The Dutch basketball players have joined the European Championships next year. The team of Italian coach Maurizio Buscaglia defeated Croatia in Istanbul with 65-57
the basketball players were behind 35-27 in the Turkish ‘bubble’ halfway through the match. However, Oranje took over the initiative afterwards. Through a three-point from Charlon Kloof in the buzzer the Buscaglia team took over the lead at the end of the third quarter (49-48). In the last quarter, the Netherlands ran away from the Croats. Yannick Franke was the top scorer with 15 points.
The basketball players, who left their first chance to compete for the European Championships at the end of November, competed in the European Championship for the last time in 2015. That was the first time in 26 years. Oranje closes the EC qualification on Monday against Sweden, which is at the bottom of group D. The Netherlands, the qualification series will end as number 2 of the pool, behind Croatia.
Buscaglia, appointed as successor to Toon van Helfteren in 2019, could not appeal against the Croats to the slightly injured Worthy de Jong. The 32-year-old guard of Care and Security Leiden remained on the side as a precaution, also with a view to the potentially crucial meeting with Sweden. De Jong saw from the side that his teammates managed to make it to the European Championships without him.
Of the eight previous duels with Croatia, the basketball players had won only one, more than three years ago in Almere.