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September 2022
14 Willy Hernangomez (ESP)
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Saturday preview: Who will advance to the Quarter-Finals?

BERLIN (Germany) - The FIBA EuroBasket 2022 has reached the Knockout Phase and the stakes are just that much higher in the win-or-go-home games. The four Round of 16 contests on Saturday, September 10 at the EuroBasket Arena Berlin will see teams from Groups A and B match up for the first four spots in the Quarter-Finals.

Saturday's action in the German capital will be a indicator of the effects of the Group of Death in Cologne and if the four Group B teams - Slovenia, Germany, France and Lithuania - will be beaten up after such intense competition over the course of the Group Phase. Or were the games the perfect preparation for facing the Group A squads Spain, Turkey, Montenegro and Belgium.

Turkey vs France (12:00 CET)

These two teams met at this exact stage in EuroBasket 2015 with France winning 76-53. Turkey got to this spot in 2022 by taking second place in Group A, beating Montenegro and Bulgaria before getting upset by hosts Georgia. Ergin Ataman's team bounced back to beat Belgium but lost to Spain in the last game. France lost their opener to Germany but followed that with wins over Lithuania, Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina before a closing loss against Slovenia.

Key Matchup: Cedi Osman and Furkan Korkmaz are Turkey's two main weapons and France will look to Evan Fournier and Terry Tarpey to limit their offensive production - while Fournier will need to score points for France's offense.

X-Factor: The biggest question will be about the availability and fitness of Turkey playmaker Shane Larkin, who returned to Istanbul following the Group Phase to have an MRI for an injured finger.

Stats Don't Lie: Turkey shoot an outstanding 60.8 percent on two-pointers but just 30.2 percent from long range. France point guard Thomas Heurtel is averaging 7.2 assists, including 10 assists against Slovenia - the first French player with 10 or more assists in a EuroBasket game since Tony Parker in 2009 vs Turkey.

Slovenia vs Belgium (14:45 CET)

This will be the first matchup between Slovenia and Belgium at a major tournament since the Slovenian side won 70-61 in the First Round of EuroBasket 2011. The reigning champions' Road to Berlin started with wins over Lithuania and Hungary before falling to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Slovenia responded to questions by beating Germany and France to win Group B. Belgium's campaign has been up and down: beating Georgia, losing to Montenegro, upsetting Spain, falling to Turkey and then defeating Bulgaria.

Key Matchup: Belgium's entire defense against Luka Doncic. The Slovenian superstar has collected 83 points on 29-of-48 shooting, 17 rebounds and 9 assists in his last two games. It's hard to imagine that Belgian coach Dario Gjergja is getting much sleep as he tries to gameplan his defense.

X-Factor: The underdogs have to imagine that Emmanuel Lecomte will snap out of his shooting slump, making just 1-of-16 three-pointers (6 percent) thus far.

Stats Don't Lie: Slovenia's high octane offense provides 92.8 points per game while Belgium grind it out for 76.8 points a contest. Belgium also have struggled from long range at just 31.9 percent.

Germany vs Montenegro (18:00 CET)

This will be the first game between these teams in a major tournament. Hosts Germany had a strong showing in Group B with consecutive wins over France, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Lithuania (the latter in double overtime) before losing to Slovenia and then finishing with a drubbing of Hungary. Montenegro dropped their opener to Montenegro and then beat Belgium and Bulgaria. They could not knock off Spain but defeated hosts Georgia to reach the Knockout Phase.

Key Matchup: Kendrick Perry has been outstanding for Montenegro but the playmaker will not only need to play solid offensively but he must stay in front of German point guards Dennis Schroder and Maodo Lo on defense.

X-Factor: Johannes Voigtmann of Germany and Montenegro's Bojan Dubljevic are both big men who like to hang out on the perimeter and shoot three-pointers, which provides space for their teammates to drive to the basket. 

Stats Don't Lie: Germany have scored 92.6 points per game and have only given up 80.6 per game. Montenegro have averaged even fewer with just 76.2 points a contest. Montenegro also are not very effective from the outside with just 31.2 percent three-point shooting.

Spain vs Lithuania (20:45 CET)

Spain and Lithuania have faced off in two EuroBasket Finals, Lithuania prevailing in 2003 and Spain taking the crown in 2015. Spain took the top spot in Group A with a 4-1 record with wins over Bulgaria and Georgia before a hiccup against Belgium. Sergio Scariolo's men bounced back and beat Montenegro and Turkey to regain the momentum. Lithuania also head to Berlin on a high with victories over Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina to make good for a 0-3 start with losses to Slovenia, France and Germany.

Key Matchup: This game will likely be decided by who controls the paint. How does the Spanish trio of Hernangomez brothers Juancho and Willy and Usman Garuba face up against the bigger but less-athletic Lithuania duo of Jonas Valanciunas and Domantas Sabonis?

X-Factor: Lorenzo Brown gives Spain a rock-solid point guard and the 32-year-old playmaker will look to use his veteran experience against Lithuania's 21-year-old guard Rokas Jokubaitis.

Stats Don't Lie: Spain commit only 9.0 turnovers per game and they grab 15.2 offensive rebounds per outing. Lithuania meanwhile come up with just 4.0 steals per game.