbia still was the better team. They played smart and had a better shot selection. The Serbs increased the lead to 16 points (59-43). The time factor worked for Serbs, so Russians were the ones trying to shot quickly but not successfully. Sergey Monya and Vitaly Fridzon of Russia and twice Milos Teodosic exchanged three-pointers, which did not change anything on the court and Serbia still had 15-point lead. Two free throws of Sergey Bykov (190-G-83) followed with three-pointer of Fridzon cut Serbs lead to just 10 points (56-66). Kosta Perovic's two free throws, Velickovic another 2 free throws and then Uros Tripkovic's 2-pointer gave back 15-point lead for Serbia. After the time out taken by Serbia, it looked like both teams came back on the court being determined not to change anything. The Russians simply could not do anything right and the Serbians managed to keep control of the game with more precise team play..




Eurobasket 2009. Qualifying Round 3 - Sep. 16, 2009 
GROUP E
France - Greece 71-69
France remained perfect at the EuroBasket 2009. They clinched the top spot at the Qualifying Round Group E after a hard-fought victory over Greece tonight. Alain Koffi (207-C-83) knocked down 14 points and grabbed 6 boards to lead Les Bleus. Batum scored the first points of the game before Greece unleashed a 10:0 run to jump in front. Turiaf and Tony Parker narrowed the distance but the Hellenes stayed in charge throughout the reminder of the frame. Sofoklis Schortsanitis capped it with a free throw to give the Greek team a 21:18 lead. Sofoklis Schortsanitis opened the second quarter with a dunk to stretch the margin. Ali Traore and Alain Koffi teamed up for 10 points in a row as Les Bleus jumped ahead. Alain Koffi and Jeanneau managed a 7-point advantage late in the second half. Yannick Bokolo extended the gap at 9 points before Bourousis sealed the first half outcome at 34:41. The teams went scoreless for almost two minutes at the start of the second half. Batum and Tony Parker finally broke the silence to open up a double-digit advantage for France. The Hellenes responded with an 8:0 run to narrow the deficit at 3 points. Batum, Yannick Bokolo and Ali Traore restored a 6-point buffer with just over 3 minutes to go. Tony Parker kept the distance before Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) crowned the stanza with a three-pointer to clip the difference to just 3 points at 53:56. Yannick Bokolo and Ali Traore piloted France to a 61:55 advantage with 7 minutes remaining in regulation. Greece finally snapped almost three-minute scoreless span with a free throw from Zisis. Yannick Bokolo came up with a dunk but Sofoklis Schortsanitis responded with a three-point play to drag Greece within 4. Vassilis Spanoulis followed with a trey as Greece trimmed the deficit at just one point 62:63 with under 4 minutes left. Antonis Fotsis followed with a lay-up to put Greece on top 64:63. Turiaf hit two free throws to retain the advantage for Les Bleus. Antonis Fotsis missed his sixth three-pointer and Nando De Colo punished the Hellenes with a lay-up. Antonis Fotsis responded with two accurate freebies on the other end to narrow the deficit to a single point with 22 seconds remaining. Nando De Colo got fouled and went deadly from the stripe to keep France ahead. Vassilis Spanoulis answered with a trey to tie things up at 69 with 8 seconds to go. Nando De Colo came up with a buzzer-beating jumper and snatched the victory for France. Tony Parker netted 12 points for France. Ali Traore and Yannick Bokolo produced 10 points each in the winning effort. Vassilis Spanoulis responded with 16 points for Greece. Sofoklis Schortsanitis chipped in 12 points in the second straight loss for the Hellenes.

Germany - Croatia 68-70
Croatia became the last team from Group E to advance to EuroBasket 2009 quarter-finals. The team overcame the German powerhouse 70:68 in the last game on Tuesday. Femerling opened the game for the German side and Rozic brought the first points for the winners. Kasun followed him with a lay-up for 10-2 run. Schaffartzik made a jump shot for 10:16, while Jagla's three brought 19:18. Banic closed the period at 20:19 for the Croatian side. The latter continued better in the second period as Nicevic scored for 22:19 and Loncar gave his team 27:21. Popovic gave the biggest lead for Croatia at the first half at 37:27 and Jagla reduced to 37:32. Banic opened another quarter when the teams came back from the lockers. Roko-Leni Ukic (195-G-84) posted a jump shot for 41:34, while Nicevic brought Croatia 45:41. Benzing tied the score at 47:47 and Schaffartzik gave Germany 48:47. Hamann drove a lay-up for 50:49 to close the third period. Planinic was the first to open the last quarter for 52:50 and Nicevic made a tip-in for 54:52. The last quarter was like a thriller not only in the game but in the whole group. The game was decisive for the last ticket to the 1/4 finals. Roko-Leni Ukic made a dunk for 57:57 and Croatia scored another four for 61:57. Femerling made two free throws for 61:59 and Loncar made a jump shot for 64:59. Banic scored one free throw to make the score 65:59 with a minute on the board. Schaffartzik nailed two three-pointers for 67:65, but Rozic posted the last points for Croatia for 70:65. Hamann made another triple for the German side to make the final 70:68. Roko-Leni Ukic top-scored for the winners with 18 points for 2-3 record. Popovic and Planinic followed him with 11 points each. Heiko Schaffartzik (182-G-84, agency: Pro One Sports) ended up with 18 points in the losing effort. Femerling posted 15, while Jagla added 11.

Russia - FYR Macedonia 71-69
Russia secured the place at the EuroBasket quarterfinal stage after their heart-stopping win over FYR Macedonia. It all came down to the final seconds of the battle when a pair of misses from Mirakovski sealed the difficult win for the reigning champions. Timofey Mozgov (215-C-86) (215-C-86) tallied 25 points and 11 rebounds to pace Russia. Bykov opened the score with almost one minute into the game. The teams traded baskets before Anton Ponkrashov and Timofey Mozgov ensured a 12:8 lead for Russia late in the starting frame. Andrey Vorontsevich capped the frame with a jumper as the defending champions enjoyed a 14:10 lead. Massey knocked down 4 points early in the second stanza as FYR Macedonia stayed close. However Andrey Vorontsevich nailed 4 points in an 8:2 run from Russia as they cleared off to an 8-point distance. Anton Ponkrashov and Timofey Mozgov gave the team a 9-point lead 30:21 with just over three minutes to go. However Vrbica Stefanov and Pero Antic fired from downtown as FYR Macedonia got back within 4. Kurbanov and Vrbica Stefanov exchanged points late in the first half and Russia went into the dressing room up by 4 points 33:29. Stojanovski and Vrbica Stefanov organized a 7:2 run from FYR Macedonia at the start of the third frame as they surged in front. Gecevski and Tasovski helped their team to a 40:37 advantage. Russia needed a 5:0 run late in the quarter to retain the lead. But Gecevski immediately drew things level. Andrey Vorontsevich and Vrbica Stefanov traded baskets and the teams headed into the final period tied at 49. Monya and McCarty quickly set Russia in front at the start of the fourth term. Steafanov and Todor Gechevski replied with eight points in a row as the lead changed hands once again. Bykov stopped the bleeding with a three-pointer to cut the distance. McCarty and Timofey Mozgov set Russia back in charge with four straight points. Russia kept ahead as Bykov, Timofey Mozgov and Anton Ponkrashov delivered timely buckets. The reigning champions entered the final 30 seconds of the encounter up by 5 points 68:63. Pero Antic knocked down 5 points to drag FYR Macedonia within 1 with 12 seconds to go. Fridzon fired twice from the stripe to restore a three-point cushion. Mirakovski came up with just one free throw out of two attempts. Anton Ponkrashov answered with a turnover but Mirakovski missed a lay-up as Russia escaped with a tough victory at the end. Andrey Vorontsevich scored 10 points for the winners. Ponrkrashov had 6 points, 6 boards and 6 assists in the victory. Vrbica Stefanov produced 14 points for FYR Macedonia. Pero Antic had 11 points, while Todor Gechevski finished with 10 in the loss.




GROUP F

Lithuania - Serbia 79-89
Serbia managed to beat Lithuania in the last day of Qualifying Round in Poland and to secure third place in Group F (3-2). Even before this game it was clear that Serbia will advance and at the same time that Lithuania will say goodbye to EuroBasket 2009. In the Quarterfinals, which is scheduled for tomorrow, Serbia will meet the defending champion - Russia. Milos Teodosic (195-G-87) paced Serbia to victory today with 20 points and 12 assists. Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) and Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) scored 16 points each, while Uros Tripkovic (196-G-86, agency: Beo Basket) added 14. Milenko Tepic (198-G-87, agency: Beo Basket) helped the winners with 13 points. In Team Lithuania, Jonas Maciulis (198-G/F-85) shined with 20 points and 5 rebounds. Darjus Lavrinovic (212-C-79) and Marijonas Petravicius (208-F/C-79, college: S.Carolina) netted 13 points apiece. Their team did not succeed to qualify for the 2010 World Championship in Turkey, but they will most probably apply for a wild-card.
Lithuania opened the game with quick 4-0 run, but Serbia responded soon after that setting the score to 10-13. After 10 minutes of play Serbia was 19-23 ahead. Linas Kleiza made it in the last Lithuania's possession closing the gap from 6 to 4. Lithuania tied the score couple of times in the second quarter, but Serbia was always there to grab back 1 to 4 point lead. Thanks to lay-up by Milenko Tepic at the first half buzzer, Serbia had 37-47. Third quarter belonged to Lithuania. After 41-46 for Serbians at the beginning of this period, Lithuania started with melting their lead. Jonas Maciulis and his teammates created impressive 10-0 and it seemed they finally found their game. However, Serbia did not give up and soon after that tied the score to 61-61. Milos Teodosic closed third quarter with a jump shot and Serbia was 2 points up. With 4:16 minutes remaining in the game Lithuania made another turn, actually grabbed nice 4-point lead, 75-71. Their joy did not last too long as Serbia through Novica Velickovic and Milos Teodosic (4 triples together) made 0-12 run for 75-83. Nemanja Bjelica and Milenko Tepic joined them with a 3-pointer by each of them resolving question about the winner. Darjus Lavrinovic closed this game and Lithuania's participation at EuroBasket 2009 with a free throw.

Lithuania: Jonas Maciulis 20+5 boards, Darjus Lavrinovic 13+8 boards, Marijonas Petravicius 13
Serbia: Milos Teodosic 20+12 as, Nenad Krstic 16, Novica Velickovic 16, Uros Tripkovic 14, Milenko Tepic 13



Poland - Spain 68-90
Spain demonstrated magnificent performance in crucial game against the host of EuroBasket 2009. It was the last day of Qualifying Round and the decisive game for both teams. The reigning World Champions (3-2) made it and they will meet France in the Quarterfinals. On the other side, Poland finished participation on this event falling to 1-4. Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) paced Spain to fourth place in Group F with 23 points. Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) also shined with 20 points and 5 rebounds, while his brother Marc Gasol (212-C-85, agency: Interperformances) added 9 points and 7 rebounds. David Logan (184-G-82, college: Indianapolis) responded with 20 points in loss. Lukasz Koszarek (187-G-84) had 17 points, 5 boards and 7 assists, while Marcin Gortat (213-C-84) this time stopped on 12 points and the same number of boards.
Spain opened the game strongly making 0-7 and soon after that 5-12 lead. After lay-up by Pau Gasol, Spain jumped to plus 7 and later Juan Carlos Navarro joined him, what was enough for Spain to take nice 14-23 lead after ten minutes. Mumbru opened the second frame with a triple and Spain was 12 points up. The hosts had many troubles at the defensive end. Their offense was decent, but on the other side of the court Spaniards were unstoppable. Navarro drained two consecutive triples and after that Ricard Rubio (192-G-90) and Pau Gasol lifted up their team to huge 24-42. Krzysztof Szubarga (182-G-84) scored in the last possession for Poland, but at that time it was already clear that the hosts will need a miracle to avoid elimination from EuroBasket. Nothing has changed after that and Spain moved up to plus 28 at the middle of third quarter. That was after dunk by Sergio Llull (178-G-87). Third quarter ended 46-71 for Spain and rest of the way was just the formality. Spain slowed down and Poland finished the last period 22-19 saying goodbye to the most important European contest. It means that Poland failed to qualify for the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

Poland: David Logan 20, Lukasz Koszarek 17+5 boards+7 as, Marcin Gortat 12+12 boards
Spain: Juan Carlos Navarro 23, Pau Gasol 20+5 boards, Marc Gasol 9+7 boards


Turkey - Slovenia 67-69
Slovenia grabbed thriller win against Turkey handing it the first loss on EuroBasket 2009. That was a decisive match for the first place in Qualifying Group F, which now belongs to Slovenians (4-1). Turkey, who has the same score, dropped to position No.2. It means that in the Quarterfinals Slovenia will meet Croatia, while Turkey will take on Greece. Bostjan Nachbar (207-G/F-80) top-scored for the winners with 16 points. Samo Udrih (195-G-79) and Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) netted 12 points each, while Goran Jagodnik (202-F-74, agency: Beo Basket) followed them with 11. In Team Turkey, Ersan Ilyasova (207-F-87) collected 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Hedo Turkoglu (206-F-79) scored 10, Omer Asik and Ender Arslan (190-G-83) had 10 pts apiece.
Slovenia had a nice start making 0-5 lead, but Turkey answered with 9-4 run after that. It was 12-12, when Bostjan Nachbar and his teammates created impressive 0-10 run, closed by the mentioned player. Ersan Ilyasova made it for Turkey and Nachbar set the score to 15-24 after 10 minutes. After triple by Jaka Lakovic and basket by Goran Jagodnik, Slovenia jumped to 17-31. Lakovic was on fire and he connected another triple soon after that so Slovenia already had huge 18-37 lead. When it seemed that Slovenians control rhythm of the game, their rivals finally woke up making 14-2 run until the end of the first half (32-39). At the middle of third period Turkey came to 43-44 and later finally grabbed 48-47 lead. However, Jaka Lakovic and Uros Slokar (210-F/C-83) shined for Slovenia lifting it up to 52-57 after 30 minutes. During the last quarter Slovenians had plus 4 couple of times and they entered to last 50 seconds with 62-67. Omer Asik and Ender Arslan were unmistakable from the FT line pushing their team up to 67-68, after what Samo Udrih scored on FT for Slovenia (67-69). Turkey had 9 seconds for the last offense and Atsur was wide open for 3 at the very end, but he missed from the left corner.

Turkey: Ersan Ilyasova 16+7 boards+4 as, Hedo Turkoglu 12, Omer Asik 10+5 boards, Ender Arslan 10
Slovenia: Bostjan Nachbar 16, Samo Udrih 12, Jaka Lakovic 12, Goran Jagodnik 11



Eurobasket 2009. Qualifying Round 2 - Sep. 14, 2009 
GROUP E

FYR Macedonia - Germany 86-75
FYR Macedonia remained hopeful about their EuroBasket ambitions as they rolled past Germany in a do-or-die battle in Group E. The victory propelled them to 1-3 record in the Qualifying Round and they caught up with Germany in the standings. Patrick Femerling put Germany ahead with a lay-up but then Vrbica Stefanov (188-G-73) took the floor. He scored 7 points to pull FYR Macedonia in charge 9:4. The teams traded three-pointers before Antic secured an 18:14 lead for the Balkan team at the first break. Schultze and Lucca Staiger continued a three-point cannonade at the start of the second period as they drew things level at 20. Staiger soon added two more long bombs as the German team spurred in front 28:26. Jeremiah Massey returned the advantage to FYR Macedonia just to see Greene connect from beyond the arc for another lead from Germany. Gecevski followed with two free throws and after Jeremiah Massey and Patrick Femerling exchanged the baskets the teams went into the dressing rooms tied at 36. Jeremiah Massey and Vrbica Stefanov opened the second half with five points in a row as FYR Macedonia grabbed the lead. Vrbica Stefanov and Dime Tasovski ballooned the gap at 7 points. Lucca Staiger and Jagla used well-tested weapons hitting two trebles to put Germany down by just one. However Dime Tasovski, Vrbica Stefanov and Jeremiah Massey continued to deliver as FYR Macedonia cleared off to a 9-point distance late in the period. Vrbica Stefanov stole the ball and fed Pero Antic for a buzzer-beating three-pointer as FYR Macedonia entered the fourth term up by 12 points. Dime Tasovski opened the fourth frame with another triple as FYR Macedonia started to get away. Vrbica Stefanov quickly extended the margin at 16 points before Germany woke up. Schaffartzik and Olbrecht exploded with 8 points to drag the team within 11. Pero Antic went perfect from the stripe to keep FYR Macedonia going. Jeremiah Massey then came up with three points in a row as the gap grew back at 16-point mark. Germany did not say die as Olbrecht, Lucca Staiger and Benzing fired 5 consecutive points to narrow the deficit. But when it mattered the most Vrbica Stefanov went deadly from the stripe and silenced Dirk Bauermanns team. Mirakovski, Vrbica Stefanov and Gecevski sealed the winning outcome for FYR Macedonia in the final seconds. Vrbica Stefanov knocked down 25 points to lead FYR Macedonia. Jeremiah Massey added 16 points in the winning effort. Patrick Femerling came up with 13 points for Germany. Lucca Staiger top-scored with 14 points in the loss.

Greece - Russia 65-68
Russia proved once again they have serious ambitions for defending their EuroBasket title as they prevailed against Greece in a heart-stopper in Group E tonight. Russia improved at 2-2 record in the pool, while Greece slipped at 3-1. Russia grabbed the lead right from the start. Sergey Monya and Timofey Mozgov gave the defending champions a 6:2 lead. Fridzon scored five points in a row to ensure an 11:3 advantage midway through the starting frame. Sergey Monya and Fridzon soon stretched the gap at 9 points 17:6. Vorontsevich opened up a double-digit lead late in the first quarter before Vassilis Spanoulis capped the period with a jumper 12:21. Greece tipped off the second period with four points in a row to trim the distance. Vassilis Spanoulis dragged the Hellenes within 4 before Kurbanov stopped the bleeding with three points for Russia. Timofey Mozgov and Bykov quickly restored a 10-point advantage. But Greece persisted and cut the distance back to 4 points with just over three minutes to go. However Kelly McCarty (201-F-75, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: S.Mississippi) knocked down a three-pointer, while Vorontsevich and Ponkrashov crowned the half with three points to give Russia a 39:32 lead. Ioannis Bourousis and Fotsis teamed up for five points to begin the second half. Sofoklis Schortsanitis (206-C-85) added two more as the Greek team earned a 40:39 advantage. Russia could not account for a single point for more than 7 minutes before Kelly McCarty snapped the silence with a jumper. The teams traded baskets late in the frame but Kelly McCarty had the last laugh as his three-pointer sent the Russia into the fourth quarter up by one 48:47. Sofoklis Schortsanitis drew things level early in the final stanza but Sergey Monya hit from downtown twice to put Russia back in the drivers seat. Sergey Monya followed with the third straight triple moments later as Russia cleared off to a 9-point distance. Sofoklis Schortsanitis finally responded for the Hellenes hitting two free throws. Timofey Mozgov and Schortsantis traded dunks as Russia maintained a 7-point lead midway through the stanza. Kelly McCarty came up with four points for David Blatt team as they earned a 10-point lead with under four minutes remaining 63:53 forcing Jonas Kazlauskas to call for timeout. It worked as Giorgos Printezis and Vassilis Spanoulis fired four consecutive points to reignite the intrigue. Zisis and Fotsis came up empty from beyond the arc however Giorgos Printezis grabbed the offensive rebound and was put on the line. He hit the first free throw, while Fotsis won the offensive rebound after Giorgos Printezis missed his second attempt. Fotsis drained a triple to narrow the margin to just two points 61:63 with 91 seconds left in regulation. Kelly McCarty responded with two free throws, while Fotsis hit just one of two on the other end. Ponkrashov hit two free throws in two trips to the line to stretch the lead to 5 points. Giorgos Printezis immediately answered with a big trey as Greece clipped the distance to two points with 21 seconds left. Sergey Monya drained just one of two from the stripe allowing giving a chance for Giorgos Printezis to force overtime. But his triple rimmed off and Russia celebrated a dramatic victory at the end. Kelly McCarty knocked down 17 points to pace Russia. Sergey Monya added 16 points, while Timofey Mozgov had 10 points for the reigning champs. Sofoklis Schortsanitis replied with 13 points for the Hellenes. Ioannis Bourousis and Vassilis Spanoulis netted 12 points each in the loss.

Croatia - France 79-87
France did not mind 30 points from Marko Popovic (185-G-82, college: S.Idaho JC) to edge Croatia 87:79 in the last game of the Qualifying Round in Group E. The team that just got the only ticket from the Adiitional Qualifying Round becomes one of the favorite at Eurobasket 2009. France opened the game with a three-point play from Turiaf. But Banic quickly responded with four points of his own to put Croatia up. The lead changed hands for several times before Marko Popovic capped the period with a three-pointer giving Croatia a 21:19 advantage. Kus and Loncar picked up the scoring groove and stretched the margin at 7 points 26:19. Marko Popovic drained another triple moments later as Croatia earned a 29:20 advantage. France got within 6 just to see Marko Popovic hit another treble making it 34:25. Batum narrowed the distance to 4 points but Marko Popovic persisted as his four free throws kept Croatia in charge. Stojic and Planinic ensured a 43:36 advantage with under two minutes to go in the half. Marko Popovic followed with two freebies as the margin grew back at 9-point mark. Parker followed two offensive rebounds with a three-point play to narrow the gap. Marko Popovic hit just one free throw, while Diaw responded with two accurate shots from the stripe to seal the first half outcome at 41:46. Pietrus and Batum combined for quick 7 points at the start of the second half as Les Bleus drew things level at 48. Parker followed with a three-pointer to put France in front. He made his 17th point later in the period for 55:51. Piertus made one free throw and again Parket nailed a three for 61:51. Marko Popovic reduced the gap at the end of the third period for 63:56. Diaw opened the last quarter from the perimeter for 66:56, while Nicevic and Traore exchanged the free throws. Marko Popovic kept his side alive from the perimeter for 70:65, while Batum replied for 73:65. Loncar and Ukic brought Croatia back to 69:73, but Bokolo and Batum gave France 78:69. Loncar cut it to 71:79, while Marko Popovic and Ukic gave Croatia 77:81 with a minute to go. Diaw and Pietrus however nailed threes for his sdie as France remained perfect in Poland. Parker top-scored for the winners with 24 points for 4-0 record. Batum nailed 18, Diaw added 15 and Pietrus scored 14. Marko Popovic ended up with 30 points in the losing effort. Ukic had 11, while Banic posted 10.

GROUP F

Serbia - Turkey 64-69 OT1

Turkey remains undefeated on EuroBasket 2009 in Poland. This time Ersan Ilyasova (207-F-87) and his teammates met ex World / European Champion and had to work very hard in order to reach 4-0 record in Group F. It was an overtime win and Turkey will meet Slovenia on Wednesday in the battle for position No.1 before the Quarterfinals. On the other side, Serbia also qualified for QFinals, but it is not known yet will it be from position No.2 of No.3. Ersan Ilyasova was the leading player for Turkey in this game registering double-double, 22 points and 11 rebounds. Omer Asik (211-C-86) scored 11 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, while Kerem Tunceri (190-G-79) added 9 points and 7 assists. In the loosing squad, Milos Teodosic (195-G-87) had 16 points, 6 boards and 8 assists. Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) scored 12 and Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) one point less.
Turkey opened the game with 0-4, but Serbia quickly responded with 5-0 run. Thanks to jump shot by Semih Erden (211-C-87), Turkey finished the first quarter with 18-20 advantage. The teams exchanged lead many times in the second period. The biggest plus had Turkey and it was the HT score 33-36. Guler dunked the ball in their last possession. At the beginning of the second half Turkey jumped to plus 4 and Hedo Turkoglu (206-F-79) set the margin to 38-44. Thanks to triples by Ersan Ilyasova and Kerem Tunceri, Turkey made 42-50 with 2:56 to go in third quarter. However, Milos Teodosic hit a bomb later closing the gap to 52-55 after 30 minutes. In the last quarter Ersan Ilyasova again brought plus 7 to his team with a triple (52-59), but Serbia did not give up. Serbians made 7-0 run so the teams entered to very exciting finish. With 28 seconds remaining Serbia grabbed 64-63 lead (after long range stroke by Teodosic) and Semih Erden scored on FT after that. Serbia did not make it in their last offense and on the other side Kerem Tunceri missed a lay-up, after what Hedo Turkoglu tipped the ball in, but that came too late so the teams went to extra five minutes. There Serbia was scoreless, including few mistakes and missed open three point shots by Stefan Markovic (194-G-88). Turkey also struggled at the offensive end, but thanks to free throw by Semih Erden, lay up by Ersan Ilyasova and 2 FTs by Kerem Tunceri at the very end, Turkey remained untouchable in Poland.
Serbia will play against Lithuania on Wednesday (last day of the Qualifying Round).

Serbia: Milos Teodosic 16+6 boards+8 as, Novica Velickovic 12+7 boards, Nenad Krstic 11+7 boards
Turkey: Ersan Ilyasova 22+11 boards, Omer Asik 11+6 boards, Kerem Tunceri 9+7 as




Slovenia - Poland 76-60


Great victory for Slovenia, who now has 3-1 record in Qualifying Group F. It means that Slovenians already booked a spot for EuroBasket 2009 Quarterfinals. On the other side, the host of this event dropped to 1-3. Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) was central figure of the game as he collected 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Point guard Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) had 14 points and 6 assists, while Primoz Brezec (216-F/C-79) nailed 12 points. Samo Udrih (195-G-79) helped the winners with 10 pts. In Team Poland, Szymon Szewczyk (209-C-82) and David Logan (184-G-82, college: Indianapolis) netted 15 points each. The first one pulled down 7 rebounds beside that.
Poland had better start making quick 4-8 lead. Slovenia tied the score to 8-8, but Szymon Szewczyk and his teammates responded with 1-6 run. Later, Lukasz Koszarek (187-G-84) closed first quarter with a triple setting the score to 11-17 for the hosts. Samo Udrih drained two consecutive triples at the beginning of the second period and Jaka Lakovic made two free throws for 19-17. Poland tied the score to 22-22, after what Goran Jagodnik (202-F-74, agency: Beo Basket) made 5-0 run by himself. However, Slovenians were not able to keep more than 31-29 after the first 20 minutes. Beginning of the second half was crucial as Slovenia created fantastic 15-1 run, closed with a triple by Erazem Lorbek. The hosts didn't succeed to recover from this and at the middle of the last frame Slovenia was 22 points up. The rest of the way was just the formality and Slovenia had no troubles to register comfortable and very important win.
On Wednesday, which is the last day of the Qualifying Round, Slovenia will play against Turkey. Poland will meet Spain and that game will be the crucial one for both teams.

Slovenia: Erazem Lorbek 20+9 boards+5 as, Jaka Lakovic 14+6 as, Primoz Brezec 12, Samo Udrih 10
Poland: Szymon Szewczyk 15+7 boards, David Logan 15



Spain - Lithuania 84-70

Spain had no troubles to beat Lithuania in the second day of Qualifying Round in Poland. With this victory the reigning World Champion made a big step forward to Quarterfinals and it now has 2-2 record in Group F. On the other side, Lithuania has no chance to make it. Former European Champion fell to 0-4 and it is the only winless team in both, Group E and F. Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) stepped up for Spain collecting 19 points and 8 rebounds. Juan Carlos Navarro (192-G-80) had 13, while Rudy Fernandez (197-G-85) delivered 2 points less. Jorge Garbajosa (205-C/F-77, agency: Interperformances) followed them with 10 points. In Team Lithuania, Marijonas Petravicius (208-F/C-79, college: S.Carolina) netted 13 points and grabbed 8 boards. Arturas Jomantas (200-G/F-85) added 11 points.
Spain opened the game with 4-0, but soon after that Lithuania grabbed 9-12 lead. Later, Lithuanians jumped to 10-19 and they managed to keep plus 9 until the end of the opening quarter (15-24). Robertas Javtokas (211-C-80, agency: Interperformances, college: Arizona) closed it with two free throws. At that time it seemed that Lithuania finally found its game, but situation on the court totally changed in the second quarter. Spain took control on their rivals and totally smashed them during the next 6-7 minutes. Lithuania was unable to score until 2:56 to go in the first half, while Pau Gasol and his teammates drained magnificent 23 points. So it was impressive turn and 38-24 for Spain. Lithuania somehow succeeded to respond after this shock and Marijonas Petravicius cut the margin to 40-32 at the HT. At the middle of third period, actually after triple by Jorge Garbajosa, Spain was 54-39 up and it was hard to believe that Lithuania is able treat until the end, especially because of the above mentioned fiasco. After 30 minutes of play Spain had 64-43 lead and winner of this game was already known. For the rest of the way Spain had no troubles to keep comfortable plus and Marc Gasol (212-C-85, agency: Interperformances) closed the game with a dunk for the final 84-70.
Wednesday will be the crucial day in Group F, when Spain will meet the host of EuroBasket 2009 - Poland. Lithuania will take on Serbia.

Spain: Pau Gasol 19+8 boards, Juan Carlos Navarro 13, Rudy Fernandez 11, Jorge Garbajosa 10
Lithuania: Marijonas Petravicius 13+8 boards, Arturas Jomantas 11



Eurobasket 2009. Qualifying Round 1 - Sep. 12, 2009 
GROUP E
Germany - Greece 76-84
The second match in Group E in Bydgoszcz saw Greek side achieving 84:76 victory over Germany. Greece remained perfect after the first day of the Qualifying Round. Germany made it to the Qualifying Round only in the closing seconds of Group B and cherish every extra minute they get to spend at EuroBasket 2009 after arriving with minimum expectations. Greece was in front almost for the whole first period and enjoyed 25:19 when Schortsanitis made a lay-up and the added another points from the free throw line. In the second period the battle continued but Greece again played better for 41:33 at the halftime. Nikos Zisis (195-G-83) made a three for the last points in the first half for Greek side, while Pleiss closed the period for the Germans. When the teams came back from the lockers Germany posted 5 points in a row for 38:45. Spanoulis however made a lay-up for 47:38. Greene replied with a lay-up for 47:40 and Printezis scored for 57:45 later in the frame. Schaffartzik posted for 57:48, whilst Schortsanitis made a dunk for 59:48. Tim Ohlbrecht (211-C/F-88) cut it to 66:59 and Benzing made it 68:62. Germany did not give up and battled until the last minutes. Greece however was too good to be caught. Nikos Zisis made the last point for the winners to seal another success with his team. Spanoulis top-scored for the winners with 20 points for 3-0 record. Schortsanitis netted 14,while Nikos Zisis and Fotsis had 12 each. Heiko Schaffartzik (182-G-84, agency: Pro One Sports) delivered 23 points in defeat and Benzing posted 16.



France - FYR Macedonia 83-57
France just started the Qualifying Round but already booked their spot in the quarter-finals.The favorites overcame F.Y.R. of Macedonia 83:57 in the last game of Friday. The French improved to 3-0 in the Qualifying Round Group E and join Greece into the final eight. Turiaf made a dunk to give his side the first lead. Stefanov scored from the perimeter to taste the lead with his team, and then France exploded with 15-0 run for 17:3. Stojanovski posted for 21:9 and Pietrus closed the frame at 24:9. Another three-pointer from Parker and two lay-ups by the French star saw 31:9 on the board. F.Y.R. of Macedonia could not recover at all and failed at 42:11 when Traore a lay-up. Samardziski sent the teams to the lockers for 49:18. Pietrus with a jump-shot opened the third quarter and Batum made it 56:24. Nando De Colo led his team to 65:32, while Antic made two free throws at the end of the third for 67:35. Later in the fourth quarter F.Y.R. of Macedonia started to play a bit better, but they were too far to catch up with the opponents. Bokolo scored for 74:44 and Todor Gechevski (209-C-77, agency: Interperformances) reduced to 81:55. Mirakovski was the last to score in the game for 83:57. Florent Pietrus (202-F-81, agency: Octagon) and Nando De Colo stepped up with 14 points each for the winners. Batum, Traore and Parker followed them with 13 each. Todor Todor Gechevski, Darko Sokolov and Jeremiah Massey finished the night with 9 points each in the losing case.



Russia - Croatia 62-59
Russia earned a dramatic victory at the start of EuroBasket Qualifying Round action. They held off Croatia in an exhausting battle in Group E tonight. The European defending champions survived nail-biting dying seconds to earn a crucial victory at the end. Russia improved at 1-2 record and caught up with Croatia in the ladder. The teams eagerly traded baskets throughout the opening frame. The lead changed hands for several times. Finally Kurbanov capped the period with a jumper to tie things up at 16. Nicevic put Croatia in charge at the start of the second quarter but Ponkrashov fired from beyond the arc to regain the lead for Russia. The complexion of the game did not change as the teams went on a roller-coaster action. Kurbanov and Timofey Mozgov gave the defending European champions to 28:23 lead but Zoran Planinic crowned the half with a trey to narrow the deficit. Sergey Bykov and Timofey Mozgov maintained the lead early in the third stanza. Timofey Mozgov and Monya stretched the margin at 6 points but Croatia refused to let Russia run away. Mario Kasun and Ukic exploded with six points in a row as the teams headed into the fourth quarter knotted up at 42. Kelly McCarty (201-F-75, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: S.Mississippi) opened the fourth frame with a three-pointer to retain the advantage for Russia. Croatia responded with four points in a row and surged in front 46:45. Kelly McCarty and Timofey Mozgov spurred Russia back in charge midway through the fourth stanza. Sergey Bykov gave Russia a 51:48 advantage but Zoran Planinic fired from downtown to draw things level. After a number of misses Timofey Mozgov put Russia back in the drivers seat with two minutes remaining 53:51. Banic hit two free throws to level things up at 53. Vitaly Fridzon (195-G-85) and Zoran Planinic exchanged the buckets, while Sergey Bykov went perfect from the stripe to pull Russia back in front 57:55 with 45 seconds to go. Vujcic accounted for just one free throw, while Vitaly Fridzon went perfect from the line to boost the lead to three points with 13 seconds left. Popovic missed a jumper, while Vitaly Fridzon and Ponkrashov extended the advantage at 4 points. Marko Popovic tried to save the day with a big three-pointer but Vitaly Fridzon netted two freebies to seal the winning outcome at the end. Timofey Mozgov tallied 18 points and 8 rebounds for Russia. Sergey Bykov, Vitaly Fridzon and Kelly McCarty added 9 points each in the win. Mario Kasun responded with 13 points and 6 rebounds for Croatia. Zoran Planinic contributed 12 points in the losing effort.



GROUP F

Poland - Serbia 72-77

Serbia opened the Qualifying Round of EuroBasket 2009 with valuable win against the host - Poland. That was very important game for both teams as they entered to second stage with 1-1. It means that ex European and World Champion made a huge step forward to Quarterfinals, while Poland fell to 1-2. Of course, Poland also has a chance to advance as there are two more games to be played. Center Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) once again stepped up for his team collecting 18 points and 8 rebounds. Milos Teodosic (195-G-87) had 13 points and 4 assists, while Uros Tripkovic (196-G-86, agency: Beo Basket) added 12 pts. Fourth scorer of the team was Novica Velickovic (205-F-86) with 10 pts (7 rebs). In Poland, Marcin Gortat (213-C-84) and Lukasz Koszarek (187-G-84) scored 16 pts each. Gortat also pulled down 9 rebounds beside that. Michal Ignerski (205-F-80, agency: Stanley International, college: Mississippi St.) netted 13 pts and grabbed 5 rebs.
Serbia had excellent beginning making 0-7 lead, but the host immediately responded with 12-3 run, led by Marcin Gortat and Michal Ignerski. The other one was on fire from behind the arc, but still Serbia was the team who had 22-23 after 10 minutes of play. After basket by Novica Velickovic at the halfway of second period Serbia was 26-34 up. Later it was plus 9, but Marcin Gortat fixed the score with a jumper to 36-43 at the HT. Serbia had furious beginning of the second half making 4-13 run for fantastic 40-56. When it seemed that the winner is already known, the hosts started to play much better so until the end of third period they closed the gap to 53-62. With 5:29 to go Poland cut the margin on just two points 62-64 and everything was open again. However, Nenad Krstic helped his team to create 2-8 run, what turned out as crucial in this game. Poland tried to do something until the end, but Serbia was strong enough to keep its lead and to register valuable win.
On Monday, Serbia will meet Turkey. Poland will take on Slovenia.

Poland: Marcin Gortat 16+9 boards, Lukasz Koszarek 16, Michal Ignerski 13+5 boards
Serbia: Nenad Krstic 18+8 boards, Milos Teodosic 13+4 as, Uros Tripkovic 12, Novica Velickovic 10+7 boards




Turkey - Spain 63-60

Turkey continues with excellent performance in Poland. After perfect 3-0 in Preliminary Round, Turkey managed to beat the reigning World Champion in Day 1 of the second stage. It means that the host of 2010 FIBA World Championship is currently on top on Group F with 3-0, while Spain fell to 1-2. Ersan Ilyasova (207-F-87) led the winners with 15 points and 5 rebounds. Omer Asik (211-C-86) had 13, while Semih Erden (211-C-87) and Kerem Tunceri (190-G-79) added 11 points apiece. In Team Spain, Rudy Fernandez (197-G-85) and Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) scored 16 points each. Gasol had 9, while Fernandez grabbed 4 rebounds less than him.
Spain opened the game better creating quick 8-14 lead, after dunk by Pau Gasol. However, Turkey immediately responded with 10-2 run for 18-16 turn. Still after 10 minutes of play it was Spain who had plus 2, 20-22. Second period started with 0-5 series for Spain, but Turkey did not give up. With 2 minutes left in the first half Kerem Tunceri drained a triple closing another nice run by Team Turkey, 33-31. They managed to keep plus two until 15-minute break. The teams exchanged lead couple of times in third period. Spain had plus 3 and after that Turkey jumped to plus 4. Garbajosa made triple for Spain in the last possession in third quarter closing the gap to 49-48. It was very exciting game until the end. With 1:42 to go Turkey had 61-58, but Navarro made a lay up for Spain. Ersan Ilyasova and Ender Arslan (190-G-83) missed after that, while Sergio Llull (178-G-87) did the same for Spain. Finally, with 2 seconds left Semih Erden made two free throws resolving question about the winner.
On Monday, Turkey will meet Serbia. Spain will take on Lithuania.

Turkey: Ersan Ilyasova 15+5 boards, Omer Asik 13, Semih Erden 11, Kerem Tunceri 11
Spain: Pau Gasol 16+9 boards, Rudy Fernandez 16+5 boards




Lithuania - Slovenia 58-81

Slovenia recovered from overtime loss against Spain in the last day of Preliminary Round and started the second stage with victory. Jaka Lakovic (186-G-78) was on fire and he was a key player for the winners today. He spent 34 minutes on the court draining 24 points (6 of 9 for 3-pts). Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) had 17 points and 8 rebounds, while Uros Slokar (210-F/C-83) and Bostjan Nachbar (207-G/F-80) added 11 points each. Mantas Kalnietis (195-G-86, agency: Interperformances) answered with 15 points in loss, while Jonas Maciulis (198-G/F-85) scored 4 pts less. With this victory Slovenia jumped to 2-1 record in Group F, while Lithuania dropped to 0-3.
Slovenia had impressive start. After 13-12 for Lithuania, Slovenians woke up and until the end of the first quarter they created 18-28 lead. It was Bostjan Nachbar who closed this period with a triple. He continued in the same rhythm at the beginning of the second frame and Erazem Lorbek joined him so after 14 minutes of play Slovenia already had comfortable 22-36 lead. Lithuania struggled at the both sides of the court and was unable to respond. Jaka Lakovic hit a 3-pointer setting the score to 26-43 at the half time. When Slovenia reached 31-51 at the beginning of the second half it was clear that this game was already over for Lithuania. Until the end of the game Lithuanians managed to come little bit closer and they never seriously threatened.
On Monday, Slovenia will meet Poland. Lithuania will take on Spain.

Lithuania: Mantas Kalnietis 15, Jonas Maciulis 11
Slovenia: Jaka Lakovic 24, Erazem Lorbek 17+8 boards, Uros Slokar 11, Bostjan Nachbar 11



Stats leaders of Preliminary Round  - Sep. 11, 2009 
Israeli National Team player Lior Eliyahu (205-F-85, agency: ZAG Advocates) is currently the leading scorer of EuroBasket 2009 in Poland. He played 3 games on this event averaging 21.3 ppg. However, Eliyahu's Israel finished the contest winless and of course did not qualify for the next stage.
Second scorer of Preliminary Round is Tony Parker (183-G-80) of Team France. Parker is the main reason why France ended first stage unbeaten as he averaged 19.7 ppg. In the opening game against Germany he drained 19 (including 11 in the finish), against Latvia 23 and in third game against Russia Parker scored 17 points .
Third scorer of Preliminary Round is Maciej Lampe (210-C-85, agency: Edge Sports) of Team Poland. Actually, there is also Earl Rowland (188-G-83, college: St.Mary's, CA) of Team Bulgaria with the same 17.7 ppg. Position No.5 belongs to Marcin Gortat (213-C-84) with 17.3 ppg.

Leading rebounder so far is Andris Biedrins (213-C-86) of Team Latvia with 11.7 rpg. Marcin Gortat has 11.3 and Ronny Turiaf (208-C/F-83, agency: Priority Sports, college: Gonzaga) grabbed 11 rpg. Fourth best rebounder is Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) with 9 rpg and he is followed by Vassil Evtimov (207-C/F-77, agency: Interperformances, college: N.Carolina), who had 8.7 rpg.

David Logan (184-G-82, college: Indianapolis) dished out the most assists, 5.3 per game, while Zoran Planinic (199-G-82) is on the second place with 5 apg. Third is Boris Diaw (203-F/C-82) of Team France with 4.7 apg.
In steals, Kelly McCarty (201-F-75, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: S.Mississippi), Goran Dragic (194-G-86, agency: Interperformances) and Tony Parker have 2.7 spg each.
The most blocked shots have Marcin Gortat and Timofey Mozgov (215-C-86), 2.3 rpg each. Third is Maciej Lampe with 2 rpg.


Eurobasket 2009. Day 3 - Sep. 9, 2009 
Group A
FYR Macedonia - Croatia 71-81
Croatia was too strong for Israel finishing the Preliminary Round with 2-1. On the other side, FYR Macedonia is third ranked team in Group A thanks to victory against Israel yesterday and also advanced to the next stage. There Croatia, FYR Macedonia and Greece will meet 3 best teams from Preliminary Group B. Nikola Vujcic (211-C-78) led Croatia today scoring 12 points for 19 minutes. Marko Banic was behind him with 11, while Zoran Planinic added 9 points and 7 assists. In the loosing squad, Darko Sokolov, Vrbica Stefanov and Jeremiah Massey netted 12 points each. Massey had 10 rebounds beside that, while Stefanov handed out 5 assists.

Israel - Greece 80-106
Greece earned the third straight win at the 2009 EuroBasket. They held off Israel to win preliminary Group A. Israel lost the third game in a row and return home winless. It was do-or-die battle for Israel but Greece did not give a single chance to their opponents. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82, agency: Beo Basket) scored 18 points and dished out 5 assists to pace Greece. Antonis Fotsis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis added 16 points each in the win. Lior Eliyahu nailed 21 points, grabbed 8 boards and issued 4 assists for Israel. Raviv Limonad had 15 points in the losing effort.

Group B
Russia - France 64-69
France finished the Preliminary Round on Eurobasket 2009 in Poland undefeated. After victories against Germany and Latvia, Tony Parker and his teammates outplayed the defending European champion advancing to Qualifying Round as top-ranked team of Group B (3-0). Russians also booked a spot for the next stage thanks to victory against Latvia, what is their only one so far. Boris Diaw (203-F/C-82) this time led France to win collecting 19 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Ronny Turiaf had 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Parker added one point less than him. Russia got 13 points from Kelly McCarty. Nikita Kurbanov scored 12 and Vitaly Fridzon 11 points.

Germany - Latvia 62-68
Germany lost their last game at the preliminary round of 2009 EuroBasket to Latvia but still managed to stay in the title race. The win by six points turned insufficient to Latvia as they had to pack things now. Jan-Hendrick Jagla (213-F-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: Penn St.) scored decisive five points in the dying seconds to carry Germany into the next round of action. Kristaps Janicenoks paced Latvia with 14 points. Kaspars Kambala produced 11 points in the winning case. Demond Greene led Germany with 16 points. Jan-Hendrick Jagla accounted for 13 points and 7 boards in a sweet loss for his team.

Group C
Spain - Slovenia 90-84 OT
Spain celebrated 90-84 overtime win against Slovenia finishing the Preliminary Round in Poland with 2-1 record. The same numbers has Slovenia and both teams qualified for the next stage. Juan Carlos Navarro was the leading scorer in victory with 21 points. Rudy Fernandez (197-G-85) followed him with 19 points and 5 rebounds, while big guy Felipe Reyes added 17 points and 8 boards. Pau Gasol this time helped with 13 points and 9 rebounds. In Team Slovenia, Goran Dragic netted 19 points. Jaka Lakovic had 15 and Bostjan Nachbar added one point less. At this moment the game between Serbia and Great Britain did not even start, but depend of that result it will be known will Spain or Slovenia end as No.1 of Group C.

United Kingdom - Serbia 59-77
Serbia advanced to the Qualifying Round of Eurobasket 2009 finishing the group with 2-1 record. In the last game of the day the team outscored Great Britain 77:59. Nenad Krstic and Milenko Tepic (198-G-87, agency: Beo Basket) top-scored for the winners with 17 points each. Teodosic nailed 11 as Serbia took the second place in the group. Nate Reinking ended up with 21 points in defeat, whilst Mensah-Bonsu posted 16.

Group D
Poland - Turkey 69-87
It was a game between two undefeated teams after two days in Preliminary Group D. Turkey managed to beat the host of EuroBasket 87-69 and to finish this stage with perfect 3-0. Poland fell to 1-2, but even before this game it was already clear that these two countries booked a spot for the Qualifying Round. There, Turkey and Poland will take on three best teams from Preliminary Group C. Omer Asik (211-C-86) paced Turkey to victory today collecting 22 points and 8 rebounds. Ersan Ilyasova also had very important role collecting 18 points and 8 rebounds, while Hedo Turkoglu was third scorer of the team with 13 points. The NBA star also pulled down 8 rebounds beside that. In Poland, Marcin Gortat shined with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Maciej Lampe added 14 pts and 7 boards.

Lithuania - Bulgaria 84-69
Lithuania and Bulgaria struggled for the only victory in Group D and the only ticket left to the Qualifying Round. Ramunas Butautas' squad pulled away late in the final quarter to claim their first 84:69 victory in Poland. Ksistof Lavrinovic (210-C-79) poured in 16 points and had 6 rebounds for the winners. Petravicius nailed 13, whislt Jasaitis added 11. Rowland produced 18 points in defeat and Stoykov notched 16.


Div. B Day: 2 (Play-Offs) - Sep. 9, 2009 
Montenegro - Sweden 88-71
Montenegro won the second game of the Play-offs of Division B over Sweden. The team proved it one more time that they deserve a place in Division A more than the opponents. Nikola Pekovic (210-C-86, agency: Beo Basket) paced all the winners with 17 points for Division A birth. Drobnjiak and Dasic followed him with 14 points each. Ringstrom finished the night with 17 points in the losing effort, while Levin notched 13.

Georgia - Belarus 86-84
Georgia fulfilled their ambitions and reached Division A of the European Championship. They overcame Belarus in a two-game playoff series. Georgia enjoyed a 14-point buffer after the opening clash in Belarus. But the team had to withhold a furious rescue attempts from Belarus in Tbilisi to seal the winning outcome. Viktor Sanikidze (203-F-86) tallied 18 points and 10 boards for Georgia. Tyrone Ellis nailed 17 points for the winners. Alexander Kudrautsau responded with game-high 28 points for Belarus. Pavel Ulyanko had 14 points in the losing effort.


Eurobasket 2009. Day 2 - Sep. 8, 2009 
Group A
Greece - Croatia 76-68
Greece earned the second straight win at the EuroBasket 2009. They bruised Croatia to improve at 2-0 record in Group A. Croatia slipped at 1-1 record. Greece will take on Israel, while Croatia will play against FYR Macedonia on the final day of the preliminary round. Ioannis Bourousis (212-C-83, agency: FCM) (212-C-83, agency: FCM) fired 19 points and collected 8 rebounds to lead Greece. Kostas Koufos and Efstratios Perperoglou added 10 points apiece in the winning effort. Roko-Leni Ukic answered with 15 points for Croatia. Nikola Vujcic had 13 points in defeat.

Israel - FYR Macedonia 79-82
After yesterday's huge defeat against Greece, FYR Macedonia managed to beat Israel 82-79 and to improve on 1-1 score in Preliminary Group A. On the other side, Israel failed once again as it remains winless after two days in Poland. As a reminder, Israel faced with 79-86 defeat yesterday against Croatia. Pero Antic (210-F-82, agency: Interperformances) was a key player in victory with 19 points and 6 rebounds. Jeremiah Massey followed him with 15 points and 6 boards, while Darko Sokolov and Todor Gechevski helped Macedonians with 9 points each. Israel got the most from Tal Burstein - 25 points. Yotam Halperin netted 5 less.

Group B
Latvia - France 51-60
France earned the second win at the EuroBasket 2009 in Poland. They overcame Latvia in a hard-fought battle in Gdansk to climb on top of preliminary Group B. Latvia in the meantime suffered the second loss in a row to remain at the bottom of the standings. Tony Parker (183-G-80) had another impressive performance for France as he tallied 23 points, 4 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals in the win. France will wrap up their preliminary action against Russia, while Latvia will take on Germany tomorrow. Ali Traore knocked down 12 points for Les Bleus. Kaspars Kambala once again shone for Latvia with 18 points and 7 boards to his tally. Kristaps Janicenoks finished with 12 points, while Andris Biedrins pulled down game-high 20 rebounds in the loss.

Germany - Russia 76-73
Germany crushed the reigning European champion 76-73 registering the first win in Poland. Yesterday, Germans failed against France in thriller, but today they improved a lot and were strong enough to celebrate valuable win. Russia had a joyful Day 1 against Latvia meaning that Russians now have the same score as Germany (1-1, Preliminary Group B). Jan-Hendrick Jagla (213-F-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: Penn St.) stepped up for the winners with double-double, 19 points and 11 rebounds. Heiko Schaffartzik also had important role netting 13 pts. Sven Schultze and Tim Ohlbrecht delivered 9 points apiece. In Team Russia, Kelly McCarty responded with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Anton Ponkrashov also scored 12, while Sergey Bykov added one point less.

Group C
Spain - United Kingdom 84-76
Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) woke up after the loss from Serbia as Spain barely escaped from another one. The Spanish outfit rolled over Great Britain to celebrate the first victory at Eurobasket 2009 in Poland. It was another proof that Spain is too far from their best games. All the nest happened in the last period of the thriller. Reinking added 2 points for his team for 66:62 as Spain remained scoreless in the last period. Hart buried a three for 66:65 with 7.34. Moreover Lenzly made it 68:66 for Great Britain when Spain was useless in the court. Pau Gasol scored his 20th point to tie the game at 68:68, but Achara gave his team another 70:68 lead. Pau Gasol reduced to 70:69 when Hart nailed three from the perimeter for 73:69. The last minutes became very exciting in the court. Fernandez made a dunk for 73:71 and Pau Gasol nailed three for 74:73 for Spain. The latter scored one free throw later in the quarter, while Navarro's three brought 78:73 with 2 minutes to go. Pau Gasol scored his 27th point for 80:73 with a minute until the end and Navarro added one for 81:73. Great Britaion responded immediately from the three-point line and Hart posted for 81:76. Rubio was perfect from the free throw line to give his team 83:76 and Navarro brought the Final score on the board. Pau Gasol was unstoppable with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Fernandez followed him with 13, whilst Claver poured in 12. Hart finished the night with 15 points in the losing effort and Lenzly had 14. Freeland and Reinking notched 10 points apiece for great Britain.

Slovenia - Serbia 80-69
Slovenia registered second consecutive win on EuroBasket 2009 in Poland. Slovenians played excellent game today shooting almost 60% from behind the arc during the first three quarters. It means that they are currently No.1 in Preliminary Group C, while Serbia fell to 1-1. As a reminder, Serbia crushed the reigning World Champion (Spain) yesterday with nice 66-57. Bostjan Nachbar (207-G/F-80) shined with 17 points and 9 rebounds today, while Jaka Lakovic and Goran Dragic collected 16 points and 4 rebounds each. Erazem Lorbek nailed 14 pts, including 5 boards. In Team Serbia, Milos Teodosic netted 14 points and handed out 6 assists. Kosta Perovic was second scorer of the team with 9 pts. It is important to mention that Slovenia already booked a spot for the next round.

Group D
Bulgaria - Turkey 66-94
Turkey easily reached the second victory to book the places at the Qualifying Round of Eurobasket 2009. The team edged Bulgaria 94:76 in Group D second game. Videnov gave Bulgaria the first lead but as it became clear it was the only lead for his team in the game. The winners replied with 9-0 run as Asik closed it with a jump shot for 9:2. Savas made it later 47:23 and Turkoglu exploded with a dunk at the end of the half for 53:28. The latter played only 15 minutes as the result became clear even at the halftime. In the third quarter Bulgaria was able to reduce a bit after 24-19 in the stanza. Rowland made a lay-up for 70:52 and Asik kept the 20-point difference for 72:52. Mladenov opened the last quarter in the game and Georgiev scored for 85:58. Turkey did not slow down and won even the last period 22-14 for the total success. Tunceri nailed three for the last points of his team in the game. Ivanov set up the final score at 94:66 in the game. Ender Arslan (190-G-83) paced all the winners with 17 points for 2-0 record. Ilyasova followed him with 16 and Guler scored 14. Earl Rowland delivered 15 points in the losing case, Videnov added 14 and Stoykov had 12.

Lithuania - Poland 75-86
The host of EuroBasket 2009 managed to grab another win. After 90-78 against Bulgaria yesterday, Poland was too strong for Lithuania 86-75 jumping to 2-0 score in Preliminary Group D. At the same time Lithuanians remain winless after two days. In Day 1 they failed against Turkey 76-84. Maciej Lampe (210-C-85, agency: Edge Sports) shined in victory nailing 22 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. David Logan scored 19, Michal Ignerski 16, while Marcin Gortat helped with monster double-double, 15 points and 17 rebounds. In the loosing squad, Simas Jasaitis top-scored with 21 points. Jonas Maciulis had 14 and Marijonas Petravicius netted one point less. It is important to mention that Poland already booked a spot for the next round.


GROUP A: DAY 2 - Hellas - Croatia 76-68 - Sep. 8, 2009 
An amazing first half, with Bourousis and Koufos doing nearly everything in the court with the international center of Olympiakos scoring 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists being the stepping stone of the Hellenic NT to create a deficit of 21 points 52-31. The Hellenes played the total basketball in the first half and were amazing from the parameter as they had 5/7 three pointers (Printezis, Bourousis X2, Zisis, Perperoglou) moreover they played very good defense especially from Perperoglou, Bourousis and Kalabokis, the last one played very well and full of passion over Kus and Ukic before called his third foul at the mid of the second quarter.
The Croats started the game very well and in the first quarter over scored their opponents in a couple of times but when Kazlauskas changed Zisis with Kalabokis and Printezis to Fotsis, the defense became tougher and the Croats suffered a lot. Even though, the first quarter ended with just 5 points difference (with an amazing three pointer on a buzzer beeper, from Bourousis) the second quarter was simply dreamful for Kazlauskas and Sferopoulos team. The Hellene players were perfect from the parameter and even though Repesa tried with continuous changes and time outs to change the Hellenic rhythm, he could do anything, Ukic was fighting alone as Kasun and Planinic couldnt help a lot. The amazing situation for the Hellenic NT is that the super scorer of the team remained into just 4 points with the minimum of tries (he only tried to penetrate the Croat basket three times). It is also worth mentioned that the top center of the Croat NT, Vujcic played only a few minutes as he had faced some pains in his waste from an injury received in the game against the Israelis yesterday.
The third quarter begun with the Croats trying to cut the deficit by playing tougher defense, and shooting from the parameter more often but with better chances, being able to increase their poor percentages (of the first half). The result was simply to decrease the difference in less than 2 minutes to 52-37 (with a 6-0 from Croats) mainly due to Zisiss false balls. Ukic scored another basket and cut the deficit even more (54-39) Kazlauskas asked for his first time out of the game as he realizes that his team was dismantling in a way.The time out didnt help as the Croats with Ukic (2 steals) and Banic a (goal + foul) cut the deficit even more in less than 4 minutes (54-42). Bourousis dunk once but Ukic replied back. (Ukic had 15 points).Panathinaikos two forwards, Perperoglou and Fotsis scored 7 unanswered points and brought the difference to 18 (62-44) with 2.43 before the end of the third quarter. The game is a derby! The quarter is finishing with the 18 points (65-47) difference remaining for the Hellenic NT but with Sofoklis Schortsianitis called his fourth foul 3 seconds before the end of the quarter.
The fourth and final quarter starts with the Croats being more offensive than ever as they had an 18 points deficit to overcome and a Hellenic NT which was able to get points from both starters (41 points) and benchers too (24 points). The Croats with Kasun cuts the deficit to 15 points but Kalathis is returning the basket with a difficult drive. The Croats with Planinic and Vujcic mainly cut the deficit once more to 13 points with 5.31 to go. The Hellene guards in the last minutes had 4 false balls and that was the reason why the Croats cut the deficit. Vujcic with one of two from the charity line cuts the deficit to 12 while Bog Sofo scores also one of two, before Vujcic scores another one of two to cut the deficit to 12 once more. After the fifth personal false ball from Zisis, Kazlaouskas gets another time-out with 4.34 before the end in order to give some more instructions to his player as the Croats become more and more dangerous. Popovic scores his first basket to cut the deficit to 10 for the first time since the 13th minute. Planinic scores a very difficult drive to cut the deficit even more to 9 points, while Vujcic is scoring an amazing three pointer to do the scor 71-65 and the overall game to a big time derby with less than 2 minutes to go. The Hellenic NT is playing horrible basketball the last quarter and the Croats are now very close to a very big come back. Spanoulis scores 5 consecutive points and is actually ending the game once and for all!! Popovic though has a different opinion and is answering back with another three pointers. The final score is 76-68


Hellas Croatia 76-68 - Sep. 8, 2009 
Second Day - Group A: Hellas - Croatia 76-68
An amazing first half, with Ioannis Bourousis (212-C-83, agency: FCM) and Koufos doing nearly everything in the court with the international center of Olympiakos scoring 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists being the stepping stone of the Hellenic NT to create a deficit of 21 points 52-31. The Hellenes played the total basketball in the first half and were amazing from the parameter as they had 5/7 three pointers (Printezis, Ioannis Bourousis X2, Zisis, Perperoglou) moreover they played very good defense especially from Perperoglou, Ioannis Bourousis and Kalabokis, the last one played very well and full of passion over Kus and Ukic before called his third foul at the mid of the second quarter.
The Croats started the game very well and in the first quarter over scored their opponents in a couple of times but when Kazlauskas changed Zisis with Kalabokis and Printezis to Fotsis, the defense became tougher and the Croats suffered a lot. Even though, the first quarter ended with just 5 points difference (with an amazing three pointer on a buzzer beeper, from Ioannis Bourousis) the second quarter was simply dreamful for Kazlauskas and Giannis Sferopoulos team. The Hellene players were perfect from the parameter and even though Repesa tried with continuous changes and time outs to change the Hellenic rhythm, he could do anything, Ukic was fighting alone as Mario Kasun (213-C-80) and Planinic couldnt help a lot. The amazing situation for the Hellenic NT is that the super scorer of the team remained into just 4 points with the minimum of tries (he only tried to penetrate the Croat basket three times). It is also worth mentioned that the top center of the Croat NT, Nikola Vujcic (211-C-78) played only a few minutes as he had faced some pains in his waste from an injury received in the game against the Israelis yesterday.
The third quarter begun with the Croats trying to cut the deficit by playing tougher defense, and shooting from the parameter more often but with better chances, being able to increase their poor percentages (of the first half). The result was simply to decrease the difference in less than 2 minutes to 52-37 (with a 6-0 from Croats) mainly due to Zisiss false balls. Ukic scored another basket and cut the deficit even more (54-39) Kazlauskas asked for his first time out of the game as he realizes that his team was dismantling in a way.The time out didnt help as the Croats with Ukic (2 steals) and Banic a (goal + foul) cut the deficit even more in less than 4 minutes (54-42). Ioannis Bourousis dunk once but Ukic replied back. (Ukic had 15 points).Panathinaikos two forwards, Perperoglou and Fotsis scored 7 unanswered points and brought the difference to 18 (62-44) with 2.43 before the end of the third quarter. The game is a derby! The quarter is finishing with the 18 points (65-47) difference remaining for the Hellenic NT but with Sofoklis Schortsianitis called his fourth foul 3 seconds before the end of the quarter.
The fourth and final quarter starts with the Croats being more offensive than ever as they had an 18 points deficit to overcome and a Hellenic NT which was able to get points from both starters (41 points) and benchers too (24 points). The Croats with Mario Kasun cuts the deficit to 15 points but Kalathis is returning the basket with a difficult drive. The Croats with Planinic and Nikola Vujcic mainly cut the deficit once more to 13 points with 5.31 to go. The Hellene guards in the last minutes had 4 false balls and that was the reason why the Croats cut the deficit. Nikola Vujcic with one of two from the charity line cuts the deficit to 12 while Bog Sofo scores also one of two, before Nikola Vujcic scores another one of two to cut the deficit to 12 once more. After the fifth personal false ball from Zisis, Kazlaouskas gets another time-out with 4.34 before the end in order to give some more instructions to his player as the Croats become more and more dangerous. Popovic scores his first basket to cut the deficit to 10 for the first time since the 13th minute. Planinic scores a very difficult drive to cut the deficit even more to 9 points, while Nikola Vujcic is scoring an amazing three pointer to do the scor 71-65 and the overall game to a big time derby with less than 2 minutes to go. The Hellenic NT is playing horrible basketball the last quarter and the Croats are now very close to a very big come back. Spanoulis scores 5 consecutive points and is actually ending the game once and for all!! Popovic though has a different opinion and is answering back with another three pointers. The final score is 76-68. MVP of the game was Ioannis Bourousis


Eurobasket 2009. Day 1 - Sep. 7, 2009 
Group A
FYR Macedonia - Greece 54-86
Greece smashed FYR Macedonia in EuroBasket 2009 opener. Both teams are together with Croatia and Israel placed to Preliminary Group A. Vassilis Spanoulis top-scored for the winners today with 17 points. Ioannis Bourousis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis (206-C-85) helped with 11 points each. It is important to mention that Bourousis had 8 rebounds beside that. In Team FYR Macedonia, Jeremiah Massey shined with 12 points. Todor Gechevski and Pero Antic posted 9 pts apiece. Tomorrow, Greece will meet Croatia. Macedonians will take on Israel.

Croatia - Israel 86-79
Croatia had a joyful first day of EuroBasket 2009 in Poland. Nikola Vujcic (211-C-78) and his teammates were too strong for Israel jumping to 1-0 in Preliminary Group A. Today in EuroBasket opener Greece smashed FYR Macedonia, meaning that Croatians and Greeks are currently on top of this pool. Big guy Nikola Vujcic was a key player for the winners nailing 21 points. Guards Marko Popovic, Davor Kus and Roko-Leni Ukic provided 13 points each. On the other side, Lior Eliyahu demonstrated outstanding performance collecting 31 points and 6 boards. Gal Mekel scored 16 and Ido Kozikaro added 4 points less. Tomorrow, Croatia will meet Greece. Israel will take on FYR Macedonia.

Group B
Russia - Latvia 81-68
The defending European champion had to work hard today in order to beat Latvia 81-68. The teams are placed to Preliminary Group B, where today France outsmarted Germany 70-65. It means that Russia and France currently share the first place in this pool. Kelly McCarty (201-F-75, agency: Avi Zilberman, college: S.Mississippi) was the leading player in victory as he collected 24 points and 9 rebounds. Sergey Bykov also had very important role netting 22 points, while Timofey Mozgov was third scorer of the team with 10 pts. In the loosing squad, Kaspars Kambala shined with 22 points and 4 rebounds. Kristaps Janicenoks delivered 14 points.

France - Germany 70-65
France
struggled to reach EuroBasket 2009 in Poland, but it seems its players are in great shape thanks to Additional Qualification Round. Today was a Day 1 and France managed to beat Germany 70-65 for 1-0 record in Preliminary Group B. In the second game of this pool Russia was too strong for Latvia 81-68.
Tony Parker (183-G-80) was the leading player in Team France collecting 19 points and 6 rebounds. Ronny Turiaf was behind him with double-double, 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Nicolas Batum helped with 12 points and 8 boards. In Germany, Sven Schultze delivered 13 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Demond Greene scored 12 and Patrick Femerling had 11 points, plus 8 boards.

Group C
United Kingdom - Slovenia 59-72
Slovenia earned the first win at the 2009 EuroBasket. They needed a late surge to pull away to a hard-fought win over Great Britain. Erazem Lorbek (210-F/C-84, college: Michigan St.) knocked down 19 points to pace Slovenia as they climbed on top of Group C. Jaka Lakovic knocked down 11 points, grabbed 6 boards and issued 6 assists for Slovenia. Samo Udrih and Primoz Brezec contributed 8 points each in the win. Pops Mensah-Bonsu answered with 18 points and 6 boards for Great Britain. Robert Jr. Archibald had 12 points in the losing effort.

Serbia - Spain 66-57
A loud upset saw one of the favorites of Eurobasket 2009 Spain in the first game of the tournament in Poland. The Balkan team led by NBA star Krstic demolished them from the start to the end. Serbia played better in the whole game and rightfully became the winner of the opener. Although Spain considered to be the favorite not only in the game, but of the whole tournament as well, Serbia handed them their first loss right from the start. Spain had even difficulties to score in the first half and trailed from the very beginning. The first two quarters belonged to the Serbs and at the end of another period as well. Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) paced all the winners with 17 points for the stunning victory. Novica Velickovic collected 12 points and 8 rebounds, while Milenko Tepic added 10. Juan Carlos Navarro responded with 14 points and Felipe Reyes netted 10.

Group D
Poland - Bulgaria 90-78
DDavid Logan scored 23 points to pace Poland to the starting win at the EuroBasket 2009. The hosts of the tournament enjoyed the home fans with a 12-point win over Bulgaria in Group D. Michal Ignerski (205-F-80, agency: Stanley International, college: Mississippi St.) finished with 22 points for Poland. Maciej Lampe added 17 points, while Marcin Gortat had 16 points and 10 boards in the win. Earl Rowland answered with 20 points for Bulgaria. Dejan Ivanov contributed 18 points in defeat.

Turkey - Lithuania 84-76
The National team of Turkey opened Eurobasket 2009 with a victory over Lithuania. Trailing after the first quarter, Turkey bounced back and grabbed 84:76 victory. Turkey started with 4-0 run and had 15:13 lead. Lithuania meanwhile played better in the end of the frame and took 22:19 at the end of 10 minutes. In the last quarter Turkey tied the game at 28:28 and Delininkaitis later closed the half at 39:39. Simas Jasaitis kept the Baltic side alive from the perimeter for 80:76, but Ender Arslan was again perfect from the foul line to take Turkey 82:76. Hedo Turkoglu (206-F-79) top-scored for the winners with 19 points. Ersan Ilyasova ended up with 17, whilst Ender Arslan added 16. Marijonas Petravicius delivered 21 points for the Baltic side, Simas Jasaitis posted 14 and Linas Kleiza notched 12.


HELLAS - FYROM 86-54 - Sep. 7, 2009 
Eurobasket in Poland - Premiere Game: Hellas - FYROM 86-54
The fresh Hellenic NT and the real Macedonians thrashed the FYROM NT with 32 points difference. Vassilis Spanoulis (193-G-82) and Giannis Bourousis (212-C-83) with SSofoklis Schortsanitis (206-C-85) were magnificent in the first half where the Hellenic NT played good defense and let the FYROM player in just 28 points. On the other hand, the Hellenes were very good in offence too so the difference went up to the 28 points with a double score (28-56)
The premiere of Jonas Kazlauskas new NT had no problems even in the third quarter to increase the difference to 32 points 69-37, with Nick Kalathis (198-G-89, college: Florida) giving some amazing assists mainly to Sofoklis Schortsianitis and Kosta Koufos (213-F/C-89, college: Ohio St.), while Perperoglou played also very well. On the other hand Massey scored just 2 points in compare to the 9 scored in the first half. The FYROM players were playing very bad and they had really bad percentages from the parameter and especially from the three pointers who had 0/9 in this quarter.
The 4th quarter was a typical case for the Hellenic NT and coach Jonas Kazlauskas simply used all his players as 6.55 before the end of the game, Kostas Kaimakoglou (206-C/F-83) and Glyniadakis entered in the court. Vassilis Spanoulis and Giannis Kalambokis (195-G-78) played quite some minutes with three centers and it was obvious that Kazlaouskas was doing some experiments for the next game against the strong and very difficult team of Croatia. FYROM players had 4/24 three pointers and they were keep shooting without second thoughts with 4.24 minutes before the end and with the score being to 47-79. Pero Antic scored a couple of baskets to cut the deficit to 28, 51-79, before the steal and the lay-up of Vassilis Spanoulis.
Mirakofski scored the first three pointer to fulfill a 5/26 three pointers for the Skopje players. Glyniadakis scored his second basket against Antic and Kostas Kaimakoglou scored his first official three points with the jersey of the Hellenic NT as he is one of six rookies of the Hellenic NT. Vassilis Spanoulis was the top scorer with 17 points followed by Giannis Bourousis and Sofoklis Schortsianitis with 11 points per head, followed. The final 86-54 was 100% fair as the two teams have nothing in common. The record is now 1-0 for Hellas and 0-1 for Skopje. Kazlaouskas used all his 12 players with the 11 players scoring and only the captain Antonis Fotsis couldnt score, (he only played 11 minutes) as the Lithuanian head coach used various shapes and really made many different tactics which will be used in the other phases of the tournament. FYROM is a very low strength NT and it is not certain whether they will be able to play for a position more than the 12th-16th.



Site Map:
Eurobasket.com Member Services: Other Basketball Sites:
Copyright (c) 1998-2016 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer

WARNING:
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.