Bosnia assured its return to FIBA Eurobasket next year with a 74-68 win over Joe Prunty's Great Britain squad in the FIBA Europe Qualifying Round. Mirza Teletovic once again led the Bosnians with 25 points, 12 coming in the fourth quarter as his team pulled away. The game was played in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo.
The Bosnians have improved to 3-0 and, although first place in Group A will have to wait until the outcome of their Wednesday clash against Iceland, they have secured a finish among the six best second-placed teams in the qualifying tournament and thus will be going to Eurobasket 2015. The location of the tournament, which was to be in Ukraine, has yet to be determined.
After going 5-of-15 and 1-of-8 in the first three quarters, Teletovic hit 3-of-6 and 2-of-3 in the fourth. Back-to-back three's put Bosnia ahead for good. After Great Britain reduced Bosnia's lead to 69-68, Teletovic drove to the basket and finished at the rim to make it 71-68 with 3:56 left on the clock. From then on, it was about maintaining the lead. His 25 points gives him 79 --26.3 per game-- for the three games. Bosnia permitted GB only nine points in the fourth.
Meanwhile, Russia barely survived with a 72-68 comeback win over Italy to finish 2-2 in its group. Sergey Karasev, whose minutes have yo-yoed throughout the four games the Russians have played, didn't score in six minutes of play. Russia's coach Evgeniy Pashutin favors veteran players and just as Karasev is the Nets youngest player at 20, he's Russia's as well. Karasev's international commitment is now complete.
Russia will finish in second place in its group but will now have to wait to see where it stands when the tournament wraps on August 27. The top teams in each of the seven groups automatically get in and then the six best second place teams, ranked on a number of factors, also qualify.