|07 September 2012|
|Dusan Ivkovic's Serbia, Israel and Estonia are chasing a qualifying spot in Group A and the first two could already secure it on Saturday, if they win and results elsewhere go their way|
We break down the situation in Qualification Round Groups A, B and C ahead of the vital Saturday games and analyse the chances of every team that is still in the hunt for a place at EuroBasket 2013.
GROUP A [Standings]
As expected, this pool has had one battle right after the other with only unbeaten Montenegro having secured qualification.
Serbia and Israel hold their destiny in their own hands. If they win both of their remaining games, they qualify automatically.
One of them, or even both, can already qualify on Saturday if they win their respective games and one of Sweden, Belgium or Turkey lose theirs.
If that happens, when Serbia host Israel on the final day of the Qualification Round the winner will take second place in the group and loser will advance as one of the best third-place teams.
If Serbia beat Estonia on Saturday, they will secure third place at minimum, yet if one of Sweden, Belgium or Turkey does not lose on the same day, it would remain to be seen if Serbia's win/loss percentage would be good enough to qualify as that depends on other groups.
If Dusan Ivkovic's team then also beat Israel in the last game, they would finish second and qualify automatically.
If Serbia were to fall to Estonia, but by less than 25 points, they would need to beat Israel by 13 or more points on the last day to finish second.
Worst case scenario: Serbia to lose to Estonia by more than 25 and for Israel to beat Slovakia and Estonia to also overcome Iceland. They would then need to beat Israel by 13 or more to finish third and hope for the best, otherwise the Blues would finish fourth.
If Israel defeat Slovakia and Estonia lose to Serbia, then they would secure third place as minimum. However, if their win/loss percentage is good enough to qualify depends on other groups.
Should Israel then also beat Serbia in the last game, they would finish second and qualify automatically.
If Israel were to beat Slovakia and Estonia beat Serbia, they could lose when they meet Serbia in the final game, as long as they protect their 13-point advantage over them, to go through as second.
If they lose to Slovakia, they would need to beat Serbia in the last game and then they still clinch second regardless of what has happened in the Estonia v Serbia game.
Worst case scenario: Israel lose both to Slovakia and Serbia, Estonia beat Serbia and then Iceland. That would leave Israel fourth.
Estonia could finish second if they defeat Serbia by 25+ points AND Israel lose to Slovakia on Saturday, and then lose again to Serbia on Tuesday.
If they beat Serbia by less than 25, the only scenario whereby they still maintain their chances is if they also win their last game (vs. Iceland) and Israel either win both, or lose both of their last two games.
In this case they finish third at 6-4 and hope for the best in other groups (eg. two third-place teams in other groups finishing at 4-4.)
Worst case scenario: If they lose to Serbia, they finish fourth no matter what they do on the last day against Iceland.
GROUP B [Standings]
No one can secure second place on Saturday. Sweden however are the ones who depend on themselves.
If Sweden defeat Germany on Saturday and then also defeat Luxembourg on Tuesday, they qualify automatically.
If they lose to Germany they can still go through as second, provided they beat Luxembourg on Tuesday and Azerbaijan also lose to Germany on the last day.
Worst case scenario: They lose to both Germany and Luxembourg, while both Azerbaijan and Bulgaria win their respective last games. Sweden finish fourth.
If Azerbaijan defeat Germany on the last day and Sweden lose one of their two remaining games, they go though automatically.
If they beat Germany but Sweden win both their games, they finish third with a 5-3 record and qualify as one of the best third-place teams.
If they lose to Germany but Bulgaria lose their last game AND Sweden lose both their remaining games, they finish second and qualify automatically, but with a 4-4 record.
If they lose to Germany (so they finish 4-4 again) but either Bulgaria lose their last game OR Sweden lose both their remaining games, they finish third and have to wait for results in other groups.
Worst case scenario: Azerbaijan lose to Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria win their remaining games. Azerbaijan finish fourth.
Bulgaria can finish second, albeit with 4-4 record, if they defeat Luxembourg and both Azerbaijan and Sweden lose their remaining games.
They will take third place and wait for results in other groups if they win and either one of Azerbaijan or Sweden lose their remaining games.
Worst case scenario: Azerbaijan and Sweden win their remaining games. Bulgaria finish fourth regardless of whether they beat Luxembourg.
GROUP C [Standings]
One of Austria or Hungary will take third place in the group, but their problem is that since they already have four losses to their name their only chance of finishing as one of the four best third-place teams is if they do not suffer any more losses, so they can at least finish with a 4-4 record and hope for the best.
Most probably, they will also need to mark these victories by a wide margin, so they finish with a healthy goal average and hope to overcome a team that finishes third with a 4-4 record in another group, but with a lowe goal average.