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Netherlands Clinch Qualifying Round

02 August 2011
Roundup
10. Bas Veenstra (Netherlands)
Bas Veenstra was instrumental for the Netherlands with a double-double

The Netherlands secured second place in Group B and a spot in the Qualifying Round with a 79-50 win over Cyprus.

The Dutch team broke the game open with a 17-0 run in the first period to take a 42-20 lead at half-time, and consolidated victory in the second half.

Two Dutch players recorded double-doubles in the win, Bas Veenstra (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Pim de Vries (12 points, 11 rebounds).

Miso Vukcevic led Cyprus with 13 points.

Head coach Martin Scheltes was satisfied after the game: "I was able to give chances to other players in the squad today. Yesterday we had a very tough game, so I needed to rest some players, and we needed to play with full energy again today."

Slovenia beat Finland 83-76 to complete a perfect 5-0 record in Group B. Matic Rebec led all scorers with 24 points for the Slovenian team.

In a tight game, Rebec's four-point play with 3 seconds remaining in the third quarter put his team ahead 56-55. Slovenia then used a 10-0 run to break open the final quarter, but Ville Hänninen's three-pointer with 45 seconds remaining ensured a tense finale. Matej Kavas scored a crucial basket for Slovenia, who then secured victory at the free-throw line.

Jure Ritlop had a double-double for Slovenia (10 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks).

For Finland, Emir Sulejmanovic also had a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds), and Ozan Odabasi led scoring with 15 points.

Coach Milos Sporar revealed that a half-time team-talk had rallied his players: "We were a bit sleepy in the first half, but after our talk, everything was much better. We woke up, and we lost our nerves."

In the other Group B game, Portugal convincingly beat Austria 76-40. The half-time score was 40-20 and the Portugese team didn't let up in the second half.

The Portugese defense forced Austria into 28% shooting and 28 turnovers, Joao Guimaraes adding 4 steals to a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Armenia secured a dramatic qualification from Group C as they defeated Switzerland 81-63, while Sweden lost also (see below).

Armenia led 40-29 at half-time, and moved further clear in the third quarter, Roman Sayadyan's three-pointer at the buzzer making it 65-43.

Armenia couldn't relax, as only a large victory margin would ensure qualification. Armenia were led by a double-double from Arkadiy Mkrtychyan (20 points, 13 rebounds), and Andrey Konstantinov also contributed 20 points and 8 rebounds.

Mathias Tolusso was top-scorer for the Swiss team with 15 points, and Randon Grüninger added a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds).

Hungary ensured a 5-0 record by coming from behind to beat Sweden 72-66, denying Sweden a place in the Qualifying Round.

Sweden led 34-26 at half-time but a 9-0 Hungarian run in the third quarter tightened up the game. Péter Papp broke a 64-64 tie with a lay-up with 3:44 remaining, and Hungary held on for victory.

Zoltán Perl top-scored for Hungary with 20 points. Ludvig Hakanson led Sweden with 17 points.

In Group C's basement battle, Ireland recorded their first win of the competition thanks to 30 points from John Carroll in a 73-50 win against the Slovak Republic.

Ireland led 23-5 after the first quarter and never allowed the Slovak Republic back into the game. Carroll also added 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocked shots. Matej Baluch led the Slovak Republic with 15 points.

Israel beat Belgium thanks to a late surge to take second place in Group D and a place in the Qualifying Round with an 80-70 win. Israel led 37-31 at half-time but Thimote Traversin's free-throws cut the lead to two points with 2:05 remaining.

Israel closed the game with a 9-1 run, including 7 points from top-scorer Naor Sharon (24 points). Idan Zalmanson added 15 points for the Israeli team. Emmanuel Lecomte led Belgium with 20 points, and Belgium also received a double-double from Mathijs Gijbels (14 points, 13 rebounds).

Bosnia and Herzegovina completed a perfect record in Group D with a 92-65 win over Estonia. The Bosnian team broke clear with an 11-0 run in the first quarter and led 50-29 at half-time, never allowing Estonia to get close.

Bosnia and Herzegovina shot 59% compared to 41% from their opponents. Nedim Buza led the team with 14 points. Rain Koort top-scored for Estonia, also with 14 points.

Romania led 36-18 at half-time and held Georgia to just 24% shooting for the game to win, 64-47. The margin of victory was enough to ensure that Romania finish second in Group A and proceed to the Qualifiying Round ahead of Georgia and Luxembourg.

Andrei Ciordas recorded a double-double to lead Romania with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Vlad Bozaru also added 16 points and 14 rebounds. Archili Puluzashvili was top-scorer for Georgia with 12 points, and added 9 rebounds and 8 blocked shots.

Hosts FYR of Macedonia fought another tight battle but dropped their fourth game of the tournament, losing 70-68 to Luxembourg in Group A.

FYR of Macedonia led 44-43 at half-time, and the teams remained locked in the fourth quarter. Simeon Mitrov scored to break a 64-64 tie, but Tim Schmit replied with a three-pointer. Stefan Trajkovski again put FYR of Macedonia ahead, but Malik Wilson's three-pointer with 26 seconds remaining won the game for Luxembourg.

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