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Eurobasket Day 4: Ukraine vs. Bulgaria, Russia vs. Belgium

September 4, 2011

Ukraine vs. Bulgaria: Ukraine wins!

In a nutshell, Ukraine is a very young team and not very good. In another nutshell, Bulgaria is a few leagues behind Ukraine. The two teams combined for 10-32 shooting in the first quarter, and every time a shot went up, the shovey, pushy fray under the basket was like Inigo Montoya fighting his way through the crowd before Fezzik shouted, “Errybo’y mooooooove!”

Fes had 5 points, 3 boards, and 3 fouls* in 10:24.

*The three fouls were in a span of about 2:30, and two of the three foul-ees ended up sprawled on the floor.

Non-day-to-day Fes observers would probably say that this was the Fes highlight of the game:

However, day-to-day Fes observers such as myself probably would have to choose this as the best Fes moment:

Random aside: “Ukraine’s” [American] point guard, Steve Burtt, is listed as “Stiven Bertt” on Ukraine’s roster and on his uniform. In the on-screen CGs during this game, he was “Birtt.” “Bulgaria’s” [American] point guard, Earl Rowland, however, got to be “Earl Rowland.” In related news, Rowland is the only Bulgarian player whose last name does not end in “v.”

Speaking of imported players, Mr. Bean also put in some time on the court for Bulgaria:

This was Ukraine’s first Eurobasket win in a decade.

Russia vs. Belgium

I know y’all totally come here for all the breaking news, so here’s today’s item: Andrei Kirilenko’s tattoo extends to the front.

In the opening minutes, AK blocked a 3-point shot from behind and then scored on the other end. Russia threatened to run away with it early, but the game was deceptively close in the first half due to a sloppy second quarter in which Belgium had four straight turnovers. Russia responded by saying, “Anything you can do we can do better” and proceeded to match Belgium’s feat with its own string of four straight turnovers.

After probably getting a stern talkin’-to at halftime from David Blatt, Russia came back focused in the third quarter and broke the game open with a combination of 3-pointers and AK cleaning the glass. Andrei checked out for good at 8:34 in the fourth quarter, and Russia went up by 20 with four minutes left. Meanwhile, Belgium managed only 6 points in the final 6:22.

Unfortunately for David Blatt, his witch doctor did not arrive on time and Russia’s free throw woes continued, with the team going 10-17 and AK going 2-4.

Just to put AK’s personal free throw woes into perspective, Fes is shooting 20% (.667) better from the line in Eurobasket than AK (.476). AK’s final line: 9 points (3-3), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block in 28 minutes.

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