Turkey and Serbia to face off at EuroBasket
Turkey will face a wounded Serbia on Sept. 4 in a key EuroBasket 2017 Group D game after it defeated Great Britain 84-70 on Sept. 2 in Istanbul.
The second game victory was host Turkey’s first win in the Group D, while Great Britain was defeated for the second time.
Turkey dominated the game with 24 points scored by Melih Mahmutoğlu of defending Euroleague champion Fenerbahçe.
“We are team that we face problems when we lose the tempo,” said Turkey coach Ufuk Sarıca after the game.
“But we used Semih Erden well today,” Sarıca said, also praising Mahmutoğlu.
“The biggest difference in the game was just making sure we took care of the ball,” the Great Britain coach Joe Prunty said after the game.
“They had 28 points off our turnovers and that’s tough to battle back from,” Prunty added.
Russia defeated Serbia 75-72 on the same day. The two victories have put Russia in a strong position but Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told TASS it was too early to draw any conclusions.
“Of course we cannot help but feel joy over two victories at the start of an important tournament like EuroBasket. We defeated teams that were among the tournament’s frontrunners. However, it is too early to make any far-reaching conclusions, one can win two first games and show poor performance in others,” Kolobkov said.
“We will make conclusions when the tournament is over,” he added.
Latvia achieved its first win in the group, beating Belgium 92-64. Underdogs Belgium will face Russia on Sept. 4.
Group C saw Spain in good shape, as the defending champion beat Czech Republic 93-56 at Polyvalent Hall in co-host Romania’s city Cluj-Napoca, following an opening game victory over Montenegro.
Montenegro beat Hungary 72-48 in its second game, while Romania lost for a second time against Croatia 74-58.
The group stage games of this year’s tournament are being played in Istanbul, Helsinki, Tel Aviv, and Cluj, while the finals will be held in Istanbul.