Spain and Italy entered the next stage of FIBA EuroBasket competition as the overwhelming favorites to top their grouping. However, both teams realized that the tourney is way tougher than they though after dropping their respective second round opener on Thursday.
FIBA EuroBasket Second Round
Italy vs. Croatia
The Italians finally absorbed their first loss of their EuroBasket campaign at the hands of host nation Slovenia 84-77. However, the Azzurri are very much on tract to advance into the quarterfinal round, if they are able to shake off a tough Croatian squad on Saturday. Belinelli averaged 14.8 rebounds, four rebounds and 2.8 assists per game throughout the tourney and he's expected to carry the scoring load for this resilient Italian squad, who missed the service of Danillo Gallanari and Andrea Bargnani due to injuries.
Meanwhile, Croatia has been on a five game winning streak since dropping their tourney opener against Spain. Led by Bojan Bogdanovic and Dario Saric, Croatia is certainly not a pushover and is expected to give Italy a run for its money on Saturday.
"We are going to play against Croatia, Spain, and all those players on those teams are good," Belinelli told FIBA Europe ahead of their match.
Spain vs. Finland
Both looking for a crucial victory, the showdown between Spain and Finland is expected to be intense given the consequences that await the loser for the loser of the match. A loss for Spain will relegate them to 2-2 and will put them in very tight situation heading into their last second round assignment against Italy. On the other hand, a loss for Finland to Spain will mark the end of their campaign in this FIBA EuroBasket tourney.
Slovenia vs. Greece
Slovenia is capitalizing home court advantage really well as the energy of the home crowd powered them to victories over defending champion Spain in the first round and then an upset win over the previously undefeated Italy in the second round opener. But it is more than home court why Slovenia is in this position. The all-around excellence of Goran Dragic and solid play from their big men are the primarily reasons behind their rise to contention. On Saturday, Slovenia's mettle will be tested once again as they take on Greece, which is coming off an emotional win over Spain on Thursday.
Live Stream Information (Highlights & Results Will Be Posted Minutes After The Match)
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