Day 2 of the FIBA U18 European Championship 2009 is in the books, not as interesting as yesterday but still some quality players on the court in Hagondange in front of a less numerous crowd than yesterday.
- The day started with two favorite wins as Croatia topped Germany and Spain overcame Ukraine so that Ukraine will play downwards for sure.
- The meeting between Serbia and the Czech Republic was interesting during the first quarter where the Czechs displayed a surprising lead behind the good debut of Ondrej Kohout. But the SF from Praha could not continue on that level and the inside force of Serbia around Branislav Dekic and an average Dejan Musli started to dominate the game. The Serbs displayed once again some trouble on the PG positions where Nikola Vukasovic is not playing very well right now. The backcourt needs to improve throughout the tournament if Serbia wants to be a medal candidate this year in France.
- The game of the night was of course the match up between Slovenia and the hosts from France. The game started well for the team around Leo Westermann, who had his 17th birthday this Friday, and France could go with an 8 point lead into halftime. Sharpshooter Frédéric Bourdillon nailed 3 out of 4 and Fabien Paschal showed his fluidity in the paint to give Philippe Ory’s team the halftime lead against a Slovenian team that was cold from outside but found a surprising inside scoring from Nejc Buda. France extended their lead up to 17 points in the third quarter but the Slovenian shooters started to hit from around the arc with the backup guards Klemen Panic and Tadej Ferme to bring the game back. It was close then until the last minute where back to back threes from Slovenia sealed the deal. Paschal destroyed his interesting performance with a vey soft presence in the rebound on the decisive play which gave Edo Muric a contested 24sec buzzer beating three with 1 minute to go for a 6point lead. France had the ball to win the game but Bourdillon took a desperate three with 7 seconds on the clock and defense on him which he missed. Chrislain Cairo finished top scorer of the game though with 17pts and 8rebs in his physical hustle style.
- It looks like FIBA Europe has sent out a letter to the referees to check more on ball carrying than before as we could observe a multitude of calls for carrying so far. Most of them were obvious calls but they are not called that often.
- Some additional teams could be spotted in Hagondange as Memphis Grizzlies, Boston Celtics and Khimki Moscow among others were present in the stands next to a multitude of agents and French professional teams.