Gritty Dutch Break Into Win Column



6. Worthy De Jong (Netherlands)
Worthy De Jong and the Netherlands upset Georgia with an inspiring performance

The Netherlands held their nerve and knocked Georgia from the ranks of the unbeaten in the EuroBasket Qualification Round on Monday evening.

Losers of their first three games in Group D, the Dutch got 24 points from David Jansen and 22 from Kees Akerboom in a 91-88 victory.

Making the win even sweeter for Jan Willem Jansen's side is that they had to overcome a 13-point deficit late in the first half.

After the hosts battled back and went in front, 55-53, with an Akerboom three-ball midway through the third quarter, the contest remained tight until the finish.

The last tie was with 7:44 remaining Georgia's Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia went up for a lay-up, taking his points haul to 19, to knot the game at 72-72.

Worthy De Jong answered with a three-point play to put the Dutch in front.

The game hung in the balance when Manuchar Markoishvili scored with 41 seconds to go cut the home side's lead to 87-86.

Markoishvili was then whistled for a technical foul, and Akerboom made two free-throws to restore the three-point lead.

Jansen added two more free-throws before Georgia's Tornike Shengelia had a lay-up at the death for the three-point defeat.

The Netherlands shared the ball well, finishing with 26 assists to just 11 for Georgia.

The Georgians are now 3-1.


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