The United Kingdom continued to struggle as they fell to defeat against Bosnia 67-80 to slip to the bottom of Group A after also losing to Iceland in Game 1. The UK now props up the group with a losing 0-2 record, while Bosnia moves into first place but with the same 1-0 record as Iceland, who did not play on the night. Bosnia led the contest throughout and had opened a 15 point advantage at the long break; despite a minor fight back by the United Kingdom in the fourth it was a cruising win for the Bosnians.
It was a first loss of the 2015 Eurobasket qualifiers for Holland as they lost 57-66 to Israel, who in turn chalked up their first victory. The two nations are now on the same record in Group B, both with a 1-1. It was a close fought first half and the game seemed poised to go either way, although the Israeli’s led 41-45 at the midway point. A consistent performance in the third frame meant that Israel extended its lead to 5 points with just 10 minutes left to play and eventually won the game in the fourth. Guy Pini led the winning team with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Bulgaria’s qualifying campaign went from bad to worse as the team slipped to defeat against Montenegro, although the players will be buoyed by the fact the game went to overtime. Nevertheless, Montenegro won 70-64 to top the group with a 2-0 record, while Bulgaria collapsed to last place with 0-2.
Maximilian Kleber led the way for Germany with 20 points and 7 rebounds as the team overcame Austria 64-77 to take a 1-1 record in Group C. Austria held a 35-33 lead at halftime and will rue a collapse in the fourth quarter that let the Germans put together a game winning 29-9 run. All is not lost for the Austrians as they too have a 1-1 record and will look to Enis Murati for scoring inspiration after his game high 27 points here.
Poland was the only team to pour in over 100 points on the night as they demolished Luxembourg 61-113, claiming victory with a massive 52 point winning margin. Of course, with that kind of result on the final scoreboard, the Polish team never looked troubled through the game and won every quarter, including a 39 point third. The Poles now top Group C with a 2-0 record, while Luxembourg sits last at 0-2.
After extending the lead through each quarter, Belgium knocked down Belarus 71-57 to collect its first win of the 2015 Eurobasket qualifiers. Pierre-Antoine Gillet took 15 points and 7 rebounds in the success, while Belgium built on a solid first half to lead by 17 points heading into the final frame. The loss for Belarus was the first of the tournament and they now join Belgium on 1-1.
FYR Macedonia had too much for Denmark as the team secured its second win with a 75-81 success. It was a hard fought victory though, with the Danes just one point short with 10 minutes left on court. Macedonia now tops the group with a 2-0 record, while Denmark will try again from 0-2.
One of the closest games of the night saw Hungary scrape a narrow home win over Georgia, winning the game by one point (74-73). Georgia led by a single point as the game went into the fourth quarter with the score at 54-55, but Hungary put together a winning 20-18 last stanza, including a three point winner from Csaba Ferencz. The win moved Hungary to the top of Group E with a 2-0 record, while Georgia lost for the first time to now sit on 1-1.
Propping up Group E is Portugal after the team were dealt a heavy 89-53 defeat by the Czech Republic to now have a 0-2 losing record. The Czech Republic moved to 1-1 with its first win and the team was paced by Tomas Satoransky who took 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. The hosts were already leading by 20 points at halftime (51-31) and eased through the second half to record a comfortable win.
Latvia put twenty points on Slovakia with a cruising 86-66 home victory. The victory was built from a solid first half that ended with Latvia leading 49-26 and the third and fourth quarters just saw the hosts playing safe and controlling the court. The win put Latvia top of the group with a 2-0 record, while Slovakia’s record read 0-2.
Romania needed overtime to get the job done, but the home team eventually overcame Sweden 77-72 after the added frame. A winning first half for Romania (28-25) was chipped into during the second half and the visitors managed to tie the game after regulation. The home team found a new gear in overtime to move joint with Latvia at 2-0, while Sweden slipped to 0-2.
A close fought and low scoring game saw Italy travel to Russia and come away with a 63-65 win. In the only game from Group G on the night, the Azzurri once again turned to talisman Alessandro Gentile who knocked down the winning basket to extend the Italians good recent form. Italy moved to 1-0 in the group, while Russia are surprisingly struggling at 0-2.