The Stars So Far
It certainly isn’t hard to see why Turkey’s National Men’s Basketball team has been dubbed the “12 Giant Men”. All the more reason for the surprise at their having been beaten by Serbia, 80-74 – enabling Serbia to advance to the group stage. The Group D match was played in Istanbul late on Monday evening.
The victory is Serbia’s second win in its third game in this group. Turkey, on the other hand, has only managed to beat Great Britain up until this point. Each team is require to play five matches at group level in order to advance into the final phase. Turkey will be up against Belgium next. A win will no doubt serve as a great booster before the final match of the group phase.
Turkey’s less than ideal performance is quite surprising given the fact that a large portion of the 2017 Eurobasket is being hosted by Istanbul – Turkey’s main attraction as far as tourism goes. Helsinki, Tel Aviv and Romanian City Cluj-Napoca join forces with Istanbul as far as host cities go.
The final match of the tournament will be played in Istanbul on September 17.
Meanwhile In Slovenia
31 year old Goran Dragic has confirmed rumours that he won’t be slowing down or stepping down anytime soon – this after having dropped 54 points, 8 assists and 5 steals in the very limited scope of 45 minutes of undiluted action. This bodes well for the Heat team indeed. Slovenia on Sunday beat Greece 78-72 in Helsinki, Finland.
Thanks to Dragic’s performance, Slovenia has secured a berth in the knockout round.
Slovenia coach Igor Kokoskov responded by saying that it had been an important victory for Slovenia, and that Greece was a tough game to beat – being a very well coached and well-experienced team.
Who To Watch Going Forward
Serbia are arguably Spain’s biggest challenge this year – with France, Greece and Lithuania being the other top contenders.
Top contenders as far as countries go aside, there are a number of young players making their mark this year. To prime examples of rising young stars belong to the New York Knicks with forward Kristaps Porzingis representing Latvia and center Willy Hernangomez going full blast for Spain. The duo may not be a united force during Eurobasket, but will certainly benefit from the experience going forward. Knicks supporters can expect a whole lot more from Eurobasket as far as the action goes, but also a lot of growth, going into training camp.
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