EuroBasket 2015: Last 4 Teams Advance to Top 8

EuroBasket 2015

The last four games in the Round of 16 in EuroBasket 2015 are in the books and four teams advance to complete the Top 8. Action was fast and furious as teams played their hearts out. In the end, it was Serbia, Italy, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic that prevailed over their respective opponents to book their seats in the next round of the competition.

Serbia vs. Finland, 94-81

Serbia managed to keep their perfect streak intact with yet another impressive win. Finland kept the game manageable in the first half and were matching strides with one of the tournament’s heavy favorites. Things opened up for Serbia in the third frame as they exploded with massive run and in the blink of an eye they found themselves in a dominating position with a 91-72 lead heading into the fourth and final period.

A big factor in this game was the excellent play of Miroslav Raduljica, who was virtually unstoppable for Serbia. He racked up 27 points and four rebounds. The hoop seemed like it had a five meter diameter for Raduljica in this game. He made 11-of-12 shots from the floor as well as six-of-seven from the free-throw line. Sasu Salin put up a valiant effort for Finland with 26 points of his own.

Lithuania vs. Georgia, 85-81

Jonas Maciulis rose to the occasion and delivered in the clutch for Lithuania in what was a tightly contested game. Both teams were riding on some solid momentum heading into the game and their play showed it all throughout. With the score swinging back and forth for most of the game, the critical point came in the dying seconds. Lithuania was nursing a seven point advantage, when Georgia chopped down the lead to just one point thanks to back-to-back three pointers. With 11 seconds left on the clock, Maciulis nailed a triple of his own to raise his team’s lead back up to four points. His laudable effort showed in his stats for the game. Jonas scored 34 points, grabbed six rebounds and four steals. Zaza Pachulia matched well against Lithuania’s big men and produced 23 points and seven rebounds for Georgia.

Czech Republic 

Croatia vs. Czech Republic, 59-80

The Czech squad capitalized on an underwhelming performance by Croatia to make history and advance for to the Quarterfinals for the first time. Jan Vesely sparked his team in the second period to build a comfortable 17-point advantage by the sound of the whistle signalling the halftime break.

Croatia did not recover and fell into disarray in the second half, with the Czech team jubilant in their convincing upset victory. Croatia could not take good care of the ball, ending the game with 24 turnovers to the Czech Republic’s 12.

Two Czech players were able to key in double-double performances which made a big difference. Tomas Satoransky scored 10 points and handed out 11 assists, while Jan Vesely (photo above) scored 20 points and hauled in 13 rebounds.

Israel vs. Italy, 52-82

Italy outplayed Israel in this affair in virtually every statistical category and it translated into an easy win. They combined a good balance of solid defense and well executed shooting from three-point range to dominate Israel in this one. Italy took a blow, by losing Andrea Bargnani to an injury in the second frame, but the rest of his team responded well and rallied strong in the second half to preserve their well-earned advantage in the scoreboard. Marco Bellinelli was hot from beyond the arc and punished Israel with his shooting. Alessandro Gentile delivered yet another impressive game and was all over the court for Italy. He finished with a game-high 27 points and five rebounds. So far, their three-point shooting has carried Italy this far and as long as their opponents cannot find answers to address it, they will be dangerous moving forward.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login