“Good job EuroBasket. No bus for the European champions to the game. This must be a joke,” tweeted Goran Dragic, another NBA star. “At least we got a taxi after twenty minutes,” added the Chicago Bulls basketball player.
American-born Mike Tobey led the Slovenian team in scoring with 24 points. Dragič collected 19 of them, Dallas star Dončič mainly supplied his teammates with passes and added ten assists to his 14 points. In the same group B, the home team of Germans went after their dream medal with a 76:63 win over France.
The match was preceded by a solemn ceremony, as the representative jersey of legend Dirk Nowitzky was hung from the ceiling of the Cologne hall. The number 14 of the only German NBA champion will no longer be worn by anyone in the national team.
Defending bronze medalists, the Spaniards outclassed Bulgaria 114:87 in Tbilisi. The Czech national team will start the championship on Friday in Prague against the Poles.
|European Basketball Championship:|
|Group A (Tbilisi):|
|Spain – Bulgaria 114:87 (28:17, 57:35, 89:66)|
|Turkey – Montenegro 72:68 (14:18, 41:31, 53:51),|
|Belgium – Georgia 79:76 after extra time (16:11, 38:32, 58:51, 70:70)|
|Group B (Cologne):|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina – Hungary 95:85 (17:23, 45:46, 73:63)|
|Slovenia – Lithuania 92:85 (27:27, 51:48, 69:67)|
|Germany – France 76:63 (17:13, 38:31, 57:43)|