By Eurohoops Team/ email@example.com
With two tickets to next summer’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments to be delivered in Europe, all 16 countries participating in the Pre-Qualifying Tournaments were in action Sunday.
Players the likes of Mario Hezonja, Yam Madar, Dzanan Musa, and Ivica Zubac were in action delivering standout showings across Istanbul, Tallinn, and Gliwice.
In the battle for seedings, two teams clinched a berth in the next round as Turkiye and Ukraine secured their spots in the final stage of the eight-team tournament in Istanbul.
Turkiye and Ukraine advance
Turkiye routed Bulgaria, 104-66, in Sinan Erdem Dome Sunday and will face Ukraine for the top spot of Group C Tuesday. Similar to Saturday’s comfortable win against Iceland, points were spread among all players available for head coach Ergin Ataman. Furkan Korkmaz sinking three triples made out a team-high 14 points and Omer Yurtseven posted an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Ukraine also registered a clinching second win in Istanbul, overcoming a sluggish start to take down Iceland, 82-69. Youngster Oleksandr Kovliar packed a 23-point, 10-assist double-double to share a team-high efficiency rating of 21 with center Andrii Voinalovych, following with 18 points. For Iceland, Tryggvi Hlinason scored 18 points but to no avail.
Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament Group C standings
1. Turkiye 4 (2-0)
2. Ukraine 4 (2-0)
3. Bulgaria 2 (0-2)
4. Iceland 2 (0-2)
Croatia and Sweden grab wins
Earlier in Sinan Erdem Dome, Croatia routed Belgium, 86-55. Mario Hezonja dropped a game-high 22 points and Ivica Zubac posted an 18-point, 14-rebound double-double.
Melwin Pantzar scored 28 points, including a triple early in overtime, as Sweden edged out the Netherlands, 91-89, in the other game of Group D.
Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament Group D standings
1. Croatia 2 (1-0)
2. Sweden 2 (1-0)
3. Netherlands 1 (0-1)
4. Belgium 1 (0-1)
Dzanan Musa stars for Bosnia-Herzegovina
At Arena Gliwice, Dzanan Musa poured in 21 points, five assists, three rebounds, and two steals for Bosnia-Herzegovina in the comeback win, 84-75, against Portugal. Luka Garza threw in a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double.
In the first game, hosting Poland narrowly held on to defeat Hungary, 83-81. Olek Balcerowski went for 22 points with 9/13 from the field, including 8/9 two-pointers.
Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament Group B standings
1. Bosnia-Herzegovina 2 (1-0)
2. Poland 2 (1-0)
3. Hungary 1 (0-1)
4. Portugal 1 (0-1)
Yam Madar paves the way for Israel
Moving from Turkiye and Poland to Estonia and Tallinn’s Tondiraba Ice Hall, Israel dominated Czechia en route to the 80-67 victory. Yam Madar was the top performer with 27 points to go with five assists.
Also, Estonia made short work of North Macedonia, 83-59.
Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament Group A standings
1. Israel 4 (2-0)
2. Czechia 3 (1-1)
3. Estonia 3 (1-1)
4. North Macedonia 2 (0-2)
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL