BERLIN — Nemanja Bjelica scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Serbia past Spain 80-70 in the featured match of the opening day of the European Basketball Championship on Saturday.
Also, Dirk Nowitzki and Dennis Schroeder scored 15 points each to lead host Germany to a surprisingly close 71-65 victory over Iceland.
Bjelica was supported by Nemanja Nedovic, who didn’t miss a shot in scoring 14 points and pacing a key run that got Serbia back into the game.
“It may have been the best game of his career,” Serbia coach Aleksandar Djordjevic said of Bjelica.
Serbia, the silver medalist at last year’s World Cup, scored the first five points and kept Spain scoreless until Rudy Fernandez’s three-point play with 4:58 left in the first quarter. But Spain quickly put together a 12-0 run and had a 10-point lead after the first quarter.
Nedovic then came off the bench to score 10 straight points, including two consecutive 3-pointers, as Serbia closed the gap to two at the end of the first half.
Nedovic and Zoran Erceg scored 3-pointers, and Bjelica made a jumper as Serbia opened a 60-49 lead in the third.
In the last quarter, Pau Gasol singlehandedly brought Spain within one with less than two minutes left. But Bjelica and Bogdan Bogdanovic nailed 3-pointers to protect Serbia’s win.
After a quiet game in the first half apart from four blocks, Gasol scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. Nikola Mirotic added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“Nedovic turned the game around,” Spain coach Sergio Scariolo said. “We came back but then those two 3-pointers (by Bjelica and Bogdanovic) finished us off.”
Spain was a two-time champion before France won the title two years ago.
Iceland outscored Germany 22-12 in the final quarter as Jon Steffansson topped all scorers with 23 points for the team considered an outsider in the tough Group B.
Nowitzki needed time to get into the game but also contributed seven rebounds. Schroeder had six rebounds and four assists.
Poland beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 68-64 in Group A in Montpellier, France; the Netherlands stunned Georgia 73-72 in Group C in Zagreb, Croatia; and the Czech Republic routed Estonia 80-57 in Group D in Riga, Latvia.
Robin Smeulders sank a jumper with 18 seconds remaining for the Dutch to win their first Eurobasket match since 1989. Charlon Kloof led all scorers with 22 points. Georgia got 16 points from center Zaza Pachulia, and Tomike Shengelia also added 16.
Jan Vesely led the Czech Republic with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Center Marcin Gortat had 10 points and seven rebounds for Poland, while Adam Waczinski had 15 points. Andrija Stepanovic led Bosnia with 20.
Omri Casspi scored 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds as Israel rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Russia 76-73 in Group A.
Greece beat Macedonia 85-65 in Group C, while Latvia dismissed Belgium 78-67 in Group D.
Shibutani siblings elected to U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Olympic ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani along with Paul E. George, who served as the director of the U.S. Olympic Committee, were elected to the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
The trio will be inducted Jan. 28 during the U.S. figure skating championships in San Jose, California.
The Shibutani siblings were two-time Olympians who won a pair of bronze medals at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games before stepping away from the sport in their prime. They also were three-time world medalists, earned medals at each of their 14 national championships and were two-time senior U.S. champions.
Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, who is three years older than his sister, became the first U.S. ice dancers to medal at the world debut in 2011, and the second-youngest team to medal at worlds. She was 16 and he was 19 at the time.
George was the Chef de Mission of the U.S. delegation to the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. The longtime member of the Skating Club of Boston, George also was director of the U.S. Figure Skating Association in the late 1980s and early ’90s and later served as president and trustee of the U.S. Figure Skating Foundation.
Father’s Day Gifts 2022: Best ideas for the Sports Fan Dad from Golf to Electronics
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Father’s Day is just days away and as the thinking goes, the Dads of the family are often the hardest to shop for. But with the weather getting warmer, there’s countless opportunities to get outside, whether for sports or relaxation, and that means countless opportunities to find the perfect gift to make Father’s Day brighter for the Dads who love sports in any and all forms.
To help you in the gift selection process (even if you’ve left it up to the last minute!), the team at NBC Sports has sourced great options from across the internet for sporting Dads of all kinds. Whether the person you’re shopping for is up before dawn to get in a workout, more inclined to take in sports from the couch, or the consummate host planning summer’s best tailgate, there’s a great choice on this list across a variety of price ranges. Below are our ideas separated into categories:
This experience is a must for any dad looking to elevate their game. Per the PGA Tour Super Store site, fittings combine “game-changing technology and manufacturer-specific equipment with the personal attention of our certified fitters to deliver a fully immersive fitting session.” Golfers will leave the one-on-one session with specs for perfectly fitted custom clubs that will be built and shipped to you.
Help Dad perfect his golf skills right at home with this practice golf net. Just like the pop-up chipping net, this gift option is lightweight and portable and will allow Dad to hit golf balls right in the backyard.
This bag is lightweight with multiple pockets and perfect for the Dad trying to fit in a workout. It’s available in multiple colors, has waterproof storage for swim gear or sweaty apparel post-gym and doubles as the perfect bag for a quick weekend trip.
Whether it’s for early morning workouts or coaching the 8am Little League game on Saturday morning, a Yeti mug is a great accessory to keep coffee piping hot. Tumblers come in various shapes and sizes to indulge all varieties of pre-game caffeine habits.
The weather is getting warmer, making it the perfect time to give your Dad these comfortable and colorful shoes for the road. The shoes have a quick drying mesh material that will provide the ultimate in efficiency and comfort.
Invented in 1965 and combining elements of badminton, tennis and ping-pong, pickleball is the latest rec sport sensation sweeping the nation. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, it’s one of America’s fastest growing sports, picking up corporate sponsorships and avid enthusiasts nationwide. If Dad is a paddle sport enthusiast looking to indulge their competitive streak, this paddle set is the perfect way to get started.
Garmin is one of the most trusted names in GPS watches and enables you to monitor and track your fitness endeavors while streamlining your training. Whether it’s for the Dad training for their 10th marathon or just getting started in running and biking, a Garmin Forerunner is a great option to level-up your exercise.
This 28-piece set of BBQ accessories is the perfect gift for a Dad that loves to cook for everyone. This versatile set has everything you need: a spatula, fork, 2 barbecue mats, tongs, basting brush, grill brush, extra brush head, meat thermometer, 2 steak knives and forks, 2 shakers, 8 corn holders, 4 skewers and an aluminum case.
The Meater is the perfect kitchen gadget for a Dad who loves to cook meat-forward meals for a big group. It’s a smart thermometer that allows you to monitor the temperature of the meat you’re cooking up to 33 feet away from the grill, oven or rotisserie. Just download the free app and you’re all set!
This cooler has a capacity of 52 quarts and is the perfect option to keep the drinks cold and the tailgate guests happy. Available in multiple colors, it’s a heavy-duty option for all pregame festivity needs.
This cell phone armband case is perfect for any Dad who likes to go on walks or runs outside. His phone will stay secure and safe, and the case comes with an adjustable strap, key pocket and headphone cord holder.
Give your Dad the gift of Amazon Prime! Not only will he get access to Prime Video which will allow him to live stream his favorite sports, but he can enjoy the convenience of a fast and free delivery for online orders.
Make it feel as if your Dad is actually watching the game from the stadium of his favorite sports team. This TV Soundbar speaker will give your Dad a natural HiFi sound experience — perfect for NFL Sundays and also for family movie nights.
Have Dad keep track of his health and fitness, and get notifications from all of his favorite sports teams with the flick of a wrist. The Apple Watch is the perfect gift for the Dads who are constantly on the go.
The Theragun is the perfect gift for the fitness loving father figure in your life. It’s compact with long lasting battery life and best of all, you can connect it to your smartphone and customize its features.
Daniel James Brown’s “The Boys in the Boat” is the true story of the American rowing team that competed at the 1936 Olympics and came away with a stunning gold. Made up of largely working-class athletes from the University of Washington, the U.S. team were some of the ultimate underdogs, making for an incredible story of human achievement.
Jackie Robinson is one of the most legendary and trailblazing figures in baseball, but his autobiography talks about so much more than his career on the field. From his time in the army to his family life to his involvement in American politics, “I Never Had It Made” gives the reader an in-depth look into one of the most famous athletes in baseball and in American history.
Get the baseball ban fan in your life a mug so unique that everyone will ask him about it! This mug was handcrafted from a wooden baseball bat barrel and you can choose a design for any MLB team. Choose Dad’s favorite team and he’ll be sure to love it!
With all the blockbuster NFL trades so far in 2022, your Dad’s favorite player might be starting the season for a different team. The safest bet? A custom jersey with his name – QB1 might have left, but his loyalty to the team isn’t going anywhere, for better or worse!