FYR Macedonia Pile On Misery For Portugal


Portugal made an unexpected run to EuroBasket 2007 in Spain by topping a qualifying group that included FYR Macedonia.

The Macedonians destroyed the Portuguese on Saturday, 85-48, making a return trip to the final round look most unlikely for Moncho Lopez's team.

The game was effectively over by the end of the first quarter after the home side opened up a 22-4 lead.

Predrag Samardziski started the game with three straight baskets for Macedonia.

By half-time, the lead was 44-24 and any hopes Lopez had of his team making the encounter interesting in the second half died in the third quarter when Macedonia outscored his team 27-14 for a 71-38 stranglehold on proceedings.

Vrbica Stefanov had 27 points for Macedonia, who bounced back from their overtime defeat to Latvia in midweek, a game they lost when the home side hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Elvis Evora poured in 15 points and Paulo Cunha nine for Portugal.

The Portuguese lost their opener to Estonia.

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