2013 EuroBasket schedule: Quarterfinals continue on Thursday

Christof Koepsel

Croatia, Lithuania, Italy and Ukraine are all hoping to advance to the semifinals with a win on Thursday at the EuroBasket tournament in Slovenia.

The 2013 EuroBasket schedule continues Thursday with two more quarterfinal games taking place in Slovenia. Spain and France advanced on Wednesday and are waiting on Thursday's winners to complete the FIBA tournament's final four.

Thursday's first quarterfinals game will take place between Croatia and Ukraine, a matchup that could pose real problems for the Ukrainian squad when considering Croatia is on a seven-game winning streak. Ukraine overachieved just to get to this point with a roster featuring Sergii Gladyr and Pooh Jeter, but the talented Croatian squad needs to make sure it doesn't overlook its well-coached opponents.

The final quarterfinal game features Lithuania vs. Italy, a team that wasn't expected to advance this far without NBA players Danilo Gallinari and Andrea Bargnani on its roster. Marco Belinelli and Alessandro Gentile carried a hot-shooting Italy team further than it was supposed to go, but Lithuania's defense -- anchored by NBAers Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Motiejunas -- could put that to an end.

There will be one other game taking place on Thursday, too, as Wednesday's losers try to stay alive in the "qualification bracket." The top seven teams are guaranteed a berth in next year's FIBA World Cup, meaning taking at least seventh place is imperative. That also means, considering the stakes, the loser's bracket could end up being a bit more interesting than the rest of this tournament.

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