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.
Sweden managed to keep the game against Russia close in the first half, but in the third quarter things fell apart for the Swedish team. "We played way too poorly in the third quarter and that decided the outcome of the game" said Swedish forward Oluoma Nnamaka.
Sweden opened the game playing terrific basketball like they did in the game against Serbia & Montenegro and they led for most of the first quarter, but Russia got the lead back at the end of the first. Jonas Larsson made a rare 4-point play in the first quarter when he hit a three pointer and got fouled for the extra point, cutting the Russian lead to 25-28.
If there is anything like a honorable loss, then there was one today. Sweden really showed that they are a better team than Friday's game against Spain suggests.
Spain put on a show against a helpless Swedish team, winning their opening game of the Eurobasket 2003 tournament. Spain won by a margin of 47 points, 99 to 52, by far the biggest victory in the tournament so far. Sweden managed to stay close in the first quarter, which ended with Spain on top 19–14. In the second quarter Spain outscored Sweden 25–10 for a halftime lead of 44–24, and in the second half Spain never gave Sweden a chance to
get back in the game.
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