EuroBasket 2015, Group Stage Day 2

EuroBasket 2015

Day 2 of the Group stage of EuroBasket 2015 was filled with all sorts of great basketball action and developing storylines. Some Day 1 winners built on their momentum and remained undefeated, while other teams found redemption, and others faced heartbreaking losses. Overall, there was no shortage of excellent basketball play.

Group A

Russia vs. Poland, 79-82

Poland notched its second straight win. They edged out Bosnia and Herzegovina in Day 1 action and this time they got came through with a tight victory over Russia. Adam Waczynski was sensational for Poland, leading his team with a game-high 23 points. Marcin Gortat was his usual dependable body in the paint with 18 points and six rebounds. The tandem sparked key runs in the third and fourth quarters to push their team for the win.

Finland vs. Israel, 66-79

Israel managed to stay perfect in the competition with a win over Finland. They progressed well as a result of good ball movement and patience in finding the open man throughout the game. Lior Eliyahu led Israel in this encounter with 22 points. Erik Murphy was the lone bright spot for the Finnish squad.

At 0-2, Finland needs to break out and find an avenue to come up with an upset sooner rather than later.

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. France, 54-81

France continued their strong showing so far in EuroBasket 2015. The hosts were lost and appeared to be faltering in the beginning, with their starters unable to find their groove. They eventually shook off their funk, and led by Nicolas Batum France went on a 21-point explosion to not only secure a large lead, but to run away with the game altogether. The Blues managed their time well, finding opportunities to rest star point guard, Tony Parker. With Parker sitting, Nando de Colo found some time to shine and finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.

France remains one of the heavy favorites to win the competition and repeat as champions, however, expected them to be tested by the likes of Slovenia, Spain, and Serbia.

Group B

Serbia vs. Germany, 68-66

Dirk Nowitzki and company suffered a hearbreaking loss in a tightly contested game. Nemanja Bjelica was the hero for the Serbian squad as he nailed a floater at the last second to lift his team to victory. He salvaged what could have been an off-night loss for his team. Serbia struggled offensively for long stretches in the game and had to dig deep to keep pace with Germany. They were able to offset their poor shooting with some strong control of the glass on both ends of the floor.

Serbia now has the solo lead in the group and is the last remaining undefeated team in Group B.

Iceland vs. Italy, 64-71

The Italians were carried by the fantastic game by Alessandro Gentile, who finished the game with 21 points, five rebounds, and four assists. He spearheaded their late run deep into the final quarter. Iceland initially showed some fire when they were shooting well from downtown in the first half. But after going to that well one time too many, especially when it dried up in the second half found themselves struggling to match up well with the Italians.

Italy is now 1-1, while Iceland remains the only team in the group yet to taste victory in the competition.

Turkey vs. Spain, 77-104

Spain (photo above) managed to shake off their Day 1 loss at the hands of Serbia and bounced back with a dominant and convincing win over the Turkish contingent. Spain played to their strengths and employed their fast-paced offense which they kicked into high gear from the early going. They went on a 20-6 run in the first period and ran away with the game from there. Pau Gasol led the Spaniards with 21 points and seven rebounds.

Both teams are now 1-1 in the group stage.

Group C

Netherlands vs. FYR Macedonia, 71-78

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia secured a much needed win over the Netherlands and are now 1-1 in the group stage of EuroBasket 2015. The Macedonian squad were carried by their solid three-point shooting. They nailed 12-of-30 from deep (40%) and the Dutch squad could not handle the torrent of long-bombs. The Netherlands did their best to stay in the game by controlling the rebounding department, but were unable to convert them into easy baskets.

The Netherlands are still in contention with their 1-1 record. Either team would like to secure one more win in the group stage in order to book a spot to the next round.

Slovenia vs. Georgia, 79-68

Georgia has uncharacteristically been struggling early in the competition and need to get their act together as soon as possible. They are now 0-2 in the group stage after a stunning loss to the Netherlands in Day 1. Slovenia, on the other hand, have taken a step in the right direction with this win. They managed to overwhelm Georgia with some impressive shooting from three-point range. Slovenia torched them with 11-of-21 three-pointers while also dominating them with more rebounds. Jaka Klobucar put up a solid game for Slovenia with 20 points and four rebounds.

Slovenia fell at the hands of Croatia in Day 1.

Greece vs. Croatia, 72-70

Greece are taking EuroBasket 2015 by storm and are now 2-0 in the group stage. This was a close encounter for most of the game, with Croatia even holding the advantage in the fourth period. Greece mounted a 13-2 rally and climbed to a 72-67 lead late. Veteran national team mainstay, Vassilis Spanoulis led Greece with 16 points and six assists.

Croatia is now 1-1 and still very much in the thick of the hunt for a berth into the knockout stages of the competition.

Group D

Estonia vs. Belgium, 55-84

Belgium came away with an easy win here. They shot well from the field and received little resistance from the lacking Estonian defense. Matt Lojeski paced Belgium with 16 points and six rebounds. Belgium shot well from both long and short range, thanks to some smart ball movement and open looks. They made 11-of-22 shots from beyond the three-point arc.

Estonia is now 0-2 and at risk of early elimination from the competition, while Belgium remains hopeful with their even, 1-1 record.

Latvia vs. Lithuania, 49-68

Lithuania are only one of two teams in Group D which have yet to taste defeat. Despite struggling a bit with their shooting from the field, Lithuania managed to make up for it with some good shots from downtown. Their 45-33 rebounding advantage in the game was helpful in their surge in the third period. Jonas Maciulis came up big for the Lithuanian squad with a solid, double-double performance of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Latvia is 1-1 and needs another win to keep their hopes of moving on alive.

Ukraine vs. Czech Republic, 64-78

The Czech Republic set a torrid pace in this game and their excellent shooting and sound execution on offense paved the way for this win. They are now 2-0 and share the lead of the Group with Lithuania. Things are looking up for the Czech squad and could be a dark horse to pull out an upset here and there, so keep your eyes on them. Ukraine now falls to 0-2 and are in dire straits. Jan Vesely was one rebound shy of compiling a double-double for the Czechs. He poured in 19 points and nine rebounds as he dominated his Ukrainian counterparts on the floor.

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