19 February, 2024
25 February, 2025
Arena Riga
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Massive crowds welcome national teams back to open FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Qualifiers

MUNICH (Germany) - Fans showed just how much they missed national team basketball as the first window of the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Qualifiers drew massive crowds across the continent, from Istanbul to Zaragoza and from Piraeus all the way to Riga.

The average attendance throughout the first 32 games of the Qualifiers was 5,114 with nearly half of the contests played in front a capacity of at least 90 percent.

The highest attended game of the Qualifiers was Turkiye's 76-75 victory over Iceland, which drew 13,300 spectators to the Sinan Erdem Arena. The fans were treated to a thriller with Tarik Biberovic hitting a game-winner at the buzzer.

A crowd of 12,439 flocked to the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus to watch Vassilis Spanoulis' head coaching debut for Greece, which ended in a 72-64 win over Czechia.

Vassilis Spanoulis started his national team career with a win

Latvia fans are in love with their national team with 10,890 spectators celebrating the country's first home game in Arena Riga since taking fifth place at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 in their debut on the global stage.

The support was needed as Latvia fought off Slovakia 64-52 for a perfect 2-0 showing in the window.

Arena Riga will also host the Final Phase of FIBA EuroBasket 2025

Latvia were also part of the fourth-best attended game with 10,533 fans coming to the Pabellon Principe Felipe in Zaragoza, but all eyes were on Ricky Rubio who symbolically marked his return to basketball playing for Spain.

However, Latvia spoiled the party with a 79-75 win on the road.

Fans came out in numbers to witness Ricky Rubio's return

FIBA EuroBasket 2022 co-hosts Georgia also had the local basketball fans show up in droves for their team's game against Serbia, but 9,400 fans ended up going home disappointed after a 76-63 loss to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 runners-up.

In total, the first window included seven games that were sold out: Belgium vs Spain (6,500); Estonia vs Lithuania (6,471); Montenegro vs Sweden (5,500); France vs Croatia (5,029); Sweden vs Belgium (4,567); Bulgaria vs Germany (4,500); and Netherlands vs Greece (3,600), with many more close to full capacity.

Fans in Tallinn celebrated a famous victory against Baltic rivals Lithuania

The next window of the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Qualifiers will take place November 21-25, 2024 and the final qualifying games will be played February 20-24, 2025.