Teams from Groups C and D took to the hardwood in the group phase of the FIBA EuroBasket 2017. With three games in the books, stronger teams have risen to the top. Three such teams have been so successful that they have secured their spots in the Round of 16.
Even with Pau Gasol resting, Spain cruised to an easy victory as they outgunned and outmatched the Romanian team. The Spaniards dominated their opponents 91-50. The defending champions are now 3-0 and their impressive run has guaranteed their spot in the Round of 16. Spain has been a perennial powerhouse in European international basketball competition over the years and is considered one of the favorites to win it all this 2017.
Spain is not the lone top dog in Group C. A feisty Croatian squad shares an equally impressive 3-0 slate after edging Montenegro 72-76. They were led by the 23 points and six rebounds of Bojan Bogdanovic. Croatia is also set to make its mark in the Round of 16. Group C will be in for an exciting clash between Spain and Croatia in the next game.
Hungary managed to keep its hopes of advancing alive after downing the Czech Republic, 85-73. Adam Hanga delivered his best performance of the competition to lift Hungary. He dropped 31 points, pulled down eight rebounds, and handed out eight assists.
At this point, Romania (0-3) and the Czech Republic (1-2) are on the brink of elimination.
Russia is currently the last team in the group with an untarnished record at 3-0. They are also guaranteed a spot in the Round of 16. They have looked sharp so far in the tournament and will be a team to look out for as the competition progresses. Their latest victim is Belgium, which fell to their unrelenting assault 67-76. Veteran guard Alexey Shved paced his team with 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists.
Russia will have to face a surging Latvian team next. Will they be able to slow down the 22-year-old phenom Kristaps Porzingis? Speaking of Porzingis, he spearheaded Latvia’s win over the United Kingdom 97-92 with 28 points and eight rebounds. The win moves Latvia to 2-1 and is counting on their recent momentum to possibly upset the group leaders in the next game. The United Kingdom is out of contention to advance, after failing to secure a win in the first three games of the group phase.
One of the more exciting games in the group came down to an epic battle between Serbia and Turkey. Serbia got big games from Stefan Jovic and Bogdan Bogdanovic to come away with the 80-74 win. Serbia moves up with a 2-1 record, while Turkey falls to a precarious fourth position in the group with a 1-2 slate.