EuroBasket now enters the second round of action and the games switch to the Stozice Arena in Ljubljana where the remaining games of the tournament take place.
Today the focus is on Group E, where the top three teams from Groups A and B meet.
Latvia 85-51 Ukraine
Latvia began the second round with a comprehensive 85-51 victory over Ukraine.
The Baltic nation’s sublime ball movement and three-point shooting were the main factors as they dished out 18 assists to Ukraine’s eight. And they shot 52 percent [19/29] from distance to claim an opening day win.
Latvia got off to a quick start, leading 11-5, mid-way through the first quarter and built up their lead the game progressed, making it a fairly one-sided affair.
Ukraine were unfortunately a shadow of the team that outclassed Great Britain in their final Group A game, down the road at the Tivoli. They shot 30 percent from the field overall, as the Latvian defence were patient and shut down Ukraine’s big men, limiting coach Mike Fratello’s options on offence.
Kristaps Janicenoks led a balanced Latvian attack with 14 points, supported by 13 points from Rihards Kuksiks.
Sergii Gladyr was the only Ukrainian in double-figures with 12.
Belgium 69-76 Serbia
Serbia did enough to beat a stubborn Belgium side 76-69 in the second game of the day.
However, Serbia were by no means convincing though, despite out-rebounding the Lions 37-27, they turned the ball over 16 times to Belgium’s nine.
It was a closely contested game where Belgium threatened to take the game away from Serbia, narrowing the gap to 73-69 with 38 seconds left in the fourth. But the Serbs iced the game from the foul line to seal an opening day win.
Nenad Krstic led Serbia with 17 points. Wen Mukubu responded in vain with 16 for Belgium.
Lithuania 76-62 France
In the final game of the day, Lithuania deservedly beat France 76-62, despite a shaky start.
France turned in easily their worst game of Eurobasket so far as Tony Parker and Nicholas Batum combined for 7/18 from the floor as Lithuania focused on Les Bleus’ two stars.
The game-changing moment came mid-way through the third quarter when Linas Kleiza and Jonas Macuilis hit three-pointers from the same position on the wing to the Lithunaians a 41-31 lead and knock the French spirit clean out.
Renaldas Seibutis led Lithuania with 15 points while Nando De Colo had 12 for the French.