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Road to EuroBasket 2015 begins: round-up of the 1st qualification round, round 4

The road to Eurobasket 2015 in the Ukraine is already in full swing, and the latest round of matches ended with it still all to play for.

Group A

Bulgaria 74-77 Romania

Romania stirred the Group A pot with a surprise 77-74 win over Bulgaria in Varna.

The visitors had to endure a late fightback from the Bulgarians after breezing into a 44-24 lead at the half.

Rares Mandache led the winners with 23 points in a solid all-round performance, something that Romania head coach Marcel Tenter praised his entire team over.

“We met a good team today, Bulgaria is very strong and we are very happy that we won,” he said. “We played safe in the first two quarters, and made a lot of shots. We are very happy, but we need to stay focused. We will fight to the end of the qualifications, we need to get better with every game.”

Branko Mirkovich paced Bulgaria with 26 points.

Group B

Estonia 64-63 Netherlands

Despite scoring just 20 points in the second half, Estonia managed to carve out a 64-63 win over the Netherlands in Tallinn.

Previously winless Estonia inflicted a first defeat on the Dutch as they raced to a 30-18 lead after the first quarter and needed a 7-0 run to seal the win.

Rain Veideman had 15 points for the Estonians while Worthy De Jong had a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Netherlands.

Group C

Luxembourg 65-98 Austria

Austria cruised to a comfortable 98-65 win over minnows Luxembourg.

The visitors hit 10 three-pointers, en route to victory as they improve to 3-1. Luxembourg are still winless at 0-4.

Thomas Schreiner led the Austrians with 20 points while Samy Picard had 22 points and 7 rebounds for the hosts.

Denmark 65-66 Switzerland

Switzerland edged a plucky Denmark side 66-65 in Horsens to stay undefeated in the group.

The hot shooting of Swiss shooter Dusan Mladjan was a factor in the win as the guard hit 26 points to lead all scorers.

“It was a tough game, we did not start well,” Mladjan said. “Denmark surprised us a little. Our coach did a good job scouting and our defence got better during the game.

“We made a couple of bad turnovers at the end of the game, but in the end the most important thing is a win and we got that.”

Esben Reinholt had 16 points for the Danes.

Group D

Hungary 61-63 Belarus

In the tightest group of the four, Belarus broke the deadlock with a 63-61 win over Hungary away in Kecskemet.

21 points from Vitali Liutych was enough for the visitors to secure the win, as they improve to 2-1 and top spot in the group.

David Vojvoda led the Hungarians with 19.

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