There was match point for Croatia in the Zagreb match against Poland, but the only Croat to celebrate was Poland’s head coach Igor Milicic, who stole the tiebreaker while coaching his team on the road.
In the first battle, Croatia prevailed by three points, while in the second, the score remained close throughout. With seven minutes remaining, Poland led by one point; then, three-point specialist Jakub Garbacz went to work for them, sinking back-to-back threes to kick off a 19-5 run.
Garbacz added another as the lead grew to 85-70 in the game’s last two minutes, but Croatia held firm. After a 9-0 run brought the aggregate score to -3, the home team still had a chance to win the game by a 3-point difference. There was no one to block Toni Perkovic’s view from around the bend. In the end, Poland prevailed 87-79 and moved ahead of Croatia in the rankings.
Both Garbacz and Jaroslaw Zyskowski contributed 21 points off the bench; the latter was aided by five three-pointers. Despite Danko Brankovic’s 17 points and 4 blocks, Croatia is now in second place with only two games remaining.
Switzerland won their group game 75–65 against Austria on the road thanks to 21 points from Anthony Polite.
8/12 games played
Poland defeated Croatia, making only Spain and Russia undefeated in the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Pre-Qualifiers. North Macedonia’s perfect home record was put to the test against Denmark, but the team overcame the challenge and won 74-71 in overtime.
After Telekom Baskets Bonn point guard TJ Shorts hit the two-pointer that sent the game into overtime, he went off for six consecutive baskets as his team trailed 70-68 with 90 seconds remaining in the extra frame, sending the fans into a frenzy.
Finally, Shorts tallied 33 points, 6 dimes, and 5 steals, while Stojan Gjuroski scored 11, and Vojdan Stojanovski scored 10. Adama Darbo came close to a triple-double with 21 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds, but Denmark still went winless (0-4).
8/12 games played
Slovakia won 68-56 over Norway on the road in the other Group D matchup. A 19–0 victory in the first meeting gives Norway the edge in this tiebreaker.
Last but not least, Portugal kept their unblemished record intact with a 92-62 rout of Romania in Group F. Travante Williams scored 20 points in 23 minutes of action to lead all scorers for coach Mario Gomes’s squad of 12.
Bulgaria maintained second place in the rankings behind Portugal with a 75-66 victory against Cyprus in Nicosia. In February, the top two teams will play again in Bulgaria, with the home team needing to close a ten-point margin in order to win the group and advance to the FIBA EuroBasket 2025 Qualifiers.
8/12 games played
Winners of each group will be determined going into the final round of games in February 2023.
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