The Icelandic national team in men’s basketball are through to next year’s EuroBasket tournament for the first time in the nation’s history despite losing 70-78 to Bosnia and Herzegovina at a home game at Laugardalshöll stadium in Reykjavík last night.
Photos. Geir Ólafsson.
Iceland will be the only team, out of a total 24 nations, competing in the tournament for the first time, visir.is reports.
Coach Craig Pedersen said in an interview with visir.is that he was thrilled with the result. “I’m really pleased. I’m particularly pleased on behalf of the players who have worked hard for this for years. I came in five months ago and it’s amazing to experience this with them.”
Jón Arnór Stefánsson, who was the highest-scoring player on the Icelandic side with 21 points, thanked the crowd for their support. “We are making Icelandic basketball history. It can hardly be topped. This is the pinnacle of my career and we did that in front of our people despite losing ... The stadium was full. People answered the call. I want to thank them for their support,” he said in an interview with visir.is.
However, Jón acknowledged that the team could have played better. “The basketball wasn’t particularly good, especially in the second half,” he said.
Iceland finished second in Group A behind Bosnia and Herzegovina who had a perfect score of 4-0.
Iceland ended Great Britain’s hopes of entering the tournament after beating them 71-69 in London last week.