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Eurobasket Update - September 17, 2005

GROUP D
Spain 114 vs. Latvia 108 (OT)

And after their second game in Group D action Spain has made a huge statement now having gone 2-0 even without their dominant big man, Pau Gasol. For Raps fans this game is even more encouraging considering the performance of Jose Calderon. Again Calderon managed to put together a solid performance at the point and played almost the whole game logging 39 minutes of PT. In that 39 minutes Calderon managed 15 points, 3 assist, 2 rebounds, and only one turnover. Perhaps even more impressive was the efficiency by which Calderon netted 15 points. Although only 2/5 from the floor, he was "ringing it up from Downtown" going 3/3 from behind the arc. What is quickly becoming apparent is that Calderon can play at the European elite level raising hopes here in Toronto. If Calderon manages to keep up the high level of play perhaps Raps fans can concern themselves less with whether the loss of Yatu Tabuse is actually a concern.

GROUP B
Croatia 67 vs. Lithuania 85

Croatia suffered their first loss of the tournament when they folded in the fourth quarter of their second game quicker than a rookie Texas Holdem' player after a check-raise. Nevertheless there was a Roko sighting although not what many were expecting. For whatever reason, likely inexperience, Roko only played for 2 uneventful minutes where he posted zero's across the board, except for a missed three pointer. It will be interesting to see whether Croatia can bounce back from this bad loss, and whether Roko actually sees some game time.

Obviously it is only round robin action but if the first two games are any indication it looks like fellow RaptorsHQ staff member Jeff Chapman was right when he said Roko playing in Spain was fine by him.

GROUP C
Slovenia 68 vs. Greece 56

Well, unfortunately there is little to report in terms of Uros Slokar. Even though Slovenia managed to beat Greece quite handily Slokar again played the roll of "Spartan Spirit" and did not see the floor. Here's hoping the star of Raptors summer league manages to play at least one minute of action during this tournament. If not there will be little to say about Uros until the Benetton Treviso season starts up again.

- HOWLAND