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No upsets in Uppsala, Sweden get a standing ovation from the packed stands
UPPSALA (FIBA EuroBasket 2021 Pre-Qualifiers) - Sweden were on cruise control since the second quarter, handing Belarus an 87-59 beating and getting their first win of the campaign.
Turning Point: The second quarter. They say defense wins championships, and for a day, it won a game for Sweden, as the hosts held Belarus to 9 points in that stanza, Thomas Massamba's buzzer-beating three-pointer gave Sweden a 38-29 lead at the break. It was a one-way street from that point onwards.
Stats Don't Lie: The Swedish bench was so good that they not only outscored Belarus 54-20, they also outscored their own starters 54-33! Points in the paint were also their area, 38-22 for Sweden underneath the rims.
Game Hero: Ludvig Hakanson was one of those players off the bench, scoring a game-high 21 point, dishing out 6 assists, going 7-of-7 from the charity stripe, and leading five players in double figures.
Game Notes: This was the first game for Sweden with the new boss Hugo Lopez at the helm. Starting with a 28-point win, it seems Sweden made the right choice by hiring him. However, they are now off until February, while Belarus travel to Denmark, playing again on Sunday.