|On fire - Anton Gavel had 35 points and dished out six assists to propel the Slovak Republic to their first victory|
Stellar displays by Anton Gavel and Dusan Pandula paved the way for the Slovak Republic to claim their first success of the EuroBasket Qualification Round after the duo combined for 52 points in a thrilling 86-84 win in Iceland.
Gavel in particular really tormented the hosts, lighting it up with a game-high 35 points, including four triples to go with his six rebounds and six assists.
He also played an instrumental role in a dramatic finale when the Slovak Republic clung on to finally end their dreadful run of six straight defeats and also avenge their bitterly disappointing 81-75 home loss to their opponent earlier in the campaign.
It was an intense battle between two teams who have struggled to make any impression during the summer but with pride most definitely on the line, there was no let up as Iceland almost forced overtime right at the death.
But, Jon Stefansson couldn't make the play and a relieved Michal Batka was grateful to be able to cling on to the all-important rebound.
For the first thirty six minutes or so, both teams tried to make decisive runs to break the game open but it just didn't happen.
When Gavel fired back-to-back triples to put his team 82-76 ahead with just over two minutes left on the game clock, it looked like Slovak Republic would be easing away to victory.
Led by Hlynur Baeringsson, who finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds, Iceland fought back but just couldn't manage to get the pendulum to swing their way in the closing moments.
Pandula added 17 points for Slovak Republic.