Road to Slovenia 2013: Final round of qualifiers

The final round of qualifiers would determine the five remaining spots for next year’s Eurobasket in Slovenia. A brief round-up of the final round of games around Europe.

Group A

Serbia pipped Estonia to third place and also to Slovenia after they beat Israel 83-67 in Belgrade. Despite losing, Israel only needed a point to advance as they finish second in the group.

Milenko Tepic led the Serbs with 16 points as they finished just shy of the 19-point winning margin they needed to finish second.

Estonia had put the pressure on Serbia as they comfortably beat Iceland 80-58 in the early game. Slim-Sander Vene led the Estonian push with 23 points.

Montenegro ended their successful campaign with a perfect 10 wins from ten with an 80-48 thrashing of Slovak Republic.

QUALIFIED – Montenegro, Israel and Serbia.

Group B

Sweden are through to next year’s Eurobasket following an 85-68 win away in Luxembourg, giving them second place in the group and condemning Luxembourg to bottom place with no wins from eight games.

Center Joakim Kjellbom led the Swedes with 22 points as his side reach their first Eurobasket since hosting it in 2003.

Azerbaijan’s brave run ended with a 81-68 defeat to first placed Germany. Charles Davis led all scorers in vain with 25 points but it wasn’t enough. Tim Ohlbrecht, Robin Benzing and Philipp Schwethelm led the balanced German scoring attack with 11 points.

QUALIFIED – Germany, Sweden.

Group C

Austria’s faint hopes of landing a Eurobasket place via third spot were dashed as they lost 78-74 to Croatia, who had already qualified and finished their campaign with an 8-0 record.

Roko-Leni Ukic led the Croats with 16 points.

In a game where only pride was at stake, Hungary ended their Eurobasket qualifying on a high with a 63-58 win over Cyprus in a contest played in-front of only 150 fans in Nicosia.

QUALIFIED – Croatia, Ukraine.

Group D

Latvia grabbed a Eurobasket place with an 85-77 win against Romania in Sibiu (Romania), thanks to 14 points from Janis Strelnieks.

That win gives Latvia one of the four best third spots needed to advance. Georgia, already through, beat Netherlands 97-89 in-front of over 9,000 fans in Tbilisi. Jacob Pullen led the way with 23 points for the victors.

QUALIFIED – Bosnia & Herzegovina, Georgia, Latvia.

Group E

Belgium, as expected dominated Albania 82-46 with under 100 people watching in Tirana as they celebrated their qualification to Eurobasket.

Maxime De Zeeuw secured a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds as Belgium make it back-to-back trips to Eurobasket; only this year, they’re hoping for their first win.

In the other group game, Petteri Koponen’s 24 points lefted already qualified Finland to an 84-77 win over a tricky Switzerland side.

QUALIFIED – Poland, Finland, Belgium.

Group F

Turkey saved their best performance for last as they thrashed Czech Republic 81-68 in Istanbul to qualify for Eurobasket.

Semih Erden got a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds as Turkey’s margin of victory supassed the Czechs 18-point win earlier in the group so Turkey finished second.

Czech Republic finished third but qualified in the last round.

In a game where pride was on the line, Belarus secured a 77-64 success over Portugal in Minsk in the group’s other game.

QUALIFIED – Italy, Turkey, Czech Republic.