In the last day of the first round, only three teams from Groups A, B, and C are assured of slots in the second round. Meanwhile, the Group D cast for the second round is already complete; Monday's games, while non-bearing as far as getting into the second round is concerned, will still be important as teams want to carry over their momentum into the next phase. Sept 9 will surely be an important day in Eurobasket 2013, and we expect to see a whole lot of intense on-court action on Monday.
Tony Parker and Ricky Rubio will play at FIBA EuroBasket 2013
Group A: Great Britain vs. Ukraine
This is a crucial match, one that determines who goes on to the next round. Ukraine is pinning its hopes on winning against Great Britain and Belgium beating France. Belgium, on the other hand, needs to either beat France or hope that Ukraine beats Great Britain and Germany defeats Israel, which is still in the running for the last spot. Great Britain has to make it past Ukraine. The key match-ups here will be the frontcourt duel between Ukraine's Viacheslav Kravtsov and Great Britain's Eric Boateng, and the backcourt face-off between Brit Kieron Achara and Ukrainian Steven Burtt.
Group B: Lithuania vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina
While Lithuania has a 3-1 record, similar to second-round qualifier Serbia, they need to defeat contender Bosnia and Herzegovina to formalize their entry. Otherwise, if Latvia beats Macedonia, they might be crowded out of the top 3. The Bosnians need this win to avoid being booted out unceremoniously. It is a wide-open race for the last two spots, and the explosive match-up between Lithuania's Jonas Valanciunas and Bosnia and Herzegovina's Mirza Teletovic should be fun to watch.
Group C: Croatia vs. Czech Republic
Since only three teams per group can go on to the next phase, the game between Croatia and Czech Republic is very crucial. The winner goes on to the second round. Slovenia will also watch this game with more than a little interest, as a 2-point Czech Republic win will leave the door open for Poland to eliminate the Slovenes. However, that door is only slightly open; Poland will have to win by more than 35 -- a very remote possibility given the relative strengths of the two teams. Croatia will pin its hopes on Bojan Bogdanovic. Czech Republic, on the other hand, will rely on forward jan Vesely.
Group D: Greece vs. Finland
Both of these teams have 3-1 records and are assured of a slot in the next stage. However, they would both like to get some momentum going, especially Greece, which lost to Italy on Sunday. The key to Finland's sudden rise in Eurobasket 2013 has been forward Gerald Lee Jr., who played college basketball at Old Dominion in NCAA Division I. Greece, for its part, will rely on the shooting hands of Michael Bramos, who also boasts a 6'11" wingspan.
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