Stories from the #OfficialCourt of EuroBasket 2015: Montpellier
2 years ago
It's Labor Day in the USA but here in Montpellier there is no time for rest. It's the third day in a row for EuroBasket teams and fatigue will be a factor as they vie for the four top spots, which will take them to the next round in Lille. France, Poland, and Israel all have two wins, while Russia, Bosnia, and Finland will try to get their first win today on the official court.
First to tip-off is Finland vs. Russia. With both of these teams 0-2 someone will be guaranteed to their first win of the tournament.
Here’s how the game played out…
Action went back and forth in the first half with nobody breaking free. Russia led at half by a mere two point at the half. Second half brought more of the same as both teams brought a high level of basketball to the table. The game came down to the last seconds as Petteri Koponen of Finland hit the go ahead bucket with three seconds to go. Finland gets their first win!
The 3500+ Finnish fans went wild! Coach Henrik Dettman said afterward “sometimes the last shot goes in sometimes it doesn't. This time it did.” The bars in the city better be ready for these Finnish fans.
Second game of the day, Bosnia vs Israel. Israel will look to get their third win in a row and Bosnia will fight for their first.
Here’s how it went down on the official court…
In the first half, Israel took charge early and fought hard for a 10-point halftime lead. Israel started the third quarter strong and surged to a 17-point lead but Bosnia hadn’t given up. Bosnia made a huge comeback to tie the game at 60. Cue overtime! In OT both teams battled to the end with no one wanting to lose. Bosnia sealed the deal on a last second shot inside. They got their first win and left Israel wondering what just happened.
The final match features the home country, and defending EuroBasket champion, France against a tough Poland team. Someone will be pushed off the leader board as both teams come in undefeated.
Here’s the play by play…
Both teams came out flexing their muscles and battled to a 14-14 tie at end of first. Second quarter, both teams held their ground and France squeaked out a four-point halftime lead. In the third quarter, the intensity still remained with France keeping a mere five-point lead. France maintained the lead in the fourth but Poland wasn’t making it easy. Poland cut the lead to two, 68-66, with 25 seconds to go. Tony Parker of France missed one of two free throws and Poland could only hope for a desperation three from Marcin Gortat, but it fell short! France wins again, 69-66, to take a commanding lead of the group.
Tomorrow, the teams will enjoy a day off and rest for the final two days of pool play in the official court of EuroBasket2015.