Tomas Satoransky of FC Barcelona Lassa had a great all-round performance for Czech Republic, and Miroslav Raduljica paced Serbian attack against Finland. Alessandro Gentile of EA7 Emporio Armani Milan netted 27 points, leading Italy to a big win over Israel, while Jonas Maciulis of Real Madrid lifted Lithuania over Georgia, earning his team another trip to the EuroBasket quarterfinals in Lille, France.
Czech Republic 80-59 Croatia
Czech Republic has made it to its first EuroBasket quarterfinals as an independent country after a resounding 80-59 eighthfinals win over Croatia . Taking control early on behind Satoransky who repeatedly found his teammates open, and Jan Vesely of Fenerbahce Istanbul doing the work inside, the Czech started building lead late in the first quarter, and continued in the second. After going into halftime up 48-31, Czech Republic continued dominating in the third period against Croatia, increasing the margin to 65-35, and cruising the rest of the way. Satoransky finished with 10 points, 11 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals, while Vesely amassed 20 points and 13 rebounds. Before exiting the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter, Kruno Simon of EA7 Emporio Armani Milan had 9 points for Croatia which had 24 turnovers for the game.
Serbia 94-81 Finland
Serbian players dished 30 assists and remain unbeaten at the EuroBasket, as their 94-81 win over Finland sent them into quarterfinals. Finland put up a great fight against the heavy favorites, and Serbia did not take the lead for good until midway through the third quarter after a pair of close-range baskets from Miroslav Raduljica of Panathinaikos Athens. But coach Sasha Djordjevic’s men did not pull away until the fourth period when Euroleague Rising Star Trophy winner Bogdan Bogdanovic of Fenerbahce hit a triple, first of team’s four consecutive shots from long range, helping Serbia to 89-70 with 5 minutes to go. Raduljica finished with 27 points on 11 of 12 two-point shooting. Reigning Euroleague MVP Nemanja Bjelica collected 19 points with 14 rebounds, while Milos Teodosic of CSKA Moscow dished 9 assists. Sasu Salin of Herbalife Gran Canaria Las Palmas paced Finland with 26 points, and Petteri Koponen of Khimki Moscow Region had 11 in defeat.
Italy 82-52 Israel
Alessandro Gentile scored 27 points, and Italy thrashed Israel 82-52 to move into the last eight for the second consecutive EuroBasket on Sunday in Lille. Italy took the lead, and control, in the opening minutes of the encounter. Guy Mekel of Crvena Zvezda Telekom kept Israel in it, but Gentile scored 8 points in the second quarter and with help from Nicolo Melli of Brose Baskets Bamberg and Daniel Hackett of Olympiacos Pireus helped Italy to 40-30 at halftime. Immediately after the break, Gentile hit a triple and a three-point play, and Italy dominated, running away to 68-39 margin at the end of the third period, sealing the deal. Amedeo Della Valle of Grissin Bon Reggio Emilia chipped in with 8 points in victory, while Mekel had 20 for Israel.
Lithuania 85-81 Georgia
In the last eighthfinals game of the tournament, Lithuania edged Georgia 85-81 behind an unstoppable Jonas Maciulis who scored 34 points, and hit clutch shots when mattered most. With game on the line, and Lithuania up 80-79, Real Madrid’s forward Maciulis nailed a triple with 11.2 seconds to go, then sealed the deal with a pair of free throws with 3.7 seconds left on the clock. Teams traded leads often during the game, and Georgia had 56-62 late in the third, but Maciulis had a three-point play, sparking an 8-0 run that bridged third and fourth quarters. Jacob Pullen of Cedevita Zagreb scored all of his 12 points for Georgia in the final quarter, but Maciulis along with Zalgiris Kaunas duo of Paulius Jankunas and Mantas Kalnietis kept Lithuania in front the rest of the way. Maciulis shot 11 of 13 from the field, and added 6 rebounds and 3 assists to his tally. Jankunas had 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, while Kalnietis contributed with 11 points and 7 assists. Zaza Pachulia had 23 points for Georgia, while Tornike Shengelia of Laboral Kutxa Vitoria Gasteiz scored 10 in defeat.