EuroBasket – Day 1
September 5, 2007 by Christian Angelo Jacinto
I’m posting thisÂ just for the sake of Euro basketball fanatics here in hoops.Â This one’s fromÂ Â Eurosport.yahoo.com
GROUP A – Granada
Russia led throughout to overcome Serbia 73-65 with Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko pulling down 12 rebounds and notching 24 points.
The Russians opened up the match with a 9-0 run which set them up for the victory, with Serbia’s Milan Gurovic being unlucky to be on the losing side after a 24 point effort.
Greece opened the defence of their EuroBasket title with a 76-66 victory over Israel.
Vasileios Spanoulis put a disappointing first season in the NBA behind him as he top scored for the Greeks with 19 points as the champs eventually showed their class in second-half after the sides had gone into the break level.
GROUP B – Sevilla
Pau Gasol scored 19 points as world champions Spain delighted their home fans with a crushing 82-62 victory over Portugal.
Spain were never in danger of upsetting the packed house in Sevilla as they had already built up a massive 25 point lead by half-time.
Latvia opened up Group B with an 85-77 victory over Croatia with their 11-for-18 shooting from three point range helping them to the win.
Andris Biedrins of the Golden State Warriors also produced a steely performance on defence for the Latvians who developed a five point in the third quarter after the sides were level at half-time.
GROUP C – Palma de Mallorca
Czech Republic almost caused an upset, taking 2005 silver medallists Germany to overtime, before succumbing an 83-78 defeat.
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki led the fightback with 35 points and 11 rebounds after Germany trailed the Group C underdogs through the first two quarters.
Lithuania had five players score in double figures as they overwhelmed Turkey 85-69.
EuroBasket 2003 MVP and Golden State Warriors point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius was superb as he scored 18 points, had eight rebounds, and dished out seven assists.
GROUP D – Alicante
France avoided a shock at the hands of Poland, with NBA MVP Tony Parker top scoring with 16 points.
The Poles did get to within six points of their more fancied opponents early in the fourth quarter before eventually falling to a 74-66 defeat.
A three point shot on the buzzer from Jaka Lakovic saw Slovenia nick a 69-68 victory over Italy in a dramatic finish.
Matteo Soranga looked to have won it for the Italians with a three-pointer of his own five seconds from the end before Lakovic’s dramatic finish.