27 July, 2019
04 August
13 Usman Garuba (ESP)
to read

Round of 16 pairings set: Big name duels all across the bracket

VOLOS (Greece) - Group Phase is behind us, and the Lady Luck played a huge part in setting up some massive encounters in the Round of 16 after Serbia, France, Spain and Montenegro won each of the groups.

It could've all gone south for Serbia, as they've trailed against Turkey entering the final minute of the game. But a powerful, clutch performance saw them escape with a 76-67 win, which also means they won the group in a tie with Turkey at 2-1.


With Lithuania finishing fourth in Group B, this means we will have the battle between Serbia and Lithuania, two true juggernauts of European basketball, already in the Round of 16. Keep in mind that Serbia have won this competition in 2017 and 2018, and are still alive in their quest to become the first team to win three straight since the Soviet Union in 1984.

Montenegro won Group B even before the last day of competition. Since Serbia overcame their deficit against Turkey, Great Britain ended up bottom of the group and will play Group B winners next.

Turkey are up against Italy in the Round of 16. It looks like a tough draw for Italy, because the Turkish squad looked impressive since day one, but this is also a question of which Italian team will show up on Wednesday - the one who shot lights out against Lithuania, or the one which combined for 6-of-52 shooting from beyond the arc against Montenegro and Russia.


Russia's win over Italy means that they are up against Germany in a potential thriller. Germany's 1-2 record is highly deceptive, because they were right there against both Turkey and Serbia, before blowing out Great Britain 86-66 on Monday, even though they were without Franz Wagner, who is likely to be in the squad on Wednesday, and Len Schoorman, who still needs crutches after his ankle injury.

France were dominant in Group C, and their 3-0 record sends them to a matchup with Croatia, who finished last in Group D. Croatia were up on Spain for most of the day, meaning they could've even won the group, but will have to settle for a much more difficult path after losing 82-75 to Spain.

Spain will face Latvia next, which could also be a much closer game than their 3-0 and 0-3 records suggest, since Latvia lost all three of their games in the closing minutes.

Greece finished second in Group C, meaning they've got a duel with Finland coming up next. A 72-54 win over Slovenia featured some highlight plays that got the capacity crowd in Volos completely involved in this game. You can expect more of the same in the next game.


Round of 16 pairings, all games to be played on Wednesday:

  • Serbia v Lithuania
  • Greece v Finland

  • Russia v Germany
  • Spain v Latvia

  • Turkey v Italy
  • France v Croatia

  • Montenegro v Great Britain
  • Netherlands v Slovenia