Teams are positioning for the top 4 slots in their groups in hopes of evading the crossover with giants Lithuania or Slovenia in the next rounds. This is what is in the minds of Turkey and Ukraine as they face off in tonight's Group C match-up at the Barakaldo.
Both sitting at 1-1, Turkey and Ukraine both need the win to at least position themselves in the running for the top 2 ranks in their grouping. They both suffered losses in their last games but in contrasting fashion. Turkey admiringly put up a gallant effort against the vaunted Americans. They led at halftime only to falter in the end when Team USA used a full court press to breakaway with a 17-1 run in the second half. Cen Akyol led the balanced attack of the Turks with 12 points.
Ukraine started their campaign on a positive note, disposing the Francisco Garcia-led Dominican Republic using their slashing attack with guards Pooh Jeter and Sergii Gladyr leading the way for the Ukrainians in that game. Jeter scored 24 points and dished 9 dimes against Finland but the team amassed an uncharacteristic 16 turnovers that did them in. Ukraine was showing signs of life in the first half but after the halftime break the Finns broke out with their shooting and they capitalized on the unforced errors as they mounted a lead that the Ukrainians had a hard time slicing down.
The Turkish squad is still favored by betting sites by a margin of as much as 13 points. Expect the rejuvenated Turks to use their size with Omer Asik, Sinan Guler and Emir Preldzic taking turns in punishing bodies down low. The day off also provided both squads to rest their weary legs so expect refreshed squads to run and gun in this matchup.
Projected Starting Lineups:
Ender Arslan (Guard)
Sinan Guler (Guard)
Emir Preldzic (Forward)
Baris Hersek (Forward)
Omer Asik (Center)
Pooh Jeter (Guard)
Sergii Gladyr (Guard)
Maksym Pustozvonov (Forward)
Ihor Zaytsev (Forward)
You can watch the live streaming match of Ukraine and Turkey via ESPN.