Petteri Dish

Blazersedge has a friend in Finland!  Jake writes with a recap of Petteri Koponen's performance on the Finnish National team.  His source is this article.  For most of us it will be NSFW (which in this case means "No Speak Finnish Words").  However Jake has graciously translated and promises to do more as the games progress.  Here's his work:

On Sunday Finnish national team beat FIBA's (Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur) currently 12th ranked New Zealand and late on Monday evening was Great Britains turn to lose to Finns. Finland beat the Brits by 80-63 (41-32) in the game played in Croatia.

The Great Britain game followed the same routine as the victorious New Zealand game. Finland was left behind early in the game but found quickly the demanded aggressiviness to team's defence and rhytm to shooting game.

Finns were down after first quarter by 22 to 12 but the second quarter was triumph for blue and whites (that's us...). When the halftime came the Finnish team had hit three pointers seven out of ten and so Team Finland led by 41-32.

- The Brits had fresh feet and they could harm us early in the game but later on they just fell off. In the fourth quarter they made 22 points but the game was already over, told Pekka Salminen, the assistant coach of Finnish national team.

Finland led the game before the last quarter safely 57 to 41.

- Our offence was at the times beautiful to watch. We had patience to find the best shot with good passes. When we had good looks, so our shooting game was also good.

Koponen praised

Finland's Shawn Huff (22 points against New Zealand, currently in Valparaiso College) teased New Zealand with his new international career high and carried on with another good performance. He shot only once off the target from the downtown and collected 17 points in the game.

Team Finland's dynamo was Petteri Koponen, who was drafted on the first round earlier in the summer. Only 19 years old Koponen commanded Finland's game and made 19 points in the game. Jukka Matinen scored 11 points for the Finns.

-Our three best scorers was today the three best players in the game. Especially young man Koponen was tremendous today and played mature basketball. He did the right choices throughout the game. Shawn hit his shots and was great in defence as he normally is. Matinen was shining in the defence and Sami Lehtoranta appeared positively, Salminen appraised.

After last weeks two Czech Republic defeats Team Finland's defence seems to have found the aggressiveness level that the coaching team wants to see. Team Finland is denying the passing lanes and help defence seems to be working.

- Our game is not ready but we are going to the right direction. On Tuesday we are trying to beat Croatia. Then we're going to finish our patterns for EuroBasket qualifications, said Salminen

The tournament in Croatia is the preparing phase for Team Finland in EuroBasket qualifications. Team Finland tries to win a promotion to EuroBasket A division. Currently the Finns hold the pole position with the winning record 4-0.

In the EuroBasket home games Team Finland meets Team Iceland on Saturday 25.8. and on Wednesday 5.9. Team Luxembourg. Away games will be on 21.8. in Austria and on 2.9. in Georgia.

Finland - Great-Britain 80-63 (41-32). International game, Crikvenica, Croatia. 13.8.2007.

I'm sure I join all Blazersedge readers in thanking Jake!

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

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