The European Championships 2022 have started – and they immediately had a lot to offer. Slovenia beat Lithuania in a thrilling thrashing, while Spain fulfilled their role as favourites. Bosnia cheered, as did Turkey, who were very lucky to see the referee’s decision in a dramatic game.
Oversized: Luka Doncic and Slovenia beat Lithuania in opener.
In the year “German” group B The European Championships started with a duel between two outsiders: Thanks to a strong second half, Bosnia-Herzegovina beat Hungary 95:85. The Bosnians started poorly, but in the end they could rely on their top players Dzanan Musa, Jusuf Nurkic (19 points) and John Roberson (18).
Before the blowout between the defending champions Slovenia and Lithuania, the organizers raised the discontent of the Slovenians. “Good job Eurobasket didn’t provide organized buses to the European Championship,” Goran Dragic complained about the arrangement, then smugly said, “After 20 minutes we got a local taxi.”
In the hall, however, the trip was quickly forgotten, both teams quickly changed to the sixth gear – and gave the audience the expected tight match. Slovenia had advantages around superstar Luka Doncic before halftime, but Lithuania after. This was also due to Slovenia’s accuracy declining in the third quarter.
The preliminary decision was basically made two minutes before the end when Dragic managed to sink a three to make it 85:81 and Domantas Sabonis then gave himself a technical foul on Doncic. The European champion finally survived with a 92:85 victory. The best scorers of the match were not Doncic (14) or Dragic (19), but naturalized American Mike Tobey rose above everything – the center scored an impressive 24 points and 8 rebounds.
Turkey benefits from controversial wrongful decision
In the meantime, there was a tense atmosphere Group A. In Tbilisi, Montenegro and the group’s favorite Turkey fought an exciting exchange of blows, which was resolved only in the wild final stages: 69:68 in favor of Turkey. Montenegrin Kendrick Perry initially missed a three-pointer eight seconds before the final siren. , but Marko Simonovic grabbed the rebound, only to be called for a highly controversial foul on Cedi Osman. Ownership changed and Furkan Korkmaz even converted a shot from a distance for Turkey’s victory 72:68.
Earlier, the Spaniards, who were in the middle of upheavals, had won their opening match against a clearly flamboyant outsider, Bulgaria, 114:87 (57:35). Lorenzo Brown scored 17 points for the world champions, whose coach Sergio Scariolo would have liked to see seven of his players in double figures.
The Red Devils won the untitled singles game between Belgium and the host Georgia after overtime 79:76.