Finland kept their Eurobasket dream alive with an 87-73 win over Georgia.
The entertaining Georgians have now been eliminated, but leave with their heads held high.
Without registering a two-point field goal, Mikko Koivisto led the victors with 14 points, with Tuukka Kotti and Petteri Koponen each getting 12 points.
After the game, Finland coach, Henrik Dettmann paid tribute to Georgia afterwards.
“It was great playing our brothers from Georgia,” Dettmann said at the post-game press conference.
“We had to focus on our own rhythm and our own style of play and I thought the guys did a very good job.”
In a first quarter that struggled to get going in the early stages, Georgia were helped along by Viktor Sanikidze, who hit his side’s first eight points, but it was Finland who led 9-8 after seven minutes of action with all but one of the field goals made being triples.
A Koivisto three extended Finland’s lead to 16-11 and they extended further after one (22-13).
Georgia, appearing in their first Eurobasket, pulled it back in the second – hitting eight unanswered points as Finland seemed to struggle with their opponent’s quick passing and sneaky cuts to the hoop – as the Finns big men were slow to react.
Finland kept the lead until a Tomike Shengelia bucket tied the game at 30, forcing coach Henrik Dettmann to call a timeout.
Finland kept their composure as Georgia’s support got louder and a Tuukka Kotti bucket gave Finland a 36-33 lead at the interval.
Buckets were traded in the third quarter until a 9-0 Finland run, capped off by a triple by Koivisto gave his side a 59-48 advantage.
“It was hard for us after that nine to zero run, especially for me as I couldn’t help the guys out,” Georgia’s Zaza Pachulia said after the game.
Georgia’s heads were down at that point, and they entered the final stanza 61-52 down.
The Georgians did threaten to come-back into the contest, as a Nikoloz Tskitishvili bucket narrowed the gap to 77-64, but Finland were too organised and keep their hopes of a quarter final place alive.