A look at round six (for Group A) and round five of the Eurobasket qualifiers.



Group A

Montenegro are within touching distance of becoming the first team through to the finals in Slovenia via the qualifiers after they beat Israel 81-76 in-front of 10,000 fans at the Nokia Arena in Tel-Aviv.

Vladimir Dasic led the victors with 20 points and picked up eight rebounds and five assists after an enthralling comeback where it looked as though they might drop their first game. Israel were led by Omri Casspi, who also hit 20.

Montenegro moved to 6-0 while Israel move to 3-3 and fourth place.

Serbia kept their chances of qualification going after an impressive 114-58 rout of Iceland in Nis. Nenad Krstic hit 15 points to lead a balanced attack for the Serbs as seven players reached double-figures. They share second spot with Estonia, who beat Slovak Republic in Levice 84-70.

Group B

Germany enjoyed a night off so Azerbaijan and Sweden both grabbed victories to close the gap.

Azerbaijan comfortably defeated rock bottom Luxembourg 95-77 in Baku. Real Madrid’s Jaycee Carroll led with 26 points supported by 25 from Orhan Haciyeva. Sweden though have got the second spot after they beat Bulgaria 85-71 in Norrkoping.

Group C

Ukraine returned to the summit of Group C but were made to fight all the way in Hungary, eventually escaping with a 78-76 win. Even head coach Mike Fratello admitted afterwards that his side were lucky to get the win.

Sergii Gladyr led Ukraine with 17 points with Obie Trotter leading the Hungarians with 19 to lead all scorers.

Austria kept their hopes for qualification alive by beating Cyprus 77-52. Thomas Klepeisz led the winners with 15 points as they move to third place. Cyprus, who were led by Andreas Sizopoulos’ 12 points remain bottom without a win.

Croatia drop to second place but were not in action.

Group D

Latvia replace Bosnia & Herzegovina at the top of Group D after they beat the Bosnians 80-64 in Riga.

Point guard Dairus Bertans was inspirational with 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists to lead his team while Zach Wright and Nihad Dedovic led the Bosnian charge with 16 each. Both teams have a 3-2 record.

Netherlands picked up their second win of the qualifiers with an 80-74 win over Romania. Robin Smeulders grabbed an impressive double-double for the Dutch with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Group E

With Finland not playing, there is now a three-way tie for top spot in an interesting group with Poland joining Belgium and the Finns.

Poland secured a vital 87-73 away win over Belgium to move up in second place. Marcin Grotat led all scorers with 29 points while pulling down 10 rebounds and blocking two shots.

In the group’s other game, Switzerland got their second win in Group E with a 93-84 win at home to Albania who remain rock bottom on an 0-5 record.

Group F

Italy and Czech Republic took advantage of Turkey’s game off to go further ahead in Group F after both nations collected wins.

The Italians improve to 5-0 after they defeated bottom side Portugal 82-70 in Coimbra.Danilo Gallinari led the victors with 18 points. Joao Gomes got 22 points and 10 rebounds for Portugal.

Czech Republic went to 4-1 after they bested Belarus. Lubos Barton hit 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in victory for the Czechs. Turkey are third with Belarus and Portugal making up the numbers.