Estonia national basketball team
|FIBA ranking||49 4 (16 September 2019)|
|FIBA zone||FIBA Europe|
|National federation||Estonian Basketball Association|
|FIBA World Cup|
The Estonia national basketball team (Estonian: Eesti korvpallikoondis) represents Estonia in international basketball matches. They are controlled by the Estonian Basketball Association. Estonia first competed internationally at the 1936 Summer Olympics. The national team has also made five appearances at the European Basketball Championship, with their best results coming in 1937 and 1939, where they finished in fifth place.
Early years (1930s)
Estonia joined FIBA on 23 November 1934. Coached by Herbert Niiler, Estonia first competed on the international stage at the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in Berlin, the first Olympic tournament to hold basketball as an official medal event. Estonia played in the opening match of the tournament, defeating France 34–29. The national team lost their subsequent second round match to the United States 28–52, but passed the consolation round and faced the Philippines in the third round, losing 22–39.
Estonia participated in their first ever European Basketball Championship in 1937. The team won their first game against Egypt 44–15, but failed to advance past the group stage after suffering a 15–20 defeat against Lithuania and a 20–30 defeat against Italy. Estonia placed fifth in the final rankings after defeating Czechoslovakia 30–20 and Latvia 41–19.
The EuroBasket 1939 used a different format from the previous championship, with eight teams facing off in a round-robin tournament. Estonia finished the tournament with a 4–3 record and another fifth place finish. Heino Veskila was the tournament's scoring leader with 16.7 points per game.
In 1940, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union and the team was disbanded.
National team restored (1990s)
After the restoration of independence, the Estonian Basketball Association rejoined FIBA in 1991. The team competed at EuroBasket 1993, held in Germany. Despite missing star players Martin Müürsepp and Tiit Sokk, the team, coached by Jaak Salumets won their group in the preliminary round, finishing ahead of Slovenia, Belgium, and the host and eventual champions Germany. In the second round, Estonia finished third in their group and advanced to the quarter-finals, where the team lost to Russia 61–82 and was knocked out. In the classification rounds, Estonia defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina 99–91 and lost to Spain 80–119, finishing the championship in sixth place with a 6–5 record. Aivar Kuusmaa was the team's scoring leader with 19.9 points per game.
Estonia participated in the EuroBasket 2001, held in Turkey. Coached by Üllar Kerde, Estonia lost all three preliminary round matches against Germany, Yugoslavia and Croatia, failing to advance past the group stage and finishing the championship with a disappointing 0–3 record and a 14th place finish. Martin Müürsepp led the team in scoring with 18.3 points per game, while Margus Metstak made 6.0 rebounds per game, and Rauno Pehka and Tanel Tein averaged 2.7 assists per game. After 2001, Estonia failed to qualify for another major international basketball tournament for 14 years. Though, the team competed at the second tier FIBA EuroBasket 2011 Division B tournament, winning their group.
Coached by Tiit Sokk, Estonia qualified for EuroBasket 2015, with preliminary round matches held in Riga, Latvia. Estonia's first two performances were poor as the team suffered heavy defeats in matches against Czech Republic 57–80 and Belgium 55–84. However, the team bounced back with a 78–71 victory over Ukraine, their first EuroBasket victory since 1993. The next game saw Estonia defeated by Lithuania 62–64 in a close game. In the final group phase game, Estonia played against Latvia, losing 64–75 and failing to advance to the knockout stage. Estonia finished the championship in 20th place with a 1–4 record. Gregor Arbet was the team's scoring leader with 11.6 points per game, while Siim-Sander Vene averaged 6.4 rebounds and Sten Sokk contributed 4.2 assists per game.
FIBA World Cup
|Estonia national basketball team roster|
|Pos.||Starting 5||Bench 1||Bench 2|
|PF||Indrek Kajupank||Kristjan Kitsing|
|SF||Kaspar Treier||Erik Keedus||Henri Drell|
|SG||Martin Paasoja||Saimon Sutt|
|PG||Kristian Kullamäe||Rait-Riivo Laane|
|Herbert Niiler||1929–1940||1936 Olympic Games||9th|
|Jaak Salumets||1993–1997||1993 EuroBasket||6th|
|Maarten van Gent||1997–1999|
|Üllar Kerde||1999–2001||2001 EuroBasket||14th|
|Tiit Sokk||2009–2019||2015 EuroBasket||20th|
1936 Olympic Games: finished 9th among 23 teams
1937 EuroBasket: finished 5th among 8 teams
1939 EuroBasket: finished 5th among 8 teams
1993 EuroBasket: finished 6th among 16 teams
4 Toomas Kandimaa, 5 Aivar Kuusmaa, 6 Erki Kivinukk, 7 Ivo Saksakulm, 8 Margus Metstak, 9 Andrus Nagel, 10 Indrek Rumma, 11 Sergei Babenko, 12 Marek Noormets, 13 Aleksandr Karavajev, 14 Gert Kullamäe, 15 Rauno Pehka (Coach: Jaak Salumets)
2001 EuroBasket: finished 14th among 16 teams
4 Tanel Tein, 5 Indrek Varblane, 6 Toomas Kandimaa, 7 Valmo Kriisa, 8 Margus Metstak, 9 Andre Pärn, 10 Indrek Rumma, 11 Tarmo Kikerpill, 12 Marek Noormets, 13 Martin Müürsepp, 14 Toomas Liivak, 15 Rauno Pehka (Coach: Üllar Kerde)
2015 EuroBasket: finished 20th among 24 teams
4 Rain Veideman, 5 Tanel Sokk, 6 Gert Dorbek, 7 Sten Sokk, 8 Janar Talts, 9 Gregor Arbet, 10 Erik Keedus, 11 Siim-Sander Vene, 13 Joosep Toome, 14 Kristjan Kangur, 15 Reinar Hallik, 20 Tanel Kurbas (Coach: Tiit Sokk)
- "FIBA Ranking Presented by Nike". FIBA. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 16 September 2019.
- "Eesti korvpall 95" [Estonian basketball 95] (in Estonian). Estonian Basketball Association. 3 June 2010.
- "Season 1937". FIBA Europe. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "Season 1939". FIBA Europe. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "Season 1993". FIBA Europe. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "Season 2001". FIBA Europe. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
- "Estonia revel in historic success". eurobasket2015.org. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Latvia battle back to punch Last 16 ticket". eurobasket2015.org. Archived from the original on 14 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
- "Estonia". FIBA.com.
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