Catalin Burlacu had 23 points as Romania beat Switzerland to land a major blow in their promotion bid.
Looking to compete in EuroBasket Division A, the Romanians’ most serious competition has come from the Swiss and in the battle of the undefeated sides, Burlacu and Co prevailed 68-59 in the Group A clash.
Switzerland’s rising star Kgomotso Sefolosha had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Romania asserted themselves at the start of the second quarter.
With the game level at 16-16, Burlacu sparked a 6-0 run with a jump shot but a three-pointer from Switzerland’s Nicolas Porchet would end up trimming the deficit to 27-25.
But George Paul Helcioiu’s jumper with less than three minutes to go in the first half started a 10-0 run for Romania, who used that as a launchpad for victory.
Another basket from Burlacu stretched the lead to 13 points at the end of the third quarter and it twice reached 18 points in the fourth quarter before the Swiss clawed their way back to a nine-point defeat.
If Switzerland win the next encounter between the teams and they finish with identical records, the goal differential would be the determining tie-breaker.