Russia immediately took the initiative in the game played behind closed doors at Saku Suurhall and took a 10-0 lead. While Estonia was able to get their game off the ground a bit, they never managed to climb to the top. The Russians were accurate from the depths in the first half and met ten threes against Estonia’s three.
Russia continued its hot hand from the three-point country to extend its 14-point lead after the half. Meanwhile, Estonia couldn’t find a way into the solid defenses of their eastern neighbor throughout the second half. Estonia lost six points in the third quarter and eight points in the final quarter. In total, Russia scored 28 more points in the game.
Russia hit 19 of their 36 attempted shots (52.78 percent) from depth and was also accurate on their free throws (13/15). The team’s top scorer was Evgeny Baburin, who took his team 19 points – 15 out of three points – off the bench. Andrey Vorontsevich and Ivan Strebkov added 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Estonia’s accuracy from a long distance pale in comparison to its opponent. The home team only scored 22 out of three shots in five of their attempts. Janari Jõesaar was the highlight for Estonia, scoring 11 points. Rain Veideman added 10.
Monday’s game against North Macedonia was canceled
The North Macedonian national basketball team traveled to Estonia to qualify for the European Championship. Their first game was supposed to take place on Monday night against host country Estonia, but the game was canceled after three North Macedonian players were found to have the coronavirus.
The diagnosed player was immediately tested for COVID-19 after complaining of malaise on Friday and gave a positive result. A round of rapid tests conducted on Saturday returned three more positive results, which resulted in tests that were extended to the entire team. A full round of PCR testing revealed three team members with COVID-19 by Sunday morning.
The International Basketball Association (FIBA) has decided to cancel the game between Estonia and North Macedonia on Monday. Italy and Russia will have to face each other in the final “bubble” game in Tallinn. Your game is set for 4pm. Estonian time on Monday.
The canceled games (Italy – North Macedonia, Estonia – North Macedonia) are scheduled for the February qualifying window.
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