Bulgaria advanced to Poland 2009 even after a loss to Serbia and finished Group A with 4-4 record. The hosts of the game finished second ahead of Italy, who were also 4-4 but had a worse overall goal differential in the group than the Bulgarians. The latter lost to Serbia 77:87 as both teams advanced to the Eurobasket 2009. Nenad Krstic (214-C-83) led the winners with 17 points and 9 boards. Zoran Erceg (211-C/F-85) and Milos Vujanic (192-G-80) followed him with 11 each as Serbia finished the group with 7-1 record. Ibrahim Jaaber (187-G-84, college: Pennsylvania) top-scored for the hosts with 27 points and Deyan Ivanov (205-C/F-86), had 14.
Nenad Krstic scored first points for the guests in the early beginning to prove that his team clinched the top position truthfully. Having 6:5 advantage Bulgaria missed a 8-0 run as the guests dominated the court. They stormed into a 26:16 lead by the end of the opening quarter and extended that to 49:30 by half-time. Ibrahim Jaaber could only reduce to those numbers at the halftime.
Bulgaria seemed to find their game in the second half but still trailed in the third period. Serbia won the quarter 24:22 and had 73:52 after 30 minutes of the game. In the last period Bulgaria played better and reduced the gap to 10 points as a total. Markovic was the last to score before Deyan Ivanov nailed a three for 77:87.
Bulgaria: Ibrahim Jaaber 27, Deyan Ivanov, 14
Serbia: Nenad Krstic 17+9 rebs, Zoran Erceg 11, Milos Vujanic 11
Finland sends Hungary to the Relegation Round of Division A. Finland was too strong at home reaching 88:73 victory to finish the group with 3-5 record. Kimmo Muurinen (202-F-81, college: UALR) led the winners with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Shawn Huff (198-G/F-84, college: Valparaiso) and Petteri Koponen (193-G-88) nailed 20 each, while Tuukka Kotti (204-F/C-81, college: Providence) collected 18 points and 12 boards in defeat.
The hosts were too good from the very beginning and opened the game with 7-0 run. Hungary however replied immediately and Bader reduced the gap to 13:10 in the middle of the first. Kimmo Muurinen closed the opening quarter at 23:21 advantage for Finland. Hungary managed to produce an 8-0 run for 29:25, but again Kimmo Muurinen tied it at 35:35. Tamas Kaman (200-F/G-79, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) hit from the arc for 42:42 when the teams left for the lockers.
The third quarter was decisive in the game as the hosts dominated the court. They produced 28:16 in it to have 12 points deficit. Finland extended the lead to 70:58 by the end of the frame. In the last period in order to feel more confident the hosts did not stay in defense and were in front for the whole time until the last seconds. Petteri Koponen set up the final, 88:73 score for Finland that sent Hungary to the Relegation Round of Division A.
Finland: Kimmo Muurinen 22+8 rebs, Shawn Huff 20, Petteri Koponen 20, Tuukka Kotti 18+12 rebs
Hungary: Tamas Kaman 22+7 rebs, Istvan Nemeth (190-G-79, agency: Laszlo Vinko Services) 20
Portugal that lost first three games in Group B won the next three to tie the record at 3-3. The team had a battle but won at home over Latvia 93:92. With a strong first half the hosts could hold the margin and one point was enough to celebrate. Jose Costa (187-G-73) led the winners with 29 points and 7 assists. Miguel Miranda (205-F-78) netted 17 and Santos had 11. Kristaps Janicenoks (196-F-83) top-scored in defeat with 21 points, whilst Andris Biedrins (213-C-86) collected 19 points and 13 boards.
The team started well the opening quarter and remained mostly even in it. Portugal made a final push in the period and Jose Costa posted a 23:18 lead. Santos increased the lead to 29:23 in the beginning of the second period and Jose Costa made it 48:40 later in the end. Berzins could reduce to 51:45 finishing the first half of the game.
The third period was also divided into two halves as the team exchanged the runs. At first Portugal had 63:50 as Andrade scored a jump-shot with a foul. Latvia bounced back and cut to 70:67 as Berzins also scored with a foul. Latvia would end up extending their advantage to 84:79 after Kristaps Valters buried a three, and made two free throws. Cunha struck from long range to tie the game at 85:85. Trailing 90:92 Miguel Miranda nailed a three with 6 seconds remaining and Latvia did not score at the end.
Portugal: Jose Costa 29+7 ast, Miguel Miranda 17, Santos 11
Latvia: Kristaps Janicenoks 21, Andris Biedrins 19+13 rebs
FYR of Macedonia-Estonia 87:74
FYR of Macedonia secured first place in qualifying Group B after a win over Estonia 87:74. With a massive first quarter the hosts did not look behind in the rest of the game. Todor Gecevski (209-C-77, agency: Interperformances) top-scored for the winners with 18 points. Pero Antik (210-F-82, agency: Interperformances) netted 16 and Stefanov added 11. Kristjan Kangur (202-F-82) ended up with 19 points and 7 boards in the losing effort, while Valmo Kriisa (190-G-74) posted 12. Estonia, who have had some fine moments in this Division A campaign, dropped to 1-5 and will now play in the Relegation Round.
The hosts of the game started offensively and after Todor Gecevski's first points had 4-0. Estonia did not fall down in the opening tip and took 10:8 advantage. Right after that FYR of Macedonia created an 11-0 run for 19:10 as Ilievski made his second free throw. Pero Antik closed the period from the arc for 32:14.
Nothing specific had changed in the second period as the hosts continues to be in front. After 19:13 in the period Ilievski made 51:27 at the halftime.
FYR of Macedonia went on top at 58:29 in the third quarter on a three-point play from Todor Gecevski. Pero Antik's bomb saw 68:54 as the teams finished three periods. In the last stanza however the guests climbed back into the game and Kullamae made it 70:60. It was not a shock for the hosts that recovered for 83:60 as Todor Gecevski hit a free throw. Talts closed the game at 87:75 as FYR of Macedonia will head to Poland.
FYR of Macedonia: Todor Gecevski 18, Pero Antik 16, Stefanov 11
Estonia: Kristjan Kangur 19+7 rebs, Valmo Kriisa 12
His majesty Tony Parker (183-G-80) was not enough for France to carry them directly to Eurobasket 2009 in Poland. France lost to undefeated Turkey at home 78:80. Fatih Solak (213-C-80) led the winners with 16 points and 6 rebounds. Sinan Guler (193-G-83, agency: 1x1 Sports, college: Carroll (MT)) netted 14, while Kerem Tunceri (190-G-79) scored 13. Tony Parker had a great night with 37 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for the hosts, whilst De Colo scored 9.
The four group winners in Division A, and the three best second-place teams earn direct tickets for EuroBasket 2009 in Poland. France became the second team with 3-3 record in Group C, but the fourth within others and had to play the Additional Qualifying Round.
Kirksay led the way for the hosts in the very beginning. France finished the first period at 6-0 to take 20:15 after the opening quarter. Gradit increased the lead to 29:20 but Ilyasova brought the favorites back to 29:28. Tchicamboud closed the half from the arc for 35:30.
France remained in front in the third period and even after 21:22 in it had 56:52 advantage. Kerem Tunceri brought his team the taste of the lead at 63:60. Two more Tuneri free throws extended the lead back to three, and after Brun missed from long range, Fatih Solak made two at the line to put Turkey on top at 78:73. De Colo reduced it to 77:78 with 27 seconds remaining and Diawara scored one free throw for 78:80. He missed the second on purpose but Sinan Guler rebounded the ball and triumphed in the group with his Turkey.
France: Tony Parker 37+7 rebs+5 ast, De Colo 9
Turkey: Fatih Solak 16+6 rebs, Sinan Guler 14, Kerem Tunceri 13
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Great Britain 89:80
Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Great Britain in Cazin but will play in Additional Qualifying Round. The hosts upset the leader of the group 89:80 even trailing after the opening quarter. Ernest Bremer
(196-G-80, agency: Higher Vision Sports
, college: St.Bonaventure
) led the winners with 18 points and 6 assists. Kenan Bajramovic
(206-F-81, agency: Beo Basket
) netted 16, while Mirza Teletovic
(203-F-85, agency: Beo Basket
) posted 15. Andrew Betts
(216-C-77, college: Long Beach St.
) top-scored in defeat with 14 points and Nate Reinking
(183-G-73, college: Kent St.
) added 13.
Last round was decisive for Bosnia when Israel overcame them for the second ticket from EuroBasket qualifying Group D. Israel won 88:74 in Tel Aviv with 6000 fans support. Yotam Halperin all the winners with 22 points, 5 assists and 4 boards. Lior Eliyahu collected 21 points and 17 rebounds, whilst Meir Tapiro added 19. Goran Ikonic netted 17 in defeat and Kenan Kenan Bajramovic
Tonight Bosnia and Herzegovina desired a win but looked a bit problematic in the opening quarter. Even without Deng Great Britain took 20:13 after the first period. Bosnia and Herzegovina woke up in the second and bounced back with 28:17 in the quarter. Dedovic made it 41:37 after the halftime.
Bosnia and Herzegovina remained in front in the third period and after 20:14 had 61:51 advantage. They led more than 15 points in the last stanza but Great Britain managed to reduce to 89:80 at the end of the game. Bosnia and Herzegovina: Ernest Bremer
18+6 ast, Kenan Bajramovic
16, Mirza Teletovic
15Great Britain: Andrew Betts
14, Nate Reinking
Israel-Czech Republic 98:61
Israel advanced to EuroBasket 2009 after a home win over Czech Republic 98:61. A win in all the quarters in the game led the team to 3-3 record that was enough to advance from the second place. Yotam Halperin
(196-G-84, agency: Arik Krayn Services
) paced all the winners with 25 points. Meir Tapiro
(194-G-75, agency: Avi Zilberman
) netted 24, while Lior Eliyahu
(205-F-85, agency: ZAG Advocates
) scored 16. Petr Benda
(203-F/C-82, agency: Court Side
) top-scored in defeat with 16 points and Tomas Satoransky
(196-G/F-91, agency: PPGroup
) notched 12. The setback has dropped Czech Republic to bottom of Group D and into the Relegation Round.
More than 8000 spectators came to support their local team and to triumph with them at the end. Israel had difficulties going into the lead in the first period and had 13:13 in the middle of it. Later on the hosts dominated the court and Meir Tapiro
scored for 28:19 at the end of the first. In the second period the hosts controlled the game and after 21:16 in the second improved to 49:35 at the halftime. Lior Eliyahu
made it plus 20 in the start of the third quarter. Israel did not stop the tempo and Limonad closed the third period from the arc for 78:54. In the last quarter the teams were killing time as it became clear that the hosts would not give the game back. Israel tried however to score more as they realized the importance of the differential points. They managed to win by 27 that was enough to clinch the spot in Poland 2009. Israel
: Yotam Halperin
25, Meir Tapiro
24, Lior Eliyahu
16Czech Republic: Petr Benda
16, Tomas Satoransky