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.
Two teams that will play in the Olympic Games next year met in a game that both had hoped would be for something more than 5th place. Greece seemed to have less motivation problems than Serbia & Montenegro and won easily.
Milan Gurovic picked up the slack for his injured teammates Peja Stojakovic and Marko Jaric and scored 24 points, leading Serbia & Montenegro to victory over Russia. Russia proved to be missing their superstar Andrei Kirilenko more than Serbia & Montenegro missed Jaric and Stojakovic in this game.
France withstood a late rally by Russia to reach the semi-finals at the European Championships and they were joined by Lithuania who knocked off holders Serbia & Montenegro.
The French, silver medallists at the last Olympics, are now a new cast of players and they claimed a 76-69 triumph over Russia.
Serbia & Montenegro
Press contact: Jovo Maksimovic