EuroBasket 2011 Team Preview

Three days are left before the start of the European Championships 2011 to be held in Lithuania. The upcoming tournament already brought the exciting events and will keep the fans, teams and spectators involved for a long time.
In January 30th EuroBasket 2011 draw took place in Vilnius, Lithuania. It brought the following groups for the tournament.

Group A: Poland, Great Britain, Turkey, Qualifier 2 (Portugal), Lithuania, Spain
Group B: Italy, Israel, France, Latvia, Germany, Serbia
Group C: Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, Croatia, Qualifier 1 (Finland), Montenegro, Greece
Group D: Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Belgium, Slovenia

Three teams from each group will advance into the qualifying round. Recently it became known that Portugal and Finland will play at EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania after the Additional Qualifying Round when they left Hungary of the tournament.
Spain are the defending champions and one of the favorites of Group A. In Eurobasket 2009 Spain grabbed Gold beating Serbia in the Final. Spain had great preparation for Lithuania and won almost all the friendly games. In the last one Spain and Australia played the second exhibition encounter in as many days. In the second game Spain celebrated 97:58 win in Valencia. The outcome was the same though as the hosts claimed a comfortable win at the end. Pau Gasol (214-F/C-80) scored 17 points to pace the winners.
Lithuania is another favorite of the group as well as of the tournament. The home side was the one to stun Spain in front of 15000 fans in Kaunas in the second friendly game between two sides. The main favorites for Eurobasket 2011 Gold, had a great game in Zalgiris sport arena, while the hosts grabbed 88:76 win.
Mantas Kalnietis (196-G-86, agency: Interperformances) stepped up with 16 points for the winners and Simas Jasaitis (202-F/G-82) netted 13. Pau Gasol answered with 18 points and 12 rebounds, whilst Marc Gasol notched 17. Last night Lithuania escaped a tough win over Georgia to finish the preparation for the upcoming Eurobasket 2011. The hosts of the tournament won 88:80 at the Vilnius Siemens Arena.
Poland enjoyed the European Basketball Tour friendly tournament but lost to Israel and Russia. Before that Poland outscored Bosnia and Herzegovina in the last day of the Trofeo Tassoni in Rimini. The Polish side grabbed the initial victory over the opponents 87:68 to finish third.
Portugal grabbed the second place at the Additional Qualifying Round. Finland registered the fourth straight win at the 2011 EuroBasket Additional Qualifying Round. They upset Portugal on the road to clinch 4-0 record. Portugal finished at 2-2 record and also reached 2011 EuroBasket.
Great Britains Chris Finch cuts two from squad and announced the squad for Eurobasket 2011. The Head Coach left Matthew Bryan-Amaning (205-F-88, agency: Interperformances, college: Washington) and Laurence Ekperigin out of the team. It was announced earlier that Ben Gordon will miss the European Basketball Championship because of insurance problems caused by the NBA lockout. Last night Latvia down United Kingdom in Jelgava and did not allow any of the players to score more than 8 points. The Baltic side grabbed 74:51 victory to be ready for Lithuania.
Turkey became the Winner of the Adidas Istanbul Cup 2011 few days ago. The team won over Montenegro 81:69 in the Final game of the tournament. Semih Erden (211-C-87) will miss the upcoming EuroBasket in Lithuania. The player didnt recover from injury and will not be able to help his country mates. Turkey however remembers the second place at the World Championship in 2010. Turkey survived heart-stopping dying seconds to nip Serbia in the second semifinal of the World Championship tonight. The hosts took on the undefeated Team USA in the championship game and lost only in the Final.

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via (eurobasket)

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