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Russian basketball team defeats Serbia at EuroBasket 2017

September 03, 6:30 UTC+3 ISTANBUL

The two victories, which gave Russia four points in two games, put the team at the top spot in the group

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Russian team players greet fans after defeating Serbia

Russian team players greet fans after defeating Serbia

©  EPA-EFE/SEDAT SUNA

ISTANBUL /Turkey/, September 3. /TASS/. Russia’s national basketball team defeated Serbia 75:72 in a group D match of the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 in Turkey’s Istanbul on Saturday.

This is Russia’s second victory at the tournament. On Friday, Russia defeated the Turkish team.

The two victories, which gave Russia four points in two games, put the team at the top spot in the group. Its opponents in the group, Latvia and Serbia, each garnered three points and are ranked second and third, respectively.

In its next Group D battle, Russia will face Belgium on September 4.

Commenting on Russia’s performance, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov told TASS it was too early to draw any conclusions.

"Of course we cannot help but feel joy over two victories at the start of an important tournament like EuroBasket. We defeated teams that were among the tournament’s frontrunners. However, it is too early to make any far-reaching conclusions, one can win two first games and show poor performance in others," he said. "We will make conclusions when the tournament is over."

Andrei Kirilenko, the president of the Russian Basketball Federation, told TASS that the team’s performance at EuroBasket gives ground for optimism.

"If we will keep that effort, if we play true mature basketball, then, I think, the Russian team has a very good chance of going to the very end of the Eurobasket," he said. "The team has made a very good start, they won two games. I think that they would continue to improve their performance and show a more stable game."

"They defeated the defending World and Olympic silver medalists [Serbia]. This triumph will give them a great deal of motivation and confidence," the official added.

The FIBA EuroBasket 2017 is held in Istanbul (Turkey), Helsinki (Finland), Tel Aviv (Israel) and Cluj-Napoca (Romania). It will end on September 17.

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