The final day of group stage has determined the remaining eighthfinals matchups, setting the stage for single-game elimination rounds which tip-off on Saturday at Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey. Thursday games decided that Group C winner Spain will play against host nation Turkey, Group D winner Serbia will face Hungary, while two other matches will see Croatia face Russia and Montenegro play against Latvia. All those games will be played on Sunday, while a day earlier it will be Slovenia vs. Ukraine, Germany vs. France, Finland vs. Italy and Lithuania vs. Greece.
Group C has been decided on Tuesday, so the final day of action in Cluj-Napoca, Romania has no impact on the standings. The day started with second-place Croatia improving to 4-1 after thrashing previously eliminated Czech Republic 69-107. Croatia, which led from start to finish, had six double-digit scorers. Bojan Bogdanovic led the way with 25 points, while Krunoslav Simon of Anadolu Efes Istanbul had an all-around performance with 6 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Cedevita Zagreb trio had a productive night, too, as Roko Ukic collected 12 points and 6 assists, Filip Kruslin netted 11 points with 5 assists, while Ivan Ramljak finished with 7 points and 7 rebounds. Patric Auda netted 19, and Vojtech Hruban 15 points in defeat. Croatia opened a double-digit lead as early as first quarter when Kruslin hit a three-pointer to make it 17-28, and Croatians remained with a comfortable lead in the second quarter. The margin stood at 40-54 at halftime. After the break, however, Croatia stepped it up even more and ran away with a big victory. First-place Spain cruised past fourth-place Hungary 64-87 and goes into elimination rounds undefeated. Pau Gasol led the way for the defending champions with 20 points and 8 rebounds, and in the process became the best scorer in EuroBasket history. CSKA Moscow point guard Sergio Rodriguez had 15 points and 7 assists, while big man Willy Hernangomez also had 15 points in victory. Meanwhile, Hungary rested FC Barcelona’s Adam Hanga in this game, and now faces Group D winner, either Serbia or Russia, in the eighthfinals. Csaba Ferencz paced Hungary with 17 points. Spain took the lead for good in the opening moments of the game and led comfortably. Hungary did manage to close within 55-60 with 8 minutes to go, but Spain had an answer. Rodriguez and Hernangomez orchestrated a 2-11 run which was capped by a basket from Valencia Basket forward Joan Sastre, restoring a double-digit lead and easing to victory. In the last game of this group, third-place Montenegro beat the host nation Romania 86-69. Nemanja Djurisic led balance Montenegro offense with 14 points and also pulled down 7 rebounds. Bojan Dubljevic of Valencia Basket collected 13 points plus 9 rebounds, while Dino Radoncic of Real Madrid also had 13 points. Romania suffered its fifth loss in as many games, but Andrei Mandache recorded only the second triple-double in EuroBasket history, with 14 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.
Serbia is the winner of Group D after all Thursday results went their way. Serbia, Latvia and Russia all finished with 4-1 record, but a three-team tiebreaker has put Serbia atop of the group, placed Latvia second and Russia finished third. In the first game of the day in Istanbul, Turkey, Russia hit 14 three-pointers to hold off winless Great Britain 82-70. Alexey Shved of Khimki Moscow Region was unstoppable, setting his national team career-high with 30 points on 6-for-9 three-point shooting, and also dished 8 assists. Big man Timofey Mozgov had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while CSKA Moscow duo of Vitaly Fridzon and Andrey Vorontsevich played huge roles, too. Fridzon netted 14 points, while Vorontsevich added 11 in the victory. Dan Clark had 21 points, while Gabe Olaseni collected 19 points plus 9 rebounds in tournament-ending loss. Back-to-back threes from Vorontesvich and Fridzon opened 23-13 Russia lead late in the first quarter, and Shved’s three-pointer extended it to 43-29 late in the second. Russia held 12-point margin at halftime, but Great Britain kept hanging around, making a 0-10 charge midway through the third stanza to cut within 54-51. The margin was cut to 68-67 with under 4 minutes to go in the game, but that’s when Shved took matters into his own hands, nailing a pair of threes that 74-69 lead, and Russia never looked back. Serbia secured a top-two finish with a 54-74 win over Belgium. Big man Boban Marjanovic had 22 points and 7 rebounds for Serbia, the reigning EuroLeague champion Bogdan Bogdanovic netted 15 along with 9 assists. Milan Macvan contributed with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, and his Bayern teammate Vladimir Lucic added 8 in the victory. Emmanuel Lecomte scored 12, and Axel Hervelle of RETAbet Bilbao Basket had 10 points in Belgium’s final game in the tournaments. After a timeout by head coach Sasha Djordjevic of FC Bayern Munich with 7:24 left in the first half, his Serbian team did not allow a single basket for more than 6 minutes. Led by Marjanovic and Bogdanovic, Serbia went on a 0-20 run. Vasilije Micic of Zalgiris Kaunas capped the spurt with a triple, making it 19-40 late in the second quarter. Serbia held 25-42 at the break, and Belgium never threatened again. To win the group Serbia needed to wait the last game of the day, in which Latvia held off Turkey 89-79 behind 28 points and 7 rebounds from Kristaps Porzingis, while veteran Janis Blums netted 17 points. Dairis Bertans of AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan contributed with 8 points and 5 assists, while Zanis Peiners of Lietkabelis Panevezys made key plays down the stretch and finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Cedi Osman scored 24 points for Turkey, Melih Mahmutoglu of the reigning EuroLeague champion Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul netted 19 with 7 rebounds. Latvia led for a majority of the game, first starting to pull away in the second quarter when baskets from Prozingis opened 40-30 lead. The margin was 47-38 at halftime, and Latvia kept it safe, with Martins Meiers of Unics Kazan making it 68-54 late in the third quarter. But Osman led Turkey’s charge, and Mahmutoglu’s high-arching shot cut it to 69-67 with 8 minutes to go. However, Peiners scored 4 points and Dairis Bertans nailed a three-pointer to give Latvia some breathing room, and the duo hit free throws that extended it to 82-72, lead Latvia knew how to protect.