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May 20, 2013
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EuroBasket 2007, Day 3: September 5, 2007
It was a night of surprises at EuroBasket 2007, as the first group stage came to an end. The biggest of them all came in Seville, where Croatia downed Spain 85-84 to break the world champions' 28-game winning streak and win Group B. Marko Tomas nailed the game-winning triple with 3 seconds to go. That win allowed Portugal, which beat Latvia 77-67 earlier, to stay in the competition and sent Latvia home. In Group A, Israel stunned Serbia 87-83 to make it to the second round. Yaniv Green paced the winners with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Russia downed Greece 61-53 to win Group A with 19 points from J.R. Holden of CSKA. In Group C, Lithuania edged Germany 84-80 to stay unbeaten in the competition. Darjus Lavrinovic of Unics Kazan led the winners with 18 points. Meanwhile, Turkey topped the Czech Republic 72-80 to stay alive. Slovenia won Group D by edging France 67-66 behind 15 points each from Matjaz Smodis and Domen Lorbek. Italy topped Poland 70-79 to advance to the second round. The second group stage starts in Madrid on Friday with Group E featuring Russia and Croatia with 2-0 records, Spain and Greece at 1-1 and Portugal and Israel at 0-2. Group F has Slovenia and Lithuania at 2-0, France and Germany at 1-1, Turkey and Italy at 0-2.
Israel advanced to the next stage with an 87-83 stunner of Serbia. Meir Tapiro came through with four free throws in the closing seconds to seal the win and send Serbia home winless. Yaniv Green turned in a high-level performance with 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead Israel, Yotam Halperin of Maccabi Tel Aviv came through with 17 points and Guy Pniny of Hapoel Jerusalem and Tapiro added 11 each. ULEB Cup MVP Milan Gurovic led Serbia with 19 points, Darko Milicic posted 18 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocked shots and Marko Jaric had 11 points and 6 assists. Serbia seemed in control in the early going, leading 10-18 on a Vuk Radivojevic triple and 16-23 after 10 minutes. The lead grew to 12 late in the second period after back-to-back Milos Teodosic scores and sat at 36-45 at halftime. Green exploded in the third quarter, teaming with Halperin to slowly carry Israel back. Tapiro gave Israel its first lead, 59-58, on a floater late in the third period, which ended at 61-60. Pniny pushed Israel to 68-62, but Jaric answered and made it a one-point game again. Then Jeron Roberts nailed a clutch triple to make it 75-68 with three minutes on the clock, but Jaric led his team back again. However when he fouled out with 43 seconds to go, Serbia started to unravel. Still Gurovic made it 80-78, but Radivojevic's unsportsmanlike foul led to 3 Matan Naor free throws and Tapiro would add 4 more to seal it. Russia showed it is a top candidate to make it to the medal round by downing Greece 61-53 in Group A. Russia won the group with a 3-0 record, while Greece was second at 2-1. J.R. Holden paced the winners with 17 points, Viktor Khryapa added 13 while Andrei Kirilenko posted a double-double of 12 points and 17 rebounds for Russia. Vassilis Spanoulis of Panathinaikos led Greece with 12 points. As usual, Kirilenko and Holden led a strong Russian start, as both players combined for all points in a 7-3 opening run. Greece succeeded in slowing down the tempo, but the defending champion could not find the way to the basket. Meanwhile, Khryapa scored in penetration before Holden beat the buzzer with a smooth jumper to give Team Russia a 15-8 lead after 10 minutes. Russia's physical, aggressive defense completely shut Greece down early in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Khryapa remained his team's go-to guy, burying a three-pointer and adding a jumper to make it 23-11. Back-to-back baskets by Euroleague MVP Theo Papaloukas of CSKA and Demos Dikoudis of Panathinaikos sparked a 2-11 run, highlighted by Michalis Kakiouzis's three-pointer, enough to bring Greece back in the game, 25-22, at halftime. Papaloukas followed a three-point play with a layup to give Greece its last lead, 28-30, early in the third quarter. Zakhar Pashutin of CSKA stepped up with back-to-back triples but Papaloukas and Spanoulis brought Greece back to life, 37-36. Aleksey Savrasenko of CSKA and Holden stepped up to boost the Russian margin to 44-38 after 30 minutes. Russia was limited to just 3 points in almost 5 minutes and then Final Four MVP Dimitris Diamantidis of Panathinaikos got Greece as close as 47-45. Once again Holden and Kirilenko combined for all points in a 12-3 run that broke the game open, 59-48, enough to seal a key win.
The biggest surprise yet in EuroBasket 2007 came in Seville as Croatia won Group B by edging Spain 87-86. Tomas became the game hero for Croatia by hitting the game-winning triple with 3 seconds to go, handing Spain its first loss in 710 days and breaking the hosts' 28-game winning streak. Marko Popovic of Zalgiris led the winners with 18 points, Tomas added 13, Marko Banic narrowly missed a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds, while Davor Kus of Unicaja and Zoran Planinic of Tau Ceramica each had 10 points. Pau Gasol led Spain with 26 points, Rudy Fernandez of DKV Joventut added 14, Felipe Reyes posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Jose Manuel Calderon added 10 points. Pau Gasol and Reyes led Spain all the way in the first half. Back-to-back alley-oops by Pau Gasol and Alex Mumbru of Real Madrid allowed Spain to take a 40-50 lead at the break. However Tomas and Popovic caught fire midway through the third quarter, when Pau Gasol sat on the bench with foul trouble. Kus and an outstanding Popovic helped Croatia to complete its comeback, 63-60, late in the third quarter. Banic scored back-to-back baskets and Kus added a driving layup to give Croatia its biggest lead, 77-70, with 7 minutes to go. Jorge Garbajosa and Fernandez hit from downtown in a 0-11 run that put Spain back ahead, 77-81. Spain seemed to have sealed the outcome when Pau Gasol made a free throw for a 79-84 Spanish margin with 45 seconds to go. But Kus buried a corner triple, Fernandez missed on the other end and Tomas nailed the game-winner from the right wing. Spain still had 3 seconds to score, but Fernandez missed a driving layup, blocked by Planinic and Mario Kasun of AXA FCB. Portugal began the evening in Seville with a surprise of its own by beating Latvia 77-67. Joao Santos and Mario Fernandes led the winners each with 14 points. Jorge Coelho added 12 while Francisco Jordao had 11 for Portugal. Kristaps Janicenoks of Climamio Bologna led Latvia with 21 points,while Andris Biedrins posted a double-double of 14 points and 18 rebounds for the Baltic side. Latvia could have lost by 14 points and still advanced if Spain beat Croatia, but Portugal knew it was in a do-or-die situation. A three-pointer by Santos gave Portugal a 28-24 halftime edge. Fernandes, Santos and Jordao rolled in the third quarter, while a big triple by Paulo Cunha made it a 17-point game, 61-44, as a thousand Latvian fans could not believe their eyes. Janicenoks and Gatis Jahovics hit from downtown during an 0-11 run that got Latvia back into the game, 61-55. Santos and Coelho allowed Portugal to seal a prestigious win, which added to the Croatian shocking triumph, allowed the team to make it to the second round.
Lithuania became the Group C champion by downing Germany 84-80 in Palma de Mallorca. Lithuania finished Group C with a 3-0 record, while Germany was second at 2-1. Darjus Lavrinovic of Unics Kazan led the winners with 18 points. Sarunas Jasikevicius posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists, Ramunas Siskauskas of CSKA added 13, Darius Songaila had 11 and Linas Kleiza 10. Dirk Nowitzki had 28 points for Germany, Ademola Okulaja added 12 and his Brose Baskets teammate Robert Garrett 10. Lithuania knew what it needed to do in defense from the very beginning, using Kleiza or Siskauskas against Nowitzki. Germany led 7-13 early but Jasikevicius started to run the show, as three-pointers by Darjus Lavrinovic, Rimantas Kaukenas of Montepaschi, Kleiza and Siskauskas fueled a 23-4 run that gave Lithuania a 30-17 lead after 10 minutes. Team Germany failed to find Nowitzki now, while Kleiza and an outstanding Jasikevicius broke the game open, 49-32, at halftime. The Lithuanian lead peaked at 56-35 right after the break. Germany was not done, however, as three-pointers by Garrett and Pascal Roller of the Deutsche Bank Skyliners brought their team back to life, 62-50. Nowitzki led a 2-15 run that Roller capped with another triple to get Germany within 70-68 with more than 7 minutes to go. A red-hot Nowitzki followed an unbelievable triple with free throws for a 81-80 Germany deficit with 11 seconds remaining. Darius Songaila hit 1-of-2 free throws, but Okulaja picked up an offensive foul, allowing Kaukenas to seal the outcome from the foul line. Meanwhile, Turkey survived a do-or-die battle and advanced to the second round by edging the Czech Republic 72-80 in the last game at Palma de Mallorca. Turkey was third with a 1-2 record while the Czech Republic left the competition last at 0-3. Hedo Turkoglu paced the winners with 22 points. Ibrahim Kutluay of Fenerbahce added 17 on 5-of-7 three-pointers while Mehmet Okur had 16 for Turkey. Lubos Barton of DKV Joventut had 22 points for the Czechs, while Petr Benda of Nymburk added 14. Turkey had a strong start, trying to bounce back from its terrible game against Germany on Tuesday night. Okur, Turkoglu and Kaya Peker of Tau Ceramica led a 2-15 opening run, which Ender Arslan of Efes Pilsen capped with a layup. Benda and Barton tried to get the Czechs going, but back-to-back triples by Turkoglu and Kutluay boosted the Turkish lead to 15-28 after 10 minutes. The Czech team rallied in the second half, as Benda, Barton and Jiri Welsch of Unicaja led a 13-3 run to get within 28-31. Turkoglu and an outstanding Kutluay rescued Turkey right in time, leading a 0-15 run that allowed their team to extend its margin to 31-46 at halftime. Lukas Kraus and Barton hit two apiece from downtown to bring the Czech Republic back to life, but a layup by an unstoppable Turkoglu still kept Turkey way ahead, 49-59, after 30 minutes. It was do-or-die time for the Czechs and a triple by Stepan Vrubl got his team as close as 58-64 with 5 minutes to go. Okur then took over with a decisive four-point play and Turkey sealed the outcome from the free throw line.
Slovenia won Group D by edging France 67-66 in Alicante. Slovenia finished this group with a 3-0 record, while France dropped to 2-1 to place second. Two-time Euroleague champion Matjaz Smodis of CSKA Moscow and Domen Lorbek paced the winners each with 15 points. Goran Jagodnik of Hemofarm and former Euroleague champion Rasho Nesterovic added 12 apiece for Slovenia. Tony Parker led France with 25 points, but he missed a game-tying free throw with 2 seconds to go. Ronnie Turiaf added 15 for Les Blues. Parker and Florent Pietrus pushed France to a 6-11 lead in the early going, but Smodis and Nesterovic stepped up to keep Slovenia in the game, 16-18, after 10 minutes. France tried a very effective 1-2-2 zone defense and a red-hot Turiaf helped Les Blues to dominate the paint. Even with that, back-to-back jumpers by the Lorbek brothers, Erazem and Domen, got Slovenia within 28-30. It didn't last long, however, as Parker followed a triple with a jumper during a 0-7 run that allowed France to reach halftime with a safe 31-39 lead. Nesterovic was ejected right after the break, allowing France to make it a 15-point game, 33-48. Slovenia was not done, however, as Smodis and Jagodnik scored all the points in a 10-0 run that brought their team back. Slovenia used a small lineup with Lakovic and Domen Lorbek at both wings and it paid off, as Uros Slokar of Triumph Lyubertsy score inside for a 59-58 lead. Parker single-handedly kept France in the game, but a jump hook by Smodis and free throws by Domen Lorbek allowed Slovenia to take a 67-65 edge with 12 seconds to go. Slokar fouled Parker, who missed his second shot with 2 seconds to go, allowing Smodis to grab the rebound and celebrate a big win. Italy survived a make-or-break situation and made it to the second phase by beating Poland 70-79 in the final game in Alicante. Italy was third at 1-2 while Poland finished last at 0-3. Marco Belinelli paced the winners with 20 points, Andrea Bargnani added 19, Gianluca Basile of AXA FCB had 12 while Massimo Bulleri of Armani Jeans Milano got 10 for Italy. Andrzej Pluta of Anwil had 15 points for Poland, Adam Wojcik added 12 and Lucasz Koszarek of Anwil 10. Koszarek and Wojcik helped Poland to get a 16-14 lead after 10 minutes. Bellineli, Basile and an outstanding Bargnani took over in the second quarter to break the game open, 22-36, midway through the second quarter. Poland did not give up, however, as Pluta became its go-to guy to get within 50-54 late in the third quarter. Basile hit 3 triples in as many minutes to boost the Italian lead to 57-64 after three quarters. Three-pointers allowed Italy to keep its lead early in the final period, while free throws by Belinelli, Bulleri and Bargnani sealed the outcome in the final 2 minutes.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Javier Gancedo, Euroleague.net
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