Switzerland Squeeze Into Semis

16 August 2013

EUROBASKET 2015

Dusan Mladjan (Switzerland)
Dusan Mladjan top-scored for Switzerland with 31 points, adding a team-high eight rebounds

Switzerland are through to the semi-finals of the EuroBasket 2015 1st Qualification Round despite suffering a 97-96 overtime defeat in Austria on Friday.

Both teams finished with 5-1 records in Group C after this gripping final group game but the Swiss secured the solitary semi-final spot on the head-to-head tie-breaker - having beaten Austria by a greater margin, 69-63, in their earlier meeting.

The Swiss actually led for 38 of this game's 45 minutes but were undone by a 6-0 Austrian run early in overtime after Thomas Schreiner forced the extra period with a late three-pointer.

Switzerland jumped out to a 16-7 start, capped by Clint Capela's dunk before being pegged back to 19-15 by the end of the first quarter.

The lead was stretched to 10 at 40-30 at half-time however as Dusan Mladjan made one of his six three-pointers at the buzzer to send the Swiss into the break on a high.

Austria began to find their range in the third, hitting five of their total 15 made three-point shots before Capela closed the quarter with an alley-oop to keep the lead at five, 59-54.

The final stanza was a tense affair but Austria were unable to wrestle the lead from their opponents.

They were able to level though, thanks to the sharp shooting of Schreiner after Roberto Kovac split a pair of free throws that would have put the Swiss out of reach.

Mladjan had one more chance to snatch it for Switzerland but missed his three-point attempt as time expired.

Momentum was with the hosts now and when Thomas Klepeisz followed Jason Detrick's two made free throws with the scores level at 80, Switzerland's only choice was to foul.

As he had done all night Klepeisz kept his cool to add another two to a personal tally that would reach 21 before Rasid Mahalbasic made a lay-up to give Austria control and they held on for victory.

But it is Switzerland who progress, and they were led by Mladjan's game-high 31 points while Schreiner's incredible 7-of-8 three-point shooting may have resulted in victory, and 22 points, but not qualification.


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