The field for EuroBasket 2015 took a step closer to being set but the somewhat confusing tie-breakers means there are still places up for grabs. Here’s what happened on Sunday.
Bosnia and Herzegovina saw off a spirited Great Britain charge 74-68 to move to 3-0 and formally book their place out of Group A. Mirza Teletovic had another big night for the hosts as he led all scorers with 25 while Ben Mockford nailed five from deep for the visitors.
Group B saw Israel secure their spot with an 83-60 win over the Netherlands. Montenegro beat Bulgaria 85-73 on the road. Montenegro will play the Dutch to decide second spot although, and we’ll explain in a bit, victory alone may not be enough for either side.
No-one is securely in the finals after today’s games in Group C. Poland trounced Luxembourg 100-64 to move to 4-1 but they still need to beat Austria in their final game to be safe. Germany stayed alive with an 88-69 win over Austria. Germany need to win against Luxembourg to have a shot at second spot but a win for Austria in Poland would make things really messy.
Our heads are hurting. Time to take a break and explain why. EuroBasket 2015′s second qualifying round is broken into 7 groups, 5 of 4 teams and 2 of 3 teams. Every group winner progresses, 6 of the 7 group runners up do as well. Results against bottom placed teams in the 4 team groups get discounted but field goal average rather than points differential is the tie-breaker, we’re not sure if it’s fairer but we are sure it’s harder to follow.
Don’t worry it’s in hand. For some people, spreadsheets are fun.
Back to the action where Group D saw Belgium secure their place in EuroBasket with a big road win over Belarus 99-73. FYR Macedonia beat Denmark 80-46 but they too must wait to see if they finish with a strong enough record to progress.
Georgia blew Group E wide open with a 79-59 win over Hungary. Czech Republic took care of business away to Portugal 75-61. No-one is safely through, only Portugal are out.
Group F saw Latvia formally punch their ticket in the finals with a 89-65 win away to Slovak Republic, moving to 5-0. Romania ended Sweden’s involvement with an 88-86 win in Boras. That puts Romania on 4-1 and still in need of one more win to be safe.
Finally Russia ensured we’re all going to be scratching our heads until late on Wednesday with a 72-68 win over Italy in Cagliari. An Italy win over Switzerland on Wednesday punches their ticket in next year’s finals but Russia and Switzerland’s fate is less clear.