EuroBasket 2015, day 4 recap

EuroBasket 2015Serbia and Greece joined reigning champions as the only remaining undefeated teams at EuroBasket 2015 on Day 4 of the tournament. Yesterday was the turn of Group A and D, but Tuesday threw up plenty of action in Group B and C, including Serbia and Greece marching to victories to ensure their own unblemished starts to the competition.

Elsewhere, Turkey got back to winning ways in Group B, while Italy passed Spain. In Group C Slovenia and Croatia put a foot in the next round with victories.

Group B

Serbia vs. Iceland, 93-64
Serbia dealt with Iceland in formidable fashion on Day 4 with a splendid display that saw the leaders in Group B put their opponents to the sword to move to 3-0 at the top of the standings. Serbia led the game from the opening tip off and then never yielded its advantage after that. By the end of the third quarter the lead had been extended to 67-48 and from there the Serbs eased through the final act to the win. A 79% shooting accuracy from the field made Serbia formidable, while 32 assists from the team was a new tournament high, and on that form they could be hard to stop.

Germany vs. Turkey, 75-80
Turkey got back to winning ways after Sunday’s heavy defeat to Spain with a nervy win over Germany. The victory was enough to put the Turks into second place in the group with a 2-1 record, while Germany slips to 1-2 and needs to jump start its EuroBasket 2015 tournament. Turkey used an explosive first quarter and an 11-31 start to take early control and managed to hold a sizeable advantage through the next two frames, leading 43-60 through thirty minutes. A 32-20 blitz from Germany at least made it close down the stretch but Turkey’s first quarter run made the difference.

Spain vs. Italy, 98-105
Spain and Italy played out a high scoring game that was high octane as the players went blow for blow at the bucket. In the end Italy managed to romp to victory as the Azzurri used a massive third quarter to hand Spain its second defeat of the EuroBasket 2015 so far. Italy was trailing 45-42 at the midway intermission but a storming 18-31 built on a 0-15 run third period turned the scoreboard to 63-73. Spain went huge with 35 points in the closing act, but Italy held on with 33 points of its own to win the game. The winners now move above Spain with a 2-1 record.

Group C

Slovenia vs. Netherlands, 81-74
Slovenia signaled its intentions for progression to the next round with a victory over a Netherlands team that has never stopped being hardworking this week. However, the Dutch now find themselves at 1-2 and have plenty of work to do in Group C. Slovenia controlled the hardwood in the first half and stormed to a 41-29 lead through the long break. Holland perked up in the second half and used a 16-0 run from second to third quarters to tie proceedings at 41 apiece. Slovenia quickly regained composure and a 10-0 spurt made it a double digit game beyond the Netherlands.

Georgia vs. Greece, 68-79
Greece made it three from three to join France and Serbia as the only teams with 100% records with a solid win over Georgia. In contrast, Georgia’s are looking out of the EuroBasket 2015 with zero wins so far in the competition. The Georgians opened an early 8-6 lead but the Greek contingent soon warmed into the game and a 17-2 onslaught was enough for a 23-10 lead at the first split. A 16-2 run in the second furthered the advantage and from there Greece coasted through the second half. 10 of 17 shooting from beyond the arc gave the winners a solid triple base, while the Greek bench was responsible for 31 points.

Croatia vs. Macedonia, 73-55
Co-hosts Croatia eased past Macedonia in Zagreb to enhance its chances of making the next round, moving to 2-1 in the Group C standings. The game was tight until the third quarter, with Macedonia actually leading 30-32 at halftime. However, Croatia used a 16-5 run in the third stanza to take control of the game and hold a 52-42 lead after thirty minutes of play. In the fourth quarter the hosts carried their momentum and eased down the straight in front of nearly 10,000 fans.

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