The second qualifying round for EuroBasket 2015 got under way on Sunday with Iceland and Switzerland recording important home wins.
Iceland beat Great Britain 83-70 on the back of Haukur Palsson’s 24 points and 9 rebounds and Hylmur Baeringsson’s 14 points and 15 boards. In a three team group, along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, this could be a vital result for Iceland as they bid to land a spot in next year’s finals.
The big shock of the day came in Fribourg as Switzerland stunned Russia 79-77. The Swiss, very much seen as the also rans of the group before the qualifiers started, have made this group very interesting thanks to Dusan Mladjan’s 24 points and Clint Capela’s 14 point 7 rebound display.
It was the day of the visitors, to borrow a phrase from Eurohoops, across the rest of the competition. In Group B, the Netherlands beat Bulgaria 62-53 in Samokov while Montenegro topped Israel 100-97 after overtime in Nicosia.
In Group C, Poland edged Germany 68-67 in Torun while Austria overcame Luxembourg 84-76 in Schwechat. Belarus cruised passed Denmark 97-72 to win their Group D encounter in Minsk while FYR Macedonia held on to beat Belgium 76-73 in Skopje. Georgia recorded a 73-62 win over Czech Republic in Tblisi in Group E while Hungary cruised to a 58-38 road win over Portugal in Sines.
In Group F, Latvia took the honours against Sweden with Kaspars Berzins 14 points and 9 boards helping the visitors to a 62-50 win in Lulea. Romania won the other game in the group, beating Slovak Republic 81-69 in Pezjnok.
The next round of qualifiers takes place on Wednesday. Russia will look to bounce back from Sunday’s shocker when they host Italy in Moscow while Bosnia and Herzegovina look to open their account with a road win when they take on Great Britain in London.
The seven group winners progress to EuroBasket 2015 along with the top six second-placed teams from the seven qualifying groups.