EuroBasket 2013: Three from Group E qualify for QFs

EuroBasket 2013
Dairis Bertans goes up for two of his game-high 28 against France on Friday.

EuroBasket 2013 Group E got Day 2 of Round 2 in the books on Friday and as a result France was the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals with a 102:91 win over Latvia. Lithuania got a big win over Belgium, but needed the French club’s win to pick up their tickets to the final eight. The Ukrainians improved to 2-2 with a win over Serbia, who also qualified with a 3-1 record, but they are going to need a win over Lithuania or some help from Belgium against Latvia on Sunday to advance. If Latvia wins and Ukraine loses, Latvia will advance due to their 85:51 win earlier in the round.

Group E
Lithuania – Belgium, 86:67
A 12-point run by the Lithuanians that spanned the end of the first quarter and ran into the second was enough to get them up by enough to put the contest away. Lithuania improves to 3-1, with Belgium drops to 0-4. The win by France over Latvia later in the day assured Lithuania of a spot in the quarterfinals.

With Belgium up 12:11 at the tail end of the first frame, Lithuania ran off 12 points that gave them a 23:12 advantage with just under eight minutes to play in the first half. By the time the clubs retreated to the dressing rooms for the halftime intermission Lithuania had built a 44:21 lead with a 26:9 second quarter.

They extended that lead even further in the third quarter, outscoring Belgium 25:14 to take a 34-point lead, 69:35, margin into the final 10. Belgium was able to cut 15 points off the lead with a 32:17 final quarter, but the damage had been done giving the Lithuanians a ticket to the next round with a 19-point victory.

Donatas Matiejunas lead Lithuania with 13, while Jonas Valanciunas contributed a 12P/10R double-double to the win. Jonathan Tabu was game-high for Belgium with 15 points, and Axel Hervelle added 10 points and 8 rebounds.

EuroBasket 2013
Lithuanian fans come well prepared for their club’s matches.

Ukraine – Serbia, 82:75
Serbia was handed their first loss of Round 2 as the Ukrainian contingent held off a fourth-quarter rally to earn an 82:75 win and keep the door open to advancement to the quarters. Ukraine squares off against Lithuania on Sunday, a win moves them on, a loss means they need Latvia to lose to Belgium or they’ll be heading home and Latvia will advance. Serbia’s 3-1 record advances them to the quarterfinals with France and Lithuania.

The clubs traded baskets and the lead for the better part of the first 10, but a Nemanja Bjelica triple with four seconds to play gave Serbia a three-point lead, 21:18, heading into the second quarter.

With four minutes left in the second, Ukraine ran off eight unanswered to go from two down to six up, 41:35 with 2:43 to play in the half. Those would be the last points they’d score though, as Serbia knocked down the final five of the half to pull to within a point, 41:40, heading into the break.

The Ukrainians went on a 14:2 run to open the second half and get up 55:44 with 3:38 left on the clock in the third. Serbia trimmed the lead slightly over the final minutes of the frame, but as the fourth frame started, Ukraine held a 63:54 advantage, which was bumped with a Pooh Jeter triple as the horn sounded on the third.

Serbia ran off five in a row early to cut the lead to six, 65:59, but the closest Serbia would get in the final minutes would be five, giving Ukraine a big boost in their changes to move on.

Maxym Korniyenko was lead-man for Ukraine with 21 points and 8 rebounds, and Jeter added 20 points. Serbia got a game-high 22P/10R double-double from Bjelica, as well as 17 points from Nenad Krstic, and 15 from Bogdan Bogdanovic.

France – Latvia, 102:91
France grabbed their spot in the quarterfinals, and put the Lithuanians on their coattails as the French win also qualified Lithuania, with an 11-point win over Latvia, 102:91. France used a 16-point advantage in the first frame to build a lead that Latvia just couldn’t overcome.

France lead from the opening tip to the closing buzzer and got up by 16 in the first with a 13-point run late to take the quarter 31:15. They added a point in the second to head into the intermission up 17, 52:35.

With 6:49 to play in the third the French side’s lead had grown to 22, 65:43, but Latvia outscored France 22:9 over the next six minutes to cut the lead to nine, 74:65. A bench technical given to Latvia sent Tony Parker to the line for two free throws, which he connected on to push the lead back to 11, 76:65, heading into the final frame.

In the fourth the best Latvia could do is get to within seven, giving France the decisive win that puts them in the quarterfinals.

France was led by Alexis Ajinca’s 25, Parker’s 23, and Nicolas Batum’s 19P/10R double-double (adding 6 assists as well). Dairis Bertans was game-high with 28 points for Latvia.

EuroBasket Group E

Round 2 Match List[matches league_id=36 group=E template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]

Standings[standings league_id=36 group=E show_website=false template=nolink]

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