Portuguese Hold On To Beat Hungary


EuroBasket AQR

14. Miguel Miranda (Portugal)
Portugal center Miguel Miranda led all scorers with 18 points

Portugal won their first battle in the Additional Qualifying Round for the EuroBasket with a win over Hungary in Coimbra on Tuesday.

Now coached by Mario Palma, the former boss of African champions Angola and 2009 FIBA Asia Championship bronze medalists Jordan, the Portuguese prevailed 71-66.

Portugal were sparked by their veteran big man Elvis Evora.

Trailing 41-38 midway through the third quarter, Evora scored four straight points - his first of the game - to put the hosts in front.

After Krisztian Wittmann replied for Hungary with a jumper, Evora drew a foul from Akos Keller and went to the line to make two free-throws for a 44-43 Portugal advantage.

Fellow veteran Miguel Miranda hit back-to-back three-pointers to extend the lead to 51-43 and Portugal ended up going on top 54-43 when Joao Santos buried another shot from the arc.

Just before the end of the quarter, David Vojvoda drilled a shot from the arc for Hungary to cut the gap to eight points.

Portugal appeared to be in command with a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter but with 2:44 remaining, Hungary shifted into a higher gear.

A pair of Akos Horvath free-throws started a run that saw the visitors pull to within 67-63 just 1:17 from the end.

Big man Peter Lorant hit a three-ball to reduce the deficit to 69-66 with 33 seconds to go.

Portugal, suddenly holding on for dear life, got the ball to Miranda but he missed from long range with 16 seconds to play and Hungary had a chance to pull level or close the gap to one.

However, Adam Hanga was off target from long range for the visitors and after Carlos Andrade grabbed the rebound for the home side, Miranda sealed victory with a jumper.

Miranda finished with 18 points and Carlos Andrade had 11 along with nine rebounds.

Santos and Filipe da Silva weighed in with 10 points apiece.

Lorant had 16 points for Hungary, who will be at home against Finland on Friday.

Portugal's next game will be at Finland on August 15.


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