|Clint Capela and Switzerland dug deep to edge neighbours Austria |
Switzerland prevailed 69-63 over Austria in a tight clash at home on Wednesday to stay as the only undefeated side in Group C of the EuroBasket 2015 1st Qualification Round after the first three days of action.
The two opponents had arrived into Wednesday's encounter tied at the top of the group standings with a 2-0 record, but now Switzerland can enjoy the view from the summit in solitude.
Austria seemed to be dealing better with the pressure of the game immediately after tip-off and took an early six-point lead.
The hosts however caught up with them after the first five minutes of action and from then on, the two opponents would stay too close for comfort to each other for the remainder of the clash.
The 1,200-strong crowd in Fribourg witnessed a thrilling game that featured 16 lead changes, while the scores were tied on 12 occasions and neither team ever led by more than six points.
The Swiss attempted to pull away in the final frame but Davor Lamesic hit two jumpers in quick succession to bring Austria within three points, 66-63, with 1:13 left on the clock.
When Switzerland turned the ball over on their next possession and Austria called a time-out to draw up their next play, the home fans braced for a dramatic finale.
The Austrians however imitated their hosts by committing a turnover and a cool-as-ice Jonathan Kazadi sunk a triple with 14 seconds left to play to give the Swiss the big win.
Kazadi paved the way for his team with 19 points, three rebounds and two assists, and Clint Capela chipped in with 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Rasid Mahalbasic once again stood out for Austria and finished with 15 points and seven boards, while Lamesic had 14 points and six rebounds in defeat.