Greece grab final spot in Group A, Ukraine complete Round of 16 field
TEL AVIV (FIBA EuroBasket 2017) - The field for the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Round of 16 is set as Greece and Ukraine were the final teams to join the party with half of the match-ups now determined.
Kostas Sloukas poured in 26 points and Nick Calathes picked up 24 and 10 assists in leading Greece to a 95-77 victory over Poland in a win-or-go-home game in Group A in Helsinki. The game was tight through three quarters before Greece showed their class with a 25-10 scoreline in the final frame to bring home the win. Damian Kulig had 26 points for Poland, who will now return home.
Greece's win improved their mark to 2-3 and gave them fourth place in Group A, which means they will meet up with Lithuania in the Round of 16 in Istanbul.
Group A was topped by Slovenia, who eased to a 95-78 victory over France to remain undefeated at 5-0. Goran Dragic continued his outstanding FIBA EuroBasket 2017 with 22 points and 8 rebounds, while Luka Doncic collected 15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a dish of praise for the Slovenian captain, Dragic.
Moving to Istanbul!! 🇸🇮🇸🇮🔥🔥7️⃣7️⃣ pic.twitter.com/TuSbnOGThY— Luka Doncic (@luka7doncic) September 6, 2017
"Goran is special. He showed he is one of the best players in EuroBasket. He is a true leader and we are so lucky to have him here because he can do everything. Not just scoring but he can help us play like a team. He is the captain and the leader. Everyone can learn so much from him," said Doncic, whose first-ever FIBA EuroBasket knockout game will be against Ukraine.
France finished third in the group at 3-2 despite Nando De Colo's 16 points. Finland had already locked up second place in the group, before beating Iceland 83-79 thanks to 23 points from Lauri Markkanen.
Top honors in Group B went to Lithuania, who beat Germany 89-72 in impressive fashion as Jonas Valanciunas picked up 27 points and 15 rebounds and Mantas Kalnietis had 10 points and 9 assists. Germany got 26 points from Dennis Schroder, and finished second at 3-2 and will play France in Istanbul's first knockout round.
Italy secured third place - and a Final Phase date with Finland - with a thrilling 71-69 win over Georgia. Marco Belinelli scored 15 points and Luigi Datome had 14 points as well as the game-deciding block with 1 second left for a 3-2 record.
At 2-3, Georgia, who got 29 points in a losing effort from Michael Dixon, were hoping to still go through to the Round of 16. But Ukraine foiled those hopes and booked the final ticket to Istanbul instead with a 88-64 drubbing of Israel. Viacheslav Kravtsov paced Ukraine with 17 points.