EuroBasket 2009 — Day 11

Day 11 was the second day of the semi-finals, and it wasn’t a night for the faint-hearted.

Greece started strongly, but did not manage to get rid of Turkey. In the second half, Turkoglu and Ilyasova did the dirty work, and Turkey managed to get back, and a last lay-up by Arslan at the end of an extremely tense qtr 4 forced the 2 teams to extra-time. The extra-time was just as stressful, Greece managed to get 5 points ahead, only to let Turkey come back, and Arslan shoot a 3-pointer at the last second. Unfortunately, Arlsan missed this one, and Greece could finally celebrate their victory, 76–74. What an amazing match. Greece are qualified for the semi-finals, and also got their ticket for Turkey 2010.

Turkey was playing France a few minutes ago for a position match, and despite thrashing France in the first half (they were leading 32–43 at half-time), they completely collapsed in the second half, with 29–16 in qtr 3 and 19–9 in the 4th. The game’s score was 80–68. France will therefore play for 5th or 6th place. And they get to go to Turkey next year, and to Lithuania in 2011 for the next EuroBasket!

Slovenia–Croatia was the second match, and a few minutes into the game, it was clear that Croatia was there, and willing to qualify. Leading Slovenia for most of the first half (with up to 9 points), Croatia started the second half just as well, but quickly let Slovenia come back and take the lead at the end of qtr 3, thanks to Lorbek in particular. The Croatians fought really hard in qtr 4, and threatened to come back just like Turkey had done in the previous game, but a precious by Nachbar 5 seconds to the end just sealed the fate of the game (67–62). The game ends 67–65, and Slovenia goes through.

The semi-finals are therefore:

Spain–Greece (a classic)
Serbia–Slovenia (which should be quite good too!)

In the U18 All Star Game (the first one organised by FIBA as far as I know), the Blue team beat the White team 77–75.