New Atlanta Hawks player Pero Antic and his fellow Macedonians lost a heartbreaker to Montenegro yesterday in the opening round of EuroBasket 2013.
Montenegro point guard Tyrese Rice scored six points in the last 1:44, including the game-winning pair of foul shots with 10.5 seconds left to seal the 81-80 victory over F.Y.R. of Macedonia.
Antić struggled for most of the game, only scoring eight points and grabbing six rebounds with four assists while committing five turnovers in the loss. He played a team-high 35 minutes, but couldn’t find his stroke and shot 3-of-9 from the field. Pero was also on the wrong end of a facial when Suad Sehovic soared over him for a vicious dunk in transition during the first period.
Only 6 of the 24 teams from the EuroBasket 2013 tournament field will qualify for next year’s FIBA World Cup in Spain. Each team plays the five other teams in its group in the first round (Macedonia and Montenegro are in Group B). The top three teams from each of the four groups advance to the second round.
Macedonia will square off with Lithuania in Podmezakla Arena tonight at 9:00 p.m. in Jesenice, Slovenia.
Here are the highlighs from yesterday’s Macedonia v. Montenegro matchup: