Day 3 of EuroBasket 2015 saw some thrilling upsets take place as well as France’s Tony Parker set a new record, becoming the new all-time scorer of the competition. Parker achieved the milestone as he led France to a victory over Poland, 69-66. He overtook Greek star Nikos Galis for the honor of holding the title.
Finland vs. Russia, 81-79
Finland kept their hopes for advancing to the next round alive with an exciting win over Russia. The game stayed close for most of its duration, with both teams eager to notch their first win in the competition. Neither team could pull away with a lead larger than seven points and the lead changed hands several times. The game boiled down to a jump shot made by Finland’s Petteri Kopponen with two seconds left on the clock to seal the win.
At 0-3, Russia is in unfamiliar territory, staring at elimination this early into the competition. The former European powerhouse will need to go back to the drawing board and get on the same page if they want to do well in international competitions once again.
Israel vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 84-86
This was one of the most thrilling games in EuroBasket 2015 so far. Bosnia and Herzegovina overcame a 16-point deficit and came back to edge Israel in overtime. Elmedin Kikanovic was the protagonist for the Bosnian squad and it was his clutch shooting at the end of regulation that forced overtime. Kikanovic also nailed the go-ahead basket that allowed Bosnia and Herzegovina to complete the comeback win.
This is Israel’s first loss and are now 2-1, while Bosnia and Herzegovina finally gets on the board with their 1-2 slate.
France vs. Poland, 69-66
France’s fans had a lot to cheer about in this game. Not only did Tony Parker become EuroBasket’s all-time leading scorer, but France continued to display its dominance in the group stages. To Poland’s credit, they did put up a good fight and did not allow France to come away with an easy win. Both teams struggled with their shooting in various spots in the game. At the end of the day, it was Poland’s turnovers that made a difference in this close match-up. They had 15 TOs to France’s nine. Rudy Gobert played solid for France and anchored their interior defense. He finished the game with 8 points and 7 rebounds.
Poland is 2-1 and still is on track to progress in the competition, barring any major setbacks that is.
Lithuania vs. Belgium, 74-76
Belgium stunned Lithuania with an exciting upset. Belgian star Matt Lojeski came up with a tip-in basket at the buzzer to overcome the Lithuanian squad. They had to overcome a monster game by Jonas Valanciunas who was impressive with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Group D is now wide open with four teams sporting 2-1 records. They are Belgium, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Latvia.
Belgium managed to knock down some key three-point shots in the final period and Lithuania’s poor perimeter defense opened the door for Belgium to contest their lead and eventually steal away the victory.
Czech Republic vs. Latvia, 65-72
Latvia gained some much needed momentum with this win. They showed that they have some good offensive chops in their arsenal and when they are executing their game plan to a tee, they are a force to be reckoned with. It was a complete team effort from the Latvian squad, with their bench stepping up and contributing 28 points. Veteran Janis Blums led the charge for Latvia and he set the tone for them to transition into a more aggressive mindset in this game. He ended the game with 14 points and four rebounds.
Tomas Satoransky had a big game for the Czech squad with 22 points and nine assists, but it was not enough to match Latvia’s enthusiastic attack.
Ukraine vs. Estonia, 71-78
Estonia used a 13-0 run in the second half of the game to swing things in their favor. They nailed 11 triples in the game and it was a key factor in their victory, considering both teams were having some troubles with their shooting. Gregor Arbet led Estonia with a game-high 26 points. Ukraine is now in trouble, still failing to get on the board in three games. Estonia climbed out of the cellar with this win and are on the right track now that they are 1-2.