Hello there! Today is break day for the teams that played yesterday, but that leaves a lot of other intreresting games to watch, particularly in Group C where everything's still open, and even Finland could advance. Group D is more like predicted, with favorites Russia and Slovenia still unbeaten.
- Finland vs Bosnia & Herzegobina: Might be the best shot Finland has at a victory: Bosnia & Herzegobina boasts the same trigger-happy attitude and shows the same weakness under the basket. The team that stays focused when it matters will win - and I think it might just be Finland, who have shown a greater motivation up to now. Prediction: Finland start their qualification campaign by beating Bosnia & Herzegobina.
- Greece vs FYROM: Apart from any enmity between the two countries, this game will be the first real test for a revamped Greece side. FYROM will once again rest its hope on Bo McCalebb and their motley crew of a frontline, while Greece will seek to run, when possible, and play solid defense. Prediction: close in the first half, Greece wins by the middle of the third quarter.
- Croatia vs Montenegro: This game could mean death or life for both sides. Croatia managed to lose against FYROM, and if they continue like this there's no reason they shouldn't lose against a determined Montenegro side. Defeat would mean more to Croatia, than to Montenegro though, so I expect the ailing Croatians to at least play with a sense of urgency. Talent-wise, Croatia is still superior, but predictions matter little on the court. Prediction: Croatia keeps falling, lose to Montenegro.
- Ukraine vs Bulgaria: For Ukraine this is their last chance: they lost against overwhelming favorites Slovenia and Russia, and will need to put the foot on the pedal, if they have a mind of appearing on the next stage. They'll need to beat Bulgaria, who conceded to Slovenia and earned a win against Belgium. I'd say morale is on the Bulgarian side, but then again, who knows? Prediction: Ukraine wins. They absolutely need this one.
- Slovenia vs Georgia: This game has a favorite: Slovenia wasn't that comfortable against Ukraine, but a win today will relax them for the upcoming group final against Russia. Georgia can afford to lose, but if they win, they prove they are ready for the next stage - they impressed so far, winning clearly on the first day and forcing a close game with Russia. Do they have enough to contend with Slovenia? They'll need to survive whatever comes from behind the 3-point-line, and make enough points of their own in the paint, something that won't be that easy to achieve. Prediction: Slovenia hangs on. It's ugly, but they win.
- Russia vs Belgium: This is a no-brainer. Russia wins, and secures their qualification to the next round, barring a miracle, or many miracles. For Belgium there's still hope, but only if Georgia loses.