Ukraine rallies in the end, tops Estonia 74-73 at EuroBasket

MILAN (AP) — Ukraine held the lead for all of 55 seconds in its EuroBasket game against Estonia on Saturday.

They were the final 55 seconds.

Illya Sydorov’s layup gave Ukraine its first lead of the game, and the war-torn nation’s team moved to 2-0 in the European championship tournament by topping Estonia 74-73 in a Group C matchup.

“It’s a super important game for us,” Sydorov said. “The main goal, why we get this win, is because we fight until the end and we stayed together for all four quarters.”

It was a massive victory for Ukraine, which has its three toughest games of Group C play — against Croatia, Italy and Greece — still looming.

But it’s likely that Ukraine already has done enough to earn a spot in the second round, regardless of what happens in those three remaining contests.

And that is an enormous lift for a team carrying the weight of representing a country that has been devastated by the war that Russia started by invading nearly seven months ago.

“Our main goal was to beat Great Britain and Estonia,” Sydorov said. “We all understand the main part was to win both games, and we did, and we’re very happy about it.

Svi Mykhailiuk led Ukraine with 18 points. Volodymyr Herun scored 12 and Sydorov added 11.

Maik-Kalev Kotsar led Estonia (0-2) with 17 points.

GROUP C

GREECE 85, ITALY 81

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Tyler Dorsey scored 23 and Greece (2-0) held off a furious rally by Italy in the final minutes.

Greece led 75-60 midway through the fourth quarter, but Italy (1-1) got as close as 84-81 on a layup by Simone Fontecchio with 35 seconds left.

But Italy’s comeback stalled there. The Italians missed two potentially game-tying 3-pointers in the final 7 seconds and Dorsey made a free throw with two-tenths of a second remaining to seal the win.

Fontecchio led Italy with 26 points. Achille Polonara scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Stefano Tonut scored 13.

CROATIA 86, GREAT BRITAIN 65

Croatia outscored Great Britain 35-9 in the third quarter, building a 35-point lead, and cruised to a win.

Bojan Bogdanovic, Dario Saric and Ivica Zubac each scored 15 for Croatia (1-1), while Mario Hezonja finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Myles Hesson scored 18 and Patrick Whelan finished with 14 for Great Britain (0-2).

GROUP B

SLOVENIA 103, HUNGARY 88

At Cologne, Germany, Luka Doncic had an easy 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting and defending EuroBasket champion Slovenia (2-0) never trailed.

Klemen Prepelic had 14 points and four players — Edo Muric, Jaka Blazic, Ziga Dimec and Vlatko Cancar — each had 11 for Slovenia, which led by as many as 30 points.

Zoltan Perl scored 18 and Mikael Hopkins added 14 for Hungary (0-2).

FRANCE 77, LITHUANIA 73

France rallied from a 13-point deficit and took the lead for good on Evan Fournier’s 3-pointer with 3:08 remaining.

Fournier led all scorers with 27 points for France (1-1).

Jonas Valanciunas scored 15 for Lithuania (0-2), which got 14 from Rokas Jokubaitis, 13 from Marius Grigonis, 12 from Ignas Brazdeikis and nine rebounds from Domantas Sabonis.

GERMANY 92, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA 82

Germany used an 18-0 run spanning the second and third quarters to erase what was an 11-point deficit and take the lead for good.

Franz Wagner and Dennis Schroder each scored 18 for Germany (2-0), which got 14 points from Johannes Thiemann and 13 from Andreas Obst.

Dzanan Musa scored 30 and Jusuf Nurkic added 21 for Bosnia and Herzegovina (1-1).

GROUP A

MONTENEGRO 76, BELGIUM 70

Bojan Dubljevic scored 21 points and Montenegro (1-1) led nearly the entire way against Belgium (1-1).

Kendrick Perry scored 19 and Vladimir Mihailovic added 14 for Montenegro, which survived getting outscored 20-8 in the fourth quarter.

Retin Obasohan led all scorers with 25 for Belgium, and Manu Lecomte scored 10.

TURKEY 101, BULGARIA 87

Cedi Osman scored 25 points, Alperen Sengun added 20 and Turkey (2-0) used an 18-6 run in the fourth quarter to pull away.

Shane Larkin had 13 points and nine assists for Turkey. Aleksandar Vezenkov led Bulgaria (0-2) with 28 points, while Chavdar Kostov scored 15 and Dee Bost finished with 12 points and 13 assists.

SPAIN 90, GEORGIA 64

Willy Hernangomez scored 14 points, Jaime Pradilla added 12 and Spain (2-0) used a balanced attack on the way past Georgia (0-2).

Spain used 12 players; nine of them had at least seven points.

Rati Andronikashvili led Georgia with 13 points.

GROUP D

FINLAND 89, POLAND 59

At Prague, Sasu Salin scored 18 points, Lauri Markkanen added 17 and Finland (1-1) had no problem with Poland (1-1).

Elias Valtonen scored 12 for Finland. Mateusz Ponitka and Michal Sokolowski each had eight points for Poland.

SERBIA 81, CZECH REPUBLIC 68

Two-time reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Serbia (2-0) led by as many as 23 in its win over the Czech Republic (0-2).

Vasilije Micic scored 13 for Serbia, Vanja Marinkovic had 11 and Nikola Kalinic added 10.

Vit Kerjci and Vojtech Hruban had 13 points apiece for the Czech Republic.

ISRAEL 74, NETHERLANDS 67

Israel used a 33-16 run over the final 13 minutes to erase a deficit and remain unbeaten (2-0).

Deni Avdija scored 21 points, Yam Madar added 14 and Roman Sorkin had 10 for Israel, which prevailed despite shooting only 39%.

Worthy De Jong scored 12 for the Netherlands (0-2), which was outrebounded 39-28.

SUNDAY’S SCHEDULE

Group A and Group B are in action, while Group C and Group D get the day off.

In Group A, Bulgaria meets Montenegro, Spain faces Belgium and Turkey plays Georgia. In Group B, Lithuania squares off with Germany, Slovenia plays Bosnia and Herzegovina, and France meets Hungary.

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