Following the meeting of the FIBA Europe Board in November 2002, it was decided that a new system of qualification would be implemented for the 2005 European Championship for Men.
Russia trailed the elimination game against Croatia almost the entire game until they finally got the lead with 1.12 left on the game clock. Sergei Monia stole the ball and got a breakaway dunk to make the score 77-76 in favour of Russia. The Russian team then went on to hit their foul shots at the end of the game to secure the victory.
Croatia's biggest star, Orlando Magic swingman Gordan Giricek, sprained his ankle with 2.35 left in the second quarter and never returned to the game after that. Croatia was forced to play without their captain for the entire second half and that might have impacted the outcome of the game. Giricek scored only 5 points in the first half.
An exciting and close game until the very last seconds ended with Turkish victory. But it is what happened after the buzzer that will be remembered from this game. Spectators started to throw things onto the court and players started to fight with each other. Thanks to good security the turbulence ended quickly.
Two teams, Croatia and Ukraine, were looking for their first victory in today's game. Croatia with an impressive performance against Greece yesterday where they were only two seconds from victory. And Ukraine that for long fought hard against Turkey.
But today the two teams started out slowly. Both teams had problems hitting the basket which kept the score down. The first quarter ended 15-15.