2013 EuroBasket Roundup | Sept. 4, 2013

2013 EuroBasket Roundup | Sept. 4, 2013

Editor’s Note: The 2013 EuroBasket tournament is taking place Sept. 4-22 in Slovenia this year, and it includes Wolves guards Ricky Rubio (Spain) and Alexey Shved (Russia). Throughout the tournament, Timberwolves.com will follow both players’ performances for their respective teams as they try represent their countries prior to the 2013-14 NBA season.

Sept. 4, 2013 Recap

Spain 68, Croatia 40

CELJE, Slovenia — In the first of four preliminary round games, Spain rolled past Croatia in Group C play on Wednesday in Celje. Spain held Croatia to 31 percent shooting from inside the arc and 2-of-17 shooting from behind the arc, and that defensive stand paved the way for a convincing first win.

Ricky Rubio played 22 minutes in the ballgame, the second most of any player on Spain’s squad behind Marc Gasol’s 34. Rubio finished shooting 2-of-5 from the floor with seven points, nailed 3-of-4 attempts from the line and collected seven of Spain’s 14 team assists. He also had a team-high two steals in the ballgame and was a game-high plus-28 when he was on the floor.

Rudy Fernandez led the way for Spain with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while Gasol finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds on the night. Jose Calderon also added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting. For Croatia, Bojan Bogdanovic led the way with 12 points.

Spain is set to play Thursday at 2 p.m. CT against Slovenia. That game can be viewed on ESPN3.com.

Italy 76, Russia 69

KOPER, Slovenia — In Group D play, Team Russia dropped a 76-69 matchup against Italy in its opening game of pool play at the 2013 EuroBasket tournament.

The loss squandered a standout performance by Alexey Shved, who scored 17 points and connected on 3-of-7 from behind the arc during the contest. He also added five assists, three rebounds and collected two steals for Team Russia.

Sergey Monya finished with 13 points and Vitaliy Fridzon added 12 for Russia. The problem was trying to contain Italy’s Luigi Datome (25 points), Marco Belinelli (16 points) and Pietro Aradori (13 points). Italy shot 52.6 percent from inside the arc.

“Both teams played great, and they played a little better,” Shved said. “We started not so good, but after the first half we played like a team together. We just have to play all game like the second half.”

Russia will take on Greece on Thursday at 2 p.m. CT. That game is also available on ESPN3.com.

“We need to take rest and start thinking about [Thursday’s] game,” Shved said after the Italy loss. “They have a great team…they are strong and fast…but we are Russian National Team. We don’t’ want to lose. We want to win every game.”

For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com.