A slow start from Turkey in the opening quarter-final of the Men’s European Championship Division A saw the Italians take an early lead by six points. A second quarter comeback by the Turkish team gave them a three-point advantage going into the half-time break. It was close for most of the third quarter as the teams exchanged the lead, a three-point jump shot from Özgür Gürbulak in the final seconds of the quarter put them up by five-points. A lead they kept until two minutes remaining when Filippo Carossino made the basket to tie the game at 59-59. With 19 seconds on the clock, Turkey were up by one point when Italy’s Ahmed Raourahi committed a personal foul on Turkey’s Ferit Gümüs to send him to the line. He was clinical from the line to seal the victory, 66-63.
Reigning European Champions Great Britain played Poland in the second quarter-final of the day. Great Britain took control of the first half as Poland struggled to get out of the pressing defence. Even though Poland shot consistently well to keep themselves in the game, they trailed 47 -39 at the half. However, it was in the third quarter that the British team really showed why they were reigning champions going on an 8-0 run and extending their lead to a commanding 18 points at the end of the third period, 73 -55. Momentum stuck with Great Britain in the final quarter and with the score deficit too much to claw back for the Polish team, they rotated their bench and Great Britain secured themselves a spot in the semi-final with a confident 96-69 win.
The third team through to the semi-finals were The Netherlands, who defeated Israel 63-49. The Netherlands took a slender four-point lead, 13-9, going in to the second quarter, and within three minutes were 9 points up. Israel brought it back to trail by three, but The Netherlands pulled away again and a three-point jump shot from Marc Van De Kuilen in the final minute of the first half, added to their lead going into the half-time break, up 27-19. Despite the best efforts of the Israeli team, The Netherlands continued to edge further in front, winning the third quarter 17-11. Although down by 14 points going in to the final quarter, the Israeli’s did not give up, and drew the final quarter 19-19, but The Netherlands had already done enough to secure their semi-final place.
The last quarter-final of the day saw hosts Spain match up against current bronze medallists, Germany. In front of a noisy home crowd, it was a feisty first half with Spain getting in to foul trouble and Germany capitalising to take a six-point lead in to the half-time break, 26-32. Spain fought their way back to tie the game, but could not move ahead, as Germany moved in front again to end the third period with a four-point advantage. It was an intense final quarter and with one and a half minutes left on the clock, and the home side down by one, Spain’s Asier Garcia was disqualified from the game for an illegal chair height, which put Germany to the foul line and gave them possession. Spain fouled to try to regain possession, but the Germans were clinical from the free-throw line to win them a spot in the semi-final, 63-70.
In the other games of the day, France and Switzerland both secured their places in the European Championships Division A, after beating Lithuania and Sweden respectively. France will match up against Switzerland to see who will end the tournament in the 9th and 10th places, whilst Lithuania will play Sweden for the 11th/12th placed game.
Great Britain will face The Netherlands at 19.00 (WEST) tomorrow (Wednesday 28th June), whilst Germany match up against Turkey 20:00 (WEST).