EuroBasket 2015, Day 2 roundup

Sep 06, 2015 by Print
EuroBasket 2015, Day 2 roundup

The second day of action at EuroBasket 2015 action in four European cities saw seven teams stay unbeaten: France, Israel and Poland in Group A, Serbia in Group B, Greece in Group C, and Lithuania and the Czech Republic in Group D. Meanwhile, four countries - Spain, Italy, Belgium and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - all got back into their group races with first victories.

Group A

Three undefeated teams sit atop Group A after France, Israel and Poland all doubled down on their opening-night victories in Montpellier. France had an easy ride to 2-0 with its 54-81 victory over winless Bosnia and Herzegovina. A 21-50 difference in the middle quarters said it all about France's dominance in both depth and experience. Nando De Colo of CSKA Moscow had 12 points and 7 rebounds in the effort, while Limoges CSP guard Leo Westermann, a late addition to the France (2-0) roster, contributed 9 points. Israel made it two in a row by jumping ahead early on the way to a 66-79 decision against Finland. Israel led from tipoff to buzzer and enjoyed the first of many double-digit leads by closing the first quarter with a 0-10 run to go up 13-25. Lior Eliyahu had 22 points and 5 assists for Israel (2-0), while his Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem teammate D'or Fischer pulled 11 rebounds. Yogev Ohayon of Maccabi Tel Aviv went for 13 points, while Finland (0-2) got 24 points, 9 rebounds from Erik Murphy. Poland retained its share of first place in the group by outlasting Russia 79-82. It was Poland's first win ever against Russia or the Soviet Union after 19 games dating back to 1947. A 6-13 run in the middle of the final quarter put Poland in the driver's seat at 67-74 with 3 minutes left in what had been a close game to that point. Adam Waczynski scored 8 of his 23 points in the last 6 minutes for Poland (2-0), while Martin Gortat added 18 and Mateusz Ponitka of Stelmet Zielona Gora had 10. Another close loss meant that Russia (0-2) wasted a 21-point, 7-rebound effort by Andrey Zubkov of Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar, while Andrey Vorontsevich of CSKA Moscow added 12 points and Dmitry Khvostov of Niznhny Novgorod 10.

Group B

Serbia stayed undefeated atop killer Group B by shaking off a challenge from host Germany to win 68-66 in Berlin. Nemanja Bjelica, last season's Turkish Airlines Euroleague MVP, hit a one-handed running shot with a second remaining to give Serbia (2-0) the victory and led his team with 12 points. Bogdan Bogdanovic of Fenerbahce Istanbul and Zoran Erceg added 9 points each for Serbia, while Milos Teodosic of CSKA Moscow had 8 and 4 assists. Tibor Pleiss and Dirk Nowitzki scored 15 each for Germany (1-1), whose last shot attempt to tie or win the game never reached the rim. With its back to the wall, Italy got its first win in dramatic fashion by 64-71 over Iceland. Trailing by 3 with 3:22 to play, the Italians finished with a 2-12 run as Pietro Aradori of Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia scored 5 in a row off the bench, his first points of the tournament, to seal the victory. Alessandro Gentile of EA7 Emporio Armani Milan paced Italy (1-1) with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Spain bounced back from its opening-game loss in style as it ran away early from Turkey to an eventual 77-104 win. Spain led 38-54 at halftime then started the third quarter with a 5-16 run to leave no doubt about the outcome. Pau Gasol stepped up with 21 points to lead six double-figure scorers for Spain (1-1). The Real Madrid quartet of Sergio Rodriguez, Felipe Reyes, Willy Hernangomez and Rudy Fernandez added 14, 12, 11 and 10, respectively. Turkey, which got 15 points from Ersan Ilyasova, fell to 1-1.

Group C

Greece sits alone atop Group C in Zagreb after coming from behind in thrilling fashion to defeat host Croatia 72-70 as former Euroleague MVP Vassilis Spanoulis led the winning rally. Croatia led 53-61 with 8 minutes left before Spanoulis took over, scoring 9 points in a 19-6 run over the next 6:30 to push Greece (2-0) to victory. Spanoulis finished with a team-high 16 points and his Olympiacos Piraeus teammate, Georgios Printezis, had 13, including the last 4 in that decisive run. Krunoslav Simon of EA7 Emporio Armani Milan paced Croatia with 18 points. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) got its first victory in the group by downing the Netherlands 71-78 in Sunday's early game. Richard Hendrix of Unicaja Malaga had 6 of his 10 points in an 11-24 second quarter that turned the game in FYROM's favor for good. FYROM (1-1) led by 15 points, 60-75, before the Netherlands (1-1) scored 11 of the games last 14 points to make it look better. Vlado Ilievski led the winners with 14 points and 7 assists, while Nicolas De Jong had 19 for the Netherlands (1-1). Slovenia got in the win column, as well, by handling Georgia 79-68 in a strong performance. Slovenia (1-1 ) opened a 41-26 lead by halftime and didn't let George get back in it. Klemen Prepelic had 21 points and Jaka Klobucar 20 to lead the winners, while Jaka Blazic of Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade was the other double-figure scorer with 12 points. Tornike Shengalia of Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz had 21 points for Georgia (0-2).

Group D

Matt Lojeski - Belgium (FIBA/Ciamillo-Castoria/Dackus) 

There's a two-way tie at the top of Group D after the Czech Republic rolled to a second consecutive win 64-78 over Ukraine. Fenerbahce Istanbul forward Jan Vesely was unstoppable again with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. He was seconded by Tomas Satoransky of FC Barcelona Lassa with 15 pionts, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Pavel Pumprla's 17 points meant that the trio accounted for 51 of the Czechs' 78 points. Lithuania also stayed perfect in the group in Riga by handing host Latvia a first defeat, 49-68, in a defensive masterpiece. Down 19-13 after one quarter, Lithuania (2-0) outscored Latvia (1-1) by 30-55 in the last three. Euroleague champion Jonas Maciulis of Real Madrid posted a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the winners, who got 15 points from Jonas Valanciunas. Mantas Kalnietis of Zalgiris Kaunas added 12 points, 6 assists. No player for Latvia topped 8 points. Belgium joined the Group D win column with a resounding 55-84 victory over Estonia as Matt Lojeski of Olympiacos Piraeus led the way with 16 points. Lojeski's three-pointer sparked a 2-22 opening run after which Belgium (1-1) never looked back. Sam Van Rossom of Valencia Basket had 9 of his 14 points in that opening run while Axel Hervelle of Dominion Bilbao Basket chipped in 7 points and had 6 rebounds to match Lojeski's team high. Siim-Sander Vene of Zalgiris Kaunas led Estonia (0-2) with 12 points.