February 22, 2019

EuroBasket 2007 Mini-Preview

2007/09/02 11:44 pm 11:44 pm11:44 pm11:44 pm 0 comments

EuroBasket 2007 Begins TomorrowEurobasket 2007 is upon us. Sixteen European National teams are vying to be the king of Europe and more importantly, for two spots to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

With Israel winning the final wild card spot on Friday against FYROM, all 16 teams are now set and all will be competing on the first day. Some of the more anticipated matches are Turkey taking on Lithuania, Serbia vs. Russia, and Italy against Slovenia. The first days schedule can be found below:

A/2: Serbia-Russia @ Granada, 18:00
C/1: Czech Republic-Germany @ Palma de Mallorca, 18:00
B/2: Latvia-Croatia @ Sevilla, 19:00
D/1: Poland-France @ Alicante, 19:00
A/1: Greece-Israel @ Granada, 20:30
C/2: Lithuania-Turkey @ Palma de Mallorca, 20:30
B/1: Portugal-Spain @ Sevilla, 21:30
D/2: Italy-Slovenia @ Alicante, 21:30

Eurobasket is the last regional championship and will determine which two European teams will go to the 2008 Olympics. It is also expected to be the most competitive of all the regional championships with up to ten contenders.

Spain, the 2006 World Champions and hosts of EuroBasket are the early favorites for just those reasons; they have home court and are expected to have all their main players that helped them to the gold medal in 2006 – Pau Gasol, Jose Calderon, Juan Carlos Navarro, Rudy Fernandez, Jorge Garbajosa, Carlos Jimenez, Alex Mumbru, Marc Gasol and Sergio Rodriguez

However, one cannot discount the 2006 World Championships silver medalists Greece, who will also bring back the majority of their core team: Theodoros Papaloukas, Dimitris Diamantidis, Nikos Zissis, Lazaros Papadopoulos, and Vassilis Spanoulis (Antonis Fotsis is injured and Sofoklis Schortsianitis was kept off the team as he was reportedly way above his playing weight).

Nor should anyone count out Lithuania who will have Sarunas Jasikevičius back running the show along with one of Europe’s best forwards in Ramūnas Siskauskas, and the inside muscle of Darius Songaila (Washington Wizards), Robertas Javtokas, and Linas Kleiza (Denver Nuggets).

France is looking to improve upon their previous performances, “It’s two straight third-place finishes at the Euros and now it’s time to make that final step,” said Tony Parker. In addition to Parker, France boasts three other NBA Players – Boris Diaw, Yakhouba Diawara, and Ronny Turiaf.

Turkey welcomes NBA All-star Mehmet Okur and Hidayet Turkoglu back on the Turkish National team. They will join a very talented squad that includes promising young prospects Cenk Akyol and Ersan Ilyasova, veteran shooter Ibrahim Kutluay, center Kaya Peker, and guard Engin Atsür of North Carolina State University.

Other countries expected to make some serious noise are Italy, Russia, Slovenia and when it comes to international tournaments, any team that has Dirk Nowitzki on their roster is always considered a threat.

Eurobasket starts out with four groups (A-D) each with four teams who will play each other once. Then the top three teams from each group advance to two six-team qualifying-round. The top eight teams (four from each group) will advance to the quarterfinals. Madrid will host the final on Sept. 16.

[Eurobasket 2007 forum] [official site]

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