It’s almost time for Eurobasket so BallinEurope is breaking down each of the groups over the next few days. Rather than going team by team which, to be honest, would take way too long, we’re going group by group to preview the battles ahead in the opening stages. By process of following the alphabet, we’re going in the order A, B, C, and then D. Today it’s time to look at Group C
Venue: Polyvalent Hall, Cluj-Napoca
Is Dan Clark aka the original Kristaps Porzingis playing there?: No
Hosts Romania have their work really cut out in this one. The reigning, defending, undisputed EuroBasket champions Spain headline this group with both Pau and Marc Gasol along with Ricky Rubio making the trip for this one. Bojan Bogdanovic and Dario Saric lead a confident looking Croatia while the Czech Republic may be missing Jan Vesely but they can still call on the services of Tomas Satoransky. Montenegro look in decent shape with Tyrese Rice and Nikola Vujecic on board while Adam Hanga and Hungary will look to show their impressive run in the qualifiers was something to build on.
For our analysis series The Ballin After, post-game interviews, and more, subscribe to BallinEurope’s YouTube channel
What the bookies think
The bookmakers have divided this one into three clear tiers and it’s tough to disagree with any of their assessments. Spain are clear favourites at 3/10 followed by Croatia at 11/4. There’s then a big drop down to Montenegro at 25/1 and Czech Republic at 33/1. Hungary then come in at 200/1 with the home side, Romania, trailing at 500/1. The oddmakers are probably a bit more confident on which four teams will progress than most fans but in terms of the outrights for winning the group, they have been pretty fair here.
This one is a really tough call but I’m going to go group impact over the top shelf. I expect both Spain and Croatia to be well clear of the rest of the sides here so I’m going to take Hungary vs Czech Republic on 4 September. If Hungary are going to progress, this is the game they simply have to win. For Hanga and his team, this is a match-up they will see as winnable. Even without Vesely, the Czech Republic will be confident it can progress but knows the road won’t be as clear. In short, this one promises to be a nervy clash. That’s tasty enough for me.
BallinEurope now has merch, like actual merch, t-shirts, phone covers, and even pillows. Check it all out on our RedBubble page.
Your four teams to progress are, in alphabetical order:
I’ve got to go against chalk at least once here. The three way dance for the final two spots between Montenegro, Czech Republic, and Hungary, promises to be pretty entertaining. Having reached the last eight last time, the Czechs are far more than just a star driven side but my gut tells me they miss out in the shake up here. I’m backing Spain to top the group despite the Homie while Romania will do well to win a game.
To keep up to date with everything on BiE, like BallinEurope on Facebook