EuroBasket schedule 2013: The knockout stage begins

Christof Koepsel

The group stages of the EuroBasket tournament are over, and it is time for games to get real interesting.

The group stages of EuroBasket 2013 ended Sunday as Ukraine slipped into the quarterfinals as the final team from Group E. Starting Wednesday, the knockout portion of the tournament begins with Serbia playing Spain and Slovenia playing France.

Serbia enters the quarterfinals as the top seed out of Group E after going 4-1, with the lone loss coming against Ukraine. Former NBA big Nenad Kristic leads Serbia with 16.7 points per game during the tournament, good for tenth-best in the tournament, to go with 5.4 rebounds. Serbia and Spain have met four times in the past five years, each winning two games.

Serbia will get a Spain team that had a very up and down second group stage. They absolutely demolished Croatia, the top seed out of Group F, 68-40. Spain couldn't carry any semblance of momentum through the second group stage, however, as they also lost their game against Greece, the worst team in Group F. Rudy Fernandez and Marc Gasol each scored 20 points in the loss, but Spain struggled with ball control, committing 20 turnovers.

The second game of the night pits Slovenia against France. Both teams went 3-2 in their groups, with Slovenia the second team out of Group F and France the third team out of Group E. France struggled a bit to close out the second group stage, going 1-2 in their final three games with their win being an unexpectedly stiff test from Latvia. Any game with France tends to be a high scoring affair, and Les Bleus are always entertaining to watch with Tony parker, Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw on the floor.

Slovenia is doing its own bout of limping into the knockout stage. They squandered an opportunity to finish as the top team in Group F when they lost their last game of the stage to Finland. Goran Dragic has played well for Slovenia, averaging 15.3 points and 4.4 assists per game.

For a look at the entire schedule of games this week, head over FIBA.com.

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