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Wednesday, 09 September 2009 22:40

The preliminary round of Eurobasket had some great play from a deep Greek squad in Group A, and also saw the surprising dominance from a Turkish team led by youngster Ersan Ilysova and veteran Hedo Turkoglu in Group D. France also went undefeated, but did not show the dominance, of a team with so much talent level. Also in Group D, defending Eurobasket champs, Russia held their own without the stars of 2007, J.R Holden and Andrei Kirilenko. Group C had the surprise of the tournament so far, as Serbia with Milos Teodesic got physical with Ricky Rubio of Spain and did not let Spain's free-flowing, speed -mode offense get out on the wings, to get their usual wide open looks at 3's. Instead it was a total dominant effort by Serbia having a hand in all the Spanish players faces. Rudy Fernandez being out of game 1, also helped the Serbian's. The choice of so many smallish guards on the Spanish bench, and a young Victor Claver at forward also has hurt the favorites of Eurobasket 2009, by not having enough size on perimeter defense. In their 2nd game against Great Britain, it became a nail biter ,as Eurobaskets greatest upset of all-time almost took place, with Great Britain holding the lead in the final minutes, but Spain pulled through for a tough victory. Game 3 saw Spain hold on against a tough Slovenian team 90--81. The 90 point game is too fast a pace for the Slovenian squad, they need to abuse the Spanish team in the post, to get open looks from the outside in a half-court type of game.  The home team Poland has played well in preliminary play going 2--1 ,infront of the home fans. Maciej Lampe and Marcin Gortat have done what is expected of the 2 best players on the team, also with David Logan playing well in their tough 3 man attack. Michal Ignerski is the wildcard player that has given Poland a major lift, and with the home crowd behind them, his consistent scoring could mean problems for Spain in the second round, unless they step up their lackluster effort.  Statistically the talented Lior Eliyahu of a dissapointing Israeli team was the leading scorer of the preliminary round, wiith the heavyweight names of Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Ersan Ilyasova, Vassilis Spanoulis, Maciej Lampe, Marcin Gortat and Ioannis Bourousis being  the top players of the 1st 3 games.  The second round has good matchups of Greece vs France, Spain vs Turkey, and Spain vs the home team of Poland.  Ultimately the deeper teams will show their power, as the tougher matchups occur in an exciting tournament for hoop junkies like myself.   

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Last Updated on Monday, 14 September 2009 23:12
 
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