Home National Teams Road to EuroBasket 2015 begins: round-up of the 1st qualification round, round...

Road to EuroBasket 2015 begins: round-up of the 1st qualification round, round 5

Bulgaria become the first team to book their spot in the Eurobasket 2015 qualifying round semi-finals while Austria and Switzerland set-up a thrilling finale to Group C as well as the Belarussians and the Slovaks in Group D.

Group A

Iceland 79-81 Bulgaria

Bulgaria have become the first team through to the semi-finals of the Eurobasket qualifying rounds as they edged out Iceland 81-79 in Reykjavik.

Deyan Ivanov led the Bulgarians with 19 points in victory, despite committing 23 turnovers to Iceland’s 16.

“This was a very tough game for both teams,” Bulgaria coach Konstanin Papazov said. ‘We knew very well the strengths of the Icelandic team and they played an unbelievable transition offence. I’m very happy that we survived after being down 10 points in the third quarter.

‘This game could have gone both ways so I’m happy to come out on top. Jón Arnór Stefánsson is a great player and he made some crazy shots near the end of the game. We are very happy to survive this group because Iceland is a very good team.”

Jon Stefansson led all scorers with 32 points for the hosts, but in vain.

Group B

Portugal 64-85 Estonia

Estonia took pole position of Group B after putting on a three-point shooting clinic in an 85-64 win over Portugal.

The visitors hit 12 triples, en route to victory, leaving Portugal, who were participants at Eurobasket two years ago, bottom of the table.

Rain Veideman led the winners with 18 points, but the main contribution for Estonia was the 16 points and 11 rebound double-double for Janar Taits.

Claudio Fonseca had 17 points for Portugal.

Group C

Switzerland 77-59 Luxembourg

Switzerland a game away from securing the semi-final spot from Group C after comfortably beating Luxembourg 77-59 in Geneva.

A 27-11 second was all that the Swiss needed to secure victory as they recovered from a slow start early on.

Jonathan Kazadi had 17 points and 5 rebounds to lead Switzerland. Samy Picard led the Luxembourg charge with 20.

Austria 86-66 Denmark

Austria will need to beat Switzerland by more than 5 points on Friday night after beating Denmark 86-66 to set-up the interesting finale.

Rasid Mahalbasic exploded for 34 points to lead the Austrians. Alexander Bak had 15 in reply for the Danes.

Group D

Slovak Republic 79-67 Hungary

The Slovak Republic beat Hungary 79-67 at home to set-up a semi-final qualifier between themselves and Belarus.

Michal Batka led the Slovaks with 19 points.

“We wanted to repair our lost against Hungary, it was a shame for us. We wanted to prove that we can do it,” Slovak Republic’s Martin Bílik said.

Adam Toth had 12 points for the visiting Hungarians.

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