Follow FIBA on Facebook
Portugal break Icelandic hearts again; Lundberg counts to 30 for Denmark
MUNICH (Germany) - The time and the date changed, but the outcome remains the same. Portugal once again outlasted Iceland in a FIBA EuroBsaket 2021 Pre-Qualifiers thriller, taking a last gasp 80-79 win while surviving a last second shot by Iceland.
Just 11 months ago, Portugal and Iceland faced off in the Second Round of the Pre-Qualifiers, with the hosts winning 80-77 thanks to the fact that Kari Jonsson's three-pointer attempt at the buzzer rattled in and out in Pavilhao dos Desportos de Sines in Portugal.
Fast forward to the Pre-Qualifiers Third Round, and the same teams played almost an identical game in the same arena, with Portugal getting to 80 first and then watching as an Icelandic shot went in and out at the buzzer. Pedro Pinto was the hero, hitting the game-winning layup with 3.3 seconds left, and Tryggvi Hlinason's turnaround jump-hook stayed out to give Portugal a one-point win.
Jeremiah Wilson had 20 points to lead Portugal on the day, Miguel Cardoso scored 15, while the hero of the day Pinto only had one other field goal in the entire game and finished with 5 points to his name. Martin Hermannsson scored 28 points with 5 assists and 4 steals for Iceland, but they dropped to 0-1 in Group H.
Portugal climbed to 1-1 after bouncing back from losing the opener to the Clint Capela-led Switzerland.
Hermannsson wasn't the top scorer of the day in Pre-Qualifiers action, because Gabriel Lundberg went off for 30 points to give Denmark an 81-78 win in Belarus. The point guard shot 10-of-18 from the field, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.
Victoria muy importante! https://t.co/Cxx6QpcAbv— Gabriel Iffe Lundberg (@IffeLundberg) August 7, 2019
"Today we lost because of their offensive rebounding and because we couldn't stop Lundberg's offense. Basically those became the key moments of the game," Belarus head coach Aliaksandr Krutsikau said after witnessing his team allow 14 offensive rebounds by Denmark.
"In the second half of the fourth quarter we decided to play a different way, we let Parakhouski and Semianiuk play simultaneously and it worked out great, but it was late for us to win," Krutsikau added.
"It was a tough game, we came out with a lot of energy, and it was important for us to show our best and win today because it is the first game of four in this Pre-Qualifiers round," Denmark's Jonathan Gilling explained.
Kevin Larsen dunked his way to 19 points against Belarus away from home
The win for Denmark was even more important because it prevented Belarus from getting a 2-0 start in Group E. They are down to 1-1, Denmark up to 1-0, while Albania are winless in one.
But not even Lundberg's 29 in the efficiency column of the boxscore was the biggest of the day. That honor goes to Emanuel Cate of Romania, as the big guy led his team to an 85-70 win over Cyprus away from home in Group F.
Cate finished with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field, with 10 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals and 2 assists, giving him efficiency rating of 34. Romania joined Slovakia at 1-0 in in the group table, while Cyprus dropped to 0-2 to start the Third Round.
In Group G, Great Britain delivered in their first game of the campaign. Gabriel Olaseni did his part with a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double to hand Kosovo a 71-63 defeat in Mitrovica. Kosovo dropped to 0-2, with Team GB and Luxembourg joint at the hip at 1-0 ahead of their duel in Manchester on Saturday.