In a second half effort Croatia beat FYROM after trailing by as many as 18 points in the first half. FYROM was up by 14 at halftime , mainly due to 10/20 three-pointers.
Zoran Planinic replaced Roko-Leni Ukic, who was losing control, midway in the third quarter and Croatia managed to cut FYROM's lead to just 5 points to enter the final period. The Croatians had an 11-0 run early in the fourth quarter that gave them a 6-point lead. A comfortable double-digit lead was achieved shortly after which the Croatians kept till the end. The final score was 71-81. Croatia will go into the next round with a 1-1 record and FYROM with 0-2.
CROATIA 81-71 FYROM
FYROM: V.Stefanov 12, Mirakovski, Sokolov 12, R.Stefanov 11, V.Stojanovski 7, Blazevski, Tasovski 2, Gecevski 8, Antic 7, D.Stojanovski, Massey 12, Samardziski
Croatia: Ukic 7, Kus 8, Popovic 7, Vujcic 12, Prkacin 9, Rozic 7, Planinic 9, Stojic 2, Loncar 1, Banic 11, Nicevic 8, Kasun
Vrbica Stefanov: "What can I say? I can only congratulate to the Croatian team. That's all."
Marko Popovic: "It was a hard game. They had so many shots and were very efficient. After the first half, when we had minus 14, we were really surprised. But then we showed character and won. Now we are more confident before the next round."
Jovica Arsic, FYROM coach: "I have to congratulate our rival. We had a good first half, but then Croatia absolutely dominated the game. They had tough defense and we couldn't do anything."
Jasmin Repesa, Croatia Coach: "There were many mistakes that we cannot repeat in the next round. We have to think it over. Psychologically this game was much more difficult for us then yesterday's match against Greece. Today there was more pressure on my team, while they were relaxed and confident."