Review by Christos T. Panagopoulos
United Kingdom – France 65-88
France roll over Great Britain to tie both records at 1-1 at the 2013 EuroBasket. France needed an 88:65 win for the initial success. Great Britain entered the game with a victory, while France had no points after the first day. The latter erupted with a 26-14 rally in the first period and Myles Hesson and Clark reduced to 28:23, while Johnson cut it to 37:33. Nicolas Batum (203-SF-88) and then Devon Van Oostrum (190-G-93) closed the first half at 45:37 as Great Britain won the second period 23-19. The third quarter ensured the bigger lead for the favorites and answered the quarter about the winner of the game. France pushed the tempo and Nicolas Batum nailed three for 61:41. Van Oostrum and Nando De Colo were the last players to score in the third period for 71:48 lead of the French side. Nando De Colo later shot for 81:61 and Gelabale kept the difference at 20 points with 2 minutes to go. Diot scored three for 86:63, while Ajinca and Van Oostrum scored the last points in the game. Nicolas Batum top-scored for the winners with 17 points and Tony Parker (188-PG-82) nailed 16. Mickael Gelabale and Nando De Colo followed them with 11 points each. Daniel Clark (210-F/C-88) ended up with 16 points in a loss, whilst Devon Van Oostrum had 13. Myles Hesson scored 8 and Justin Robinson put up 7 points in defeat.
Germany – Belgium 73-77 OT
Belgium opened win count at the 2013 EuroBasket. They prevailed against Germany in overtime to improve at 1-1 record in Group A. Jonathan Tabu (190-PG-85) and Sacha Massot (205-F/C-83, agency: LBM Management) posted 15 points each to lead the Lions. Germany slipped at 1-1 record after the defeat. The lead changed hands for numerous times throughout the starting quarter. Germany eked out a 16:14 lead after ten minutes. Mukubu opened the second frame with back-to-back three-pointers for Belgium. He triggered 16:0 run that propelled the Lions to a 30:16 advantage. Germany came back to life late in the half and narrowed the distance at 9 points 26:35. Giffey and Robin Benzing (209-SF-89, agency: LUMANI 10.7) put the German side within 6 points midway through the third period. Heiko Schaffartzik cut the distance to just 3 points 36:39 moments later. However Belgium capped the quarter with a 7:2 run to open a 7-point lead. Belgium maintained the lead throughout the bigger part of the fourth term. But Robin Benzing scored four points in a row late in regulation to level things up at 60. Jonathan Tabu responded with a triple to make it 63:60 with 35 seconds remaining. Staiger answered with a big time three-pointer and sent the game into overtime. Belgium opened the extra period with quick five points to set the tone. Germany tried hard to stay within striking distance. They trailed by just one point 73:74 with 22 seconds left. But Sacha Massot and Moors hit three free throws and sealed the deal. Axel Hervelle provided 11 points for the winners. Robin Benzing answered with 24 points for Germany. Heiko Schaffartzik chipped in 15 points in the defeat.
Ukraine – Israel 74-67
Ukraine celebrated the second consecutive victory at the start of the European Championship in Slovenia. They prevailed against struggling Israel for 2-0 record on top of Group A. Sergii Gladyr (196-SG-88) stepped up with 17 points for the winners. Israel lost their second straight game at the tournament. Ukraine dominated from start to finish in this one. They opened the encounter with a 13:2 run. Israel could not find the right rhythm trailing by 6 points after ten minutes 13:19. The margin grew to double digits again midway through the second term. Ukraine accounted for a 35:26 halftime lead. Israel strongly entered the second half. They went on a 10:5 run to narrow the deficit. But Ukraine hung on as they entered the fourth period up by 7 points 53:46. Limonad and Green dragged Israel within one 57:58 midway through the fourth term. But Zabirchenko and Sergii Gladyr stepped up for Ukraine in the key moment giving Mike Fratello team a 67:60 lead with under two minutes remaining. Sergii Gladyr, Korniyenko and Viacheslav Kravtsov (212-C-87, agency: Beo Basket) then sealed the victory for Ukraine. Viacheslav Kravtsov provided 15 points and 8 rebounds, while Maksym Pustozvonov added 13 points for the winning team. Afik Nissim (186-PG-81) responded with 12 points for Israel. Guy Pnini and Yotam Halperin had 9 points in the defeat.