FYR of Macedonia remains unbeaten and march to Kaunas in style as they defeated Slovenia 68-59.
Bo McCalebb led the Macedonians with 19 points as Slovenia now need to beat Finland in a winner-take-all game on Monday.
It seemed on most occasions that Slovenia were just not able to attack Macedonia front-line, and relied too heavily on three-pointers when the lane was there to penetrate and create something.
Macedonia were able to finish the third quarter on a 13-5 run, which took the wind right out of the Slovenians.
“It was a hard game for us,” admitted Macedonia’s Predrag Samardziski afterwards.
“We had no pressure because we knew we’d be in the quarter finals so that was a big advantage for us.
“So we opened the game pretty good and after that we controlled the tempo of the game,” Samardziski commented.
After trailing 20-16 after the first quarter, Slovenia opened the second period by levelling the game at 20 following a Jaka Lakovic bucket.
McCalebb triggered an 11-0 run for the Former Yugoslav Republic with a three which saw Slovenia down by double-digits (39-29), Erazem Lorbek scored to reduce the gap to single-digits at the half (39-31).
Following their run in the third though, Slovenia could not pull it back. As FYR of Macedonia, helped by McCalebb secured the win.
Goran Dragic was the only Slovenian player in double figures as he led all scorers with 20 points. Lakovic was next up with nine.