The Slovaks very nearly pulled off the first upset of the Quarter-Finals by surprising their Czech cousins and making them fight for every basket right into the final minutes. The Czechs finished first in Group B and the Slovaks 4th in Group A, but the Slovak Rep. players were in no way intimidated and came out ready to give everything.
Finland 49 – Russia 81
Thanks to Russia’s loss yesterday to Ukraine, this game was do-or-die for both teams as a win handed the victor the last Quarter-Final place from Group A. Finland were still on an up after a great show against Slovak Republic but after the first 10 minutes today already started to look a little tired. Russia, however, looked in great shape, the key players having not played a lot of minutes against Ukraine.
Slovak Republic 83 – Finland 74
Both teams really needed the win this afternoon to ensure themselves a place in the Quarter-Finals, however, it was the Slovak Republic who came away with the extra 2 points on the classification table. Both will face a tough game on the final day of the Preliminary Round - Finland play Russia tomorrow while the Slovaks will take on France.
Ukraine 78 - Slovak Republic 79
Both teams came into this game with one win and one loss, both knowing that the outcome could be decisive for the final placing at the end of the Preliminary Round. For much of the game it looked like the Slovak Republic would keep control but a last quarter comeback by the Ukraine brought an unexpected nail-biter finish.