The Last 16 of the EuroBasket 2015 tournament tipped off on Saturday with four contests, which in turn produced four nations punching their tickets to the quarterfinals. The remaining round of sixteen games will be played out during Sunday. The fans are certainly loving the action as Saturday set a new attendance record for an indoor Basketball game in Europe, with some 26,135 fans cramming into Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Lille, France.
Latvia moved through to the next phase with a victory over Slovenia, while Greece maintained its unbeaten run at the EuroBasket 2015 so far with a win against Belgium. Current champs France stayed on track to defend its title with a stroll against Turkey, while Spain left it late to find a spark that downed Poland.
Latvia vs. Slovenia, 73-66
EuroBasket 2015 co-hosts Latvia progressed to the last eight with a victory over Slovenia, running away with the contest in the fourth quarter. Latvia was ahead 52-55 heading into the final act and managed to spark an 8-0 run built from the team’s first three pointer in 8 attempts. From there the Latvians never looked back and punched its ticket to the next round. Latvia secured two point shooting of 63% and handed out 19 assists to Slovenia’s 12 during the game to have a consistent supply of baskets to build the win.
Greece vs. Belgium, 75-54
After going unbeaten in the group phase Greece looks to be going from strength to strength as the country downed Belgium with ease to make the quarterfinals. The Belgians managed to keep pace with the Greek attack in the first half, but still trailed 34-31 through the long break. In the second half Greece started to work the inside and a 23-11 run in the third all but killed the game before the Greeks saw out the contest in the final stanza.
Spain vs. Poland, 80-66
Spain is warming into the tournament and after an up and down group phase is coming into form, as evidenced by this Last 16 cruise against Poland. Some of the sloppy Spanish play at both ends of the hardwood was still visible through the opening three quarters though, and that allowed Poland to take a 55-55 tie into the final frame. Spain finally connected in the fourth act as the consistency of Pau Gasol continued to drive the team (the NBA star hit for 30 points here on 6 from 7 shooting from beyond the arc).
France vs. Turkey, 76-53
Reigning champs France backed by a record home crowd progressed into the last eight and is on course to retain its title after staying unblemished so far. Turkey presented an early challenge, winning the first quarter 17-18, before Le Bleus hit back with a 19-8 winning second quarter that gave the hosts a 36-26 lead through halftime. The champs extended through a comfortable second quarter and rotated the roster to keep key players fresh.