Estonia brushes off Nurkic, Musa

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

Despite putting a 20-point lead in danger, the second win in four prep games was claimed by Estonia.

The team coached by Jukka Toijala beat Bosnia-Herzegovina, 102-89, to finish first in the three-team friendly tournament held in Tartu.

A recent addition to Turkish Airlines EuroLeague outfit Cazoo Baskonia, Maik Kotsar paved the way with 21 points, six rebounds, and four assists in nearly 25 minutes of action. Young point guard Kerr Kriisa added 16 points and seven assists in Sunday’s matchup.

The hosts of the friendly game bounced back from an early double-digit deficit with the advantage growing to 20 points at the conclusion of the third quarter. A 10-1 sprint after the lead was cut to eight points knocked out Bosnia.

Real Madrid’s Dzanan Musa put up 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals but fell short of a second win in Estonia. Limited to 18 minutes, the lone NBA player of the game, Jusuf Nurkic of the Portland Trail Blazers had 18 points and nine rebounds.

Securing the second friendly win puts the latest touch on preparations to play in EuroBasket. Estonia is slated to face Italy, Ukraine, Croatia, Great Britain, and Greece in Group C of the preliminary round. As for moving into Group J of the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers, Slovenia and Finland are coming up in a couple of weeks.

The losing side will collide with Hungary, Germany, Slovenia, France, and Lithuania in EuroBasket’s Group B, after taking on Montenegro and France at the top of World Cup Qualifiers Group K.

Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL

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