Belarus Down Resilient Portuguese



Aliaksandr Pustahvar (Belarus)
Aliaksandr Pustahvar led all Belarus scorers with 21 points

Belarus signed off from the EuroBasket 2013 Qualification Round with a 77-64 victory over Portugal.

In a tough Group F that was won by Italy and also had Turkey and the Czech Republic playing well enough to clinch places in next year's Final Round in Slovenia, Belarus ended up with a couple of hard-fought victories over the Portuguese to show for their efforts.

Aliaksandr Pustahvar had 21 points and veteran Aliaksandr Kudrautsau contributed 15 along with nine assists for the winners on Tuesday.

Playing at home, Belarus had to maintain their concentration from start to finish because Portugal, even without a chance to advance to Slovenia, wanted desperately to win for the first time this summer in qualifying.

On top 56-53 with 7:30 remaining, Belarus went on a game-clinching 9-2 run that was started by an Aliaksei Lashkevich lay-up.

Pustahvar, Kudrautsau and Dzianis Korshuk also scored in the decisive spurt.

Cláudio Fonseca scored 22 points and corralled eight rebounds for Portugal, who lost all eight of their games to miss out on playing at a second straight EuroBasket and third since 2007.


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