2013 Eurobasket Qualifier: Hanga, Bertans fall in opening games

If San Antonio Spurs draftees Adam Hanga (Hungary) and Davis Bertans (Latvia) want to get their shot at possibly facing their future Spurs teammates Tony Parker, Boris Diaw, and Nando De Colo (France) next summer in Slovenia for Eurobasket 2013, they’ll have to first qualify to earn that position next year.

On Tuesday, the 2013 Eurobasket qualifier kicked off, and Hanga and Bertans both suffered defeats with their teams in their opening games on Wednesday.

Hanga and Hungary (0-1) fell to the Ukraine 77-71 in game in which Hanga led his team in scoring with 21 points, on 8-of-15 shooting (3/7 3PT), shot 2-of-4 free throws, dished three assists, grabbed three rebounds, stole the ball three times, and though he racked up five fouls, he didn’t turn the ball over at all in 31 minutes of play.

From a look at his numbers, you could say the work he put in with Austin Toros assistant coach Alex Llyod might be showing signs of improvement in Hanga’s game as he finished with a (+2), and connected on 5-of-8 inside shots, presumably around the rim.

Bertans and Latvia (0-1) suffered a loss to Bosnia and Herzegovina 87-84 as well on Wednesday. Bertans finished tied as the second leading scorer on his team with 13 points, on 4-of-8 shooting, 1-of-2 free throws, grabbed five rebounds, collected one assist, one steal, and fouled one time. He finished with a (+1) as well, but his outside shooting was on target as he connected on 4-of-6 three pointers.

Explanation of the Eurobasket qualify tournament

So here’s a quick explanation of how the qualifying tournament for Eurobasket 2013 works. First, there are 24 teams trying to qualify for a position in next year’s tournament. Of the 24 teams, only 16 can qualify.

Next, teams are broken up into six different groups (A-F), and the top two teams of each group will qualify, and then the four best third teams remaining will get those last slots. Groups are broken up into four teams that will face each other twice. So that means each team gets a total of eight games to play in.

So in order for Bertans and Hanga to qualify, they need their to team to finish as either the top two teams in their groups, or will need to finish third in their brackets and have a better record and game statistics than the other third place group teams.

We unfortunately won’t get to see Hanga and Bertans face each other, because Hungary (Hanga) has been put into Group C, while Latvia (Bertans) has been put into Group D.

Hanga and Hungary will face Austria next Tuesday in Hungary, while Bertans and Latvia will face the Netherlands in Latvia next Tuesday.

So if you’re really thirsting for some Spurs affiliated basketball from now until training camp opens in October, you can watch Hanga and Bertans participate in seven more games that will conclude in mid September.

Paul Garcia

About Paul Garcia

Paul is a San Antonio Spurs credentialed media member for Project Spurs. He covered the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, TX and the 2013 NBA Finals.

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