The second day of eighthfinals action at EuroBasket 2017 took place on Sunday at Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, Turkey, where Latvia, Serbia, Spain and Russia all advanced to the quarterfinals. Spain will face Germany and Latvia will take on Slovenia in Tuesday’s quarterfinals games. One day later, Russia will meet Greece and Serbia will play Italy.
Croatia 78-101 Russia
Russia became the only underseeded team to win on Sunday when it defeated Croatia 78-101 thanks to a marvelous effort from Alexey Shved. The Khimki Moscow Region guard went off for 27 points and 12 assists as Russia improved to 5-1 in the tournament. Fellow Khimki player Andrey Zubkov and Dmitry Kulagin, formerly of CSKA Moscow, each scored 14 for Russia, CSKA sharpshooter Vitlay Fridzon added 13 and Timofey Mozgov 10. Russia made an amazing 68.6% of its two-point shots and dished 23 assists with only 7 turnovers. Bojan Bogdanovic tallied 28 points for Croatia, Dario Saric scored 13 and Luka Zoric had 11 in defeat. Russia outscored Croatia in each quarter, but led only 42-46 at halftime. Shved scored all of Russia’s points in a 1-8 third-quarter push that made it 49-61 and Fridzon soon extended the margin to 51-67. The score was 57-72 after three quarters and the difference soon stretched into the 20s as Russia marched to a memorable victory.
Spain 73-56 Turkey
Reigning champion Spain led from start to finish in defeating host Turkey 73-56 in front of a lively crowd. Former EuroLeague champion Ricky Rubio led the way with 15 points and 9 assists, former EuroLeague MVP Sergio Rodriguez of CSKA Moscow and Pau Gasol each scored 11 and Marc Gasol added 10 points for the winners. Furkan Korkmaz led Turkey with 20 points and reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion Melih Mahmutoglu of Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul added 10 points in defeat. Turkey struggled with its outside shooting and made only 3 of 20 three-point attempts (15%) in what proved to be a key in the game. EuroLeague scoring king Juan Carlos Navarro of FC Barcelona Lassa and Rubio assisted on each other’s baskets as Spain started with a 5-0 lead and Barcelona big man Pierre Oriola ended the first quarter with a layup that made it 19-10. The margin touched 12 several times before Korkmaz led a Turkey comeback and Cedi Osman’s three-pointer got the hosts within 29-25. Navarro and Rodriguez pushed the difference to 8 by the end of the half. Korkmaz free throws put 37-33 on the scoreboard midway through the third quarter and Mahmutoglu got the difference to 3 before Rodriguez beat the third quarter buzzer from downtown to make it 49-43. Juancho Hernangomez scored 5 points in a 7-0 Spain run early in the fourth quarter to help his team pull away for good and Spain managed to keep Turkey at bay the rest of the way.
Serbia 86-78 Hungary
Ognjen Kuzmic led five Serbia scorers in double figures with a double-double in an 86-78 victory over Hungary. The Real Madrid center posted 17 points and 10 boards, while All-EuroLeague guard Bogdan Bogdanovic posted 17 points and 6 assists, big men Milan Macvan of FC Bayern Munich and Bojan Marjanovic scored 14 points apiece and Vladimir Lucic, also from Bayern, added 11. Serbia outrebounded Hungary 37-23, which proved crucial against a Hungarian squad that committed only 6 turnovers. Zoltan Perl paced Hungary with 22 points, Csaba Ferencz scored 15 and David Vojvoda 11. Serbia used a 14-0 tear to take a commanding 16-3 lead midway through the opening quarter. Hungary had no answer for Kuzmic, who amassed 11 first-quarter points as Serbia settled for a 24-16 edge after 10 minutes. Hungary remained close and cut the margin 4 twice through Kemal Karahodzic, but Macvan and Bogdanovic kept Serbia in charge, 48-41, at halftime. A Bogdanovic three restored a double-digit margin to start the second half and soon playmaker Stefan Jovic of Bayern scored twice in a 9-0 run that made it 62-45. The score stood at 69-53 after three quarters before a pair of threes by Ferencz sandwiched around another by Vojvoda to start the fourth gave Hungary hope. However Macvan and Marjanovic restored a comfortable cushion and Serbia held on the rest of the way.
Latvia 100-68 Montenegro
Latvia won its fifth straight game to cruise into the quarterfinals with a 100-68 rout of Montenegro in Sunday’s early game. Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz forward Janis Timma starred with 21 points on 4-of-4 three-point shooting plus 6 assists to pace the winners, who will face undefeated Slovenia in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. 2015 EuroCup Rising Star Kristaps Porzingis added 19 points, Olympiacos Piraeus guard Janis Strelnieks scored 12 and delivered 7 assists and team captain Janis Blums netted 10 points for Latvia, which made 15 of 2 three-point shots (60%) and outrebounded Montenegro 40-25. Two-time All-EuroCup selection Bojan Dubljevic of Valencia Basket paced Montenegro with 21 points and Nikola Vucevic added 16 in defeat. Blums buried a pair of threes in an 11-2 first quarter run that put Latvia up 18-10 and Timma soon after added a triple to make it a double-digit margin. The score stood at 27-15 after 10 minutes and 53-37 at halftime, but the decisive blow came through a 29-15 third quarter, which saw the difference reach 30 at the 30-minute mark. The lead peaked at 35 as Latvia enjoyed the final minutes before setting its sights on the quarterfinals.