Defeated surprisingly by Poland, the Turkish national basketball team guaranted a spot in the second round at the European Basketball Championships with a win over Spain and Great Britain beating Poland.
Turkey advanced to the second round at the EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania on Monday, with a 65-57 victory over favourites Spain. The Turks are thankful to already eliminated Great Britain, as Britain defeated and eliminated Poland 88-81 and secured Turkey’s advance to the second round.
Eurobasket 2011 : Gateway to London Olympics 2012
Despite a surprise 84-83 loss at the hands of Poland on Sunday, the “12 Giant Men” from Turkey guaranteed a place in the next round at Eurobasket 2011 when Great Britain beat Poland 88-81 on Monday. 2012 Olympics hosts Britain were eliminated from the European championship on Monday despite an 88-81 win over Poland on Monday which allowed Turkey to go through.
Holders and big favourites Spain and hosts Lithuania also advanced from preliminary Pool A, while France, 2009 runners-up Serbia and Germany joined them from Pool B. Dark horse of the tournament Macedonia, 2005 champions Greece and unexpected Finland continue from Pool C along with Russia, Slovenia and Georgia, the top three teams respectively from Pool D.
The second stage of European Basketball Championships will feature two groups containing 6 teams, with the top four teams from each group advancing to the quarter-finals of the tournament which will also determine the Olympic participants for London 2012.
Eurobasket 2011 : Turkey advance, thankful to Britain
Britain, having assembled a challenging squad with NBA star Luol Deng and experienced forward Freeland for the upcoming London Olympics 2012, put several good performances in Lithuania and bowed out on a high note after an superb performance against Poland with hopes for success in the Olympics still high.
Great Britain’s victory on Monday came on the back of brilliant performances by Luol Deng and Joel Freeland. Luol Deng scored a game high 28 points, while Joel Freeman made in 27 points from his every 12 field goal attempts.”We were just happy for ourselves to win this game and to go home with two wins is a good result for us,” said forward Joel Freeland, who shone with 27 points and 11 rebounds after hitting all his 12 shots from the field. Star forward Luol Deng from Chigago Bulls, who played the whole 40 minutes against Poland and scored 28 was a difference maker.
Great Britain’s Luol Deng : Hope to see my Turkish Friends to stuff my fridge with turkish food
” I hope my good friends Omer Asik and Hedo [ Hidayet Turkoglu] will shover me with presents. May be they stuff my fridge with Turkish food or buy me a new car ” the humble NBA star joked in a post-game interview with the Turkish broadcaster and took photos with many grateful Turkish fans, who along with Turkey Basketball Team could hardly believe their luck as several hundred were roaring for the British against Poland in the closing stages of the gripping contest.
Knowing they were through no matter what they did against Spain, a relieved Turkish team stunned the latest champions 65-57 two hours later after conceding only 19 second-half points and only 2 points in the 4th quarter.
“We were ready to go home but someone helped us today and that gave us the impetus to fight hard,” said Turkey forward Emir Preldzic, the game’s top scorer with 18 points and a new addition to Turkey Basketball Team ” 12 Giant Men”. ”We have the potential to beat anyone but in our last we erred very badly because we started thinking about the game against Spain before we even faced Poland,” added point guard Ender Arslan, who had a magnificent 4th quarter game. ”We must make sure it doesn’t happen again and motivate ourselves for one game at a time.” stated the point guard of Turkey Basketball Team.