Eurobasket 2022: Group C – Preview, Tips & Odds
All Group C matches at the upcoming Eurobasket will be played at the Mediolanum Forum in Milan. Apart from the home team, there are also Greece, Croatia, Ukraine, Great Britain, and Estonia, so we will see some very interesting matches already in the group stage.
The Italians experienced terrible bad luck in the last game before the start of the Eurobasket. In the FIBA World Cup qualifying match against Georgia, Danilo Gallinari suffered a serious knee injury, so he will not play at the upcoming European Championship. In his absence, much is expected from winger Simone Fontecchio, who has been playing brilliantly for the past year. He drew attention to himself with a great performance in the qualifying tournament for the Olympics last year, as well as in Tokyo, where he averaged almost 20 points per game.
Apart from this Utah Jazz player, there is experienced power forward Nicolo Melli, who will be the main force in the paint for the Italian national team. We should also mention talented combo guard Nico Mannion, who always plays better for Italy than for his club.
The Azzurri registered both victories in the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup. They were better than Ukraine and Georgia, so they welcome Eurobasket in a good mood, where they will have huge support from the stands as the hosts. The aforementioned Fontecchio – Melli tandem was the main force in both duels, so their performance in the tournament will be the most important for the Italians.
Since Gianmarco Pozzecco became the coach of Italy, this national team has been playing fast and dynamic basketball. The matches of the Italian national team will be very interesting and effective, and considering the competition, their reality is second or third place at the end of the group stage. It would give them a slightly easier opponent in the elimination phase, as they cross paths with the weakest Group D in the tournament.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the alpha and omega of this national team. A lot of Greece’s playstyle will depend on this Greek Freak. The NBA superstar has been pretty quiet in previous national team competitions, so he will be motivated to bring home some medals for his country. Except for him, there are also his brothers Kostas and Thanasis, who will greatly contribute to the Greek national team with their athleticism.
Someone whose quality and experience will be an important factor in this generation of Greek players is the duo of defenders, Kostas Sloukas – Nick Calathes. We should not forget excellent guard Tyler Dorsey, who returns to the NBA next season after several years in Europe.
Greece recorded a win and a loss in the qualifying matches that preceded the Eurobasket. First, they lost to Serbia in Belgrade after overtime 94-100, and then they beat Belgium 85-68. Giannis was unstoppable in both matches. He scored 42 points against Serbia, and 26 against the Belgians. Tyler Dorsey was huge support for him in both matches, scoring 16 and 22 points.
The Greeks have a real chance to win a medal. Giannis has fully developed as a player, which was not the case at the World Cup three years ago. Their realistic reach is the semi-finals, and nuances will decide the final ranking.
Bojan Bogdanovic will be a key player in this tournament as well. The NBA star has been a team leader in the last few major competitions, but this generation has yet to win a medal. Apart from him, there are also Ivica Zubac and Dario Saric from the NBA, while Mario Hezonja will also be an important link. He played great in the Euroleague last season, so he will be a Real Madrid player from this fall. The Croatians have naturalized Jalen Smith from Alba for this competition, as they have had major problems at the point guard position for several years.
Croats experienced a collapse in the qualifiers for Mundobasket, so the matches in the qualifiers for Eurobasket 2025 served as general preparations for this one. They recorded two victories – against Poland as guests 72-69 and against Switzerland 84-53 in front of their own audience.
Since they will not be at the World Championship next year, Croatia’s complete focus will be on this championship. They have individual qualities for one of the top three spots in this group, but you never know with them. In previous years, they suffered many painful defeats. We believe that their main goal is to avoid the fourth place because they would most likely meet Serbia already in the round of 16.
The main strength of the Ukrainian national team at this tournament will be NBA guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, and Sacramento Kings center Alex Len. These two players have been part of the strongest league in the world for several years, so the coaching staff of Ukraine, headed by coach Ainars Bagatskis, has a lot of confidence in this tandem. Apart from these two, important players for Ukraine will be Artem Pustovyi and Denys Lukashov.
The Ukrainians suffered both defeats in the qualifiers. While the defeat against the Italians 89-97 might be expected, the failure against Iceland away from home surprised many 88-91. Therefore, we don’t think they are coming to Eurobasket in the best mood.
Assuming that the first three places are guaranteed for Italy, Greece, and Croatia, then the Ukrainians are the main favorites for the fourth place. We believe that this roster has more individual and team quality than the other two teams, but they have to prove it on the floor.
The British, as in previous years, do not have excessively loud names in their roster. Gabriel Olaseni, a strong center who has been a member of Turkish clubs for several years, could be the leader of this generation. There is also experienced wing Myles Hesson, who has been in good form of late and has a lot of freedom under coach Nathan Reinking.
The British lost both matches in the World Cup qualifiers, and that was to be expected. Belgium defeated them 72-57, and Latvia 87-80. However, they played quite solidly against the favored Latvians, who outclassed Turkey a few days earlier.
Great Britain will be chasing their place in the round of 16 against Ukraine and Estonia. This national team was never considered a basketball force because this sport is simply not popular in that climate. Therefore, we give them a small chance to avoid elimination already in the preliminary round.
Maik-Kalev Kotsar is an extremely interesting player, who could be the main strength of Estonia at Eurobasket. The center played brilliantly last season for Hamburg Towers, and he became a new member of Baskonia this summer. He averaged 15.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in eight World Cup qualifiers.
Along with him, there is experienced Siim-Sander Vene, who was the team leader in the previous competitions in which the Estonians participated. Henry Drell and Kerr Kriisa are also interesting players.
The Estonians were defeated in both qualifying matches, which was expected because the Slovenians and Finns are of better quality and experience at the moment.
This national team has a minor chance to qualify for the next stage. But this roster is talented and can be very dangerous if some teams completely underestimate them. We believe that the matches against Ukraine and Great Britain will be very exciting.
- United Kingdom
The Greeks are the best team in this group and we expect them to come out on top. A direct duel between Italians and Croatians should decide who will advance to the round of 16 from the second position. In the triangle of Ukraine – Estonia – Great Britain, we give a slight advantage to the Ukrainians to go to the next stage.