Estonia men's national basketball team

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Estonia
Estonia basketball 2015.png
FIBA ranking48 Increase 1 (1 March 2022)[1]
Joined FIBA1934
1991
FIBA zoneFIBA Europe
National federationEstonian Basketball Association
CoachJukka Toijala
Olympic Games
Appearances1
MedalsNone
FIBA World Cup
AppearancesNone
EuroBasket
Appearances6
MedalsNone
First international
 Latvia 20–16 Estonia 
(Riga, Latvia; 29 April 1924)
Biggest win
 Estonia 91–1 Finland 
(Kaunas, Lithuania; 25 May 1939)
Biggest defeat
 FR Yugoslavia 113–58 Estonia 
(Antalya, Turkey; 1 September 2001)

The Estonia men's national basketball team (Estonian: Eesti korvpallikoondis) represents Estonia in international basketball matches. They are controlled by the Estonian Basketball Association. The team competed in their first international tournament at the 1936 Olympic Games. Estonia has also qualified for the EuroBasket five times overall, with their best results coming in 1937 and 1939. However, after 1939, Estonia halted national team activities due to the occupation of the Baltic states during World War II. Estonia would later rejoin FIBA in 1991, after regaining independence from the Soviet Union.

History[edit]

Early years (1920s–1930s)[edit]

Estonia played their first ever international match against their Baltic neighbors Latvia, on 29 April 1924, a 20–16 defeat in Riga. Ten years later, on 30 November 1934, Estonia would become a member of FIBA. Two years after that, the national team played in their first international tournament at the 1936 Olympic Games, held in Berlin. It was the first Olympic tournament to hold basketball as an official medal event. Led by head coach Herbert Niiler, Estonia played their opening match of the tournament against France, where the team came away with a 34–29 win.[2] The national team lost their subsequent second round game to the United States 28–52, but passed the consolation round and faced the Philippines in the third round, losing 22–39.

Game between Estonia and Lithuania at EuroBasket 1937.

Estonia participated at the European Basketball Championship for the first time in 1937. The team won its 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 would finish out the rest of the tournament to place fifth in the final rankings, after defeating Czechoslovakia 30–20 and Latvia 41–19.[3]

Two years later at the EuroBasket 1939, the tournament used a different format from the previous championship, with eight teams facing off in a round-robin competition. Estonia would finish the tournament with a (4–3) record and once again finished in fifth place at the event. Heino Veskila was the tournament's scoring leader averaging 16.7 points per game.[2][4]

In 1940, Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union and the team was disbanded.

National team restored (1990s)[edit]

After the restoration of independence, the Estonian Basketball Association rejoined FIBA in 1991. The team successfully qualified for 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 hosts 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 to be eliminated. 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.[2] Aivar Kuusmaa was the team's scoring leader with 19.9 points per game.[5]

2000s–2010s[edit]

Estonia once again qualified for the EuroBasket, after failing to qualify for the tournament on three different occasions after 1993. The team went (7–3) during the qualification period to reach EuroBasket 2001, held in Turkey. Coached by Üllar Kerde, Estonia lost all three of their preliminary round matches against Germany, FR 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 collected 6.0 rebounds per game, and Rauno Pehka and Tanel Tein averaged 2.7 assists per game.[6] After 2001, Estonia failed to qualify for another major international basketball tournament for 14 years. Although the team competed at the second tier Division B competition in 2011, 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.[7] The next game saw Estonia defeated in a close game by Lithuania 62–64. In their final group phase match, Estonia were up against Latvia, which resulted in a 64–75 loss and failing to advance to the knockout stage.[8] Estonia finished the championship in 20th place with a (1–4) record. Gregor Arbet was the team's scoring leader at 11.6 points per game, while Siim-Sander Vene averaged 6.4 rebounds and Sten Sokk contributed 4.2 assists per game.

In qualification for EuroBasket 2017, Estonia won their first two games against, Belarus, and Portugal to put the team at a record of (2–0). However, Estonia would drop three of their final four matches to eliminate the team from qualifying.[9]

After missing their opportunity to reach EuroBasket 2017, Estonia turned their focus toward qualifying for the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The team first went through European Pre-Qualifiers, where they accumulated a (3–1) record during the process, to advance.[10] Entering the first round of European Qualifiers, Estonia would split their first four matches for a record of (2–2), before losing their final two games to Great Britain and Greece respectively. Although by defeating Great Britain in their first match of the qualifiers between the two, it proved enough for Estonia to move on to the second and final phase of European qualifiers. There, the team lost their first four games of the round, before managing to salvage their final two matches before being eliminated.[11]

Competitive record[edit]

Results and fixtures[edit]

  Win   Loss

2020[edit]

20 February 2020 North Macedonia  72–81  Estonia Skopje, North Macedonia
20:15 Scoring by quarter: 18–20, 5–25, 23–15, 26–21
Pts: V. Stojanovski 26
Rebs: Whittington 8
Asts: Gjuroski, V. Stojanovski 3
Boxscore Pts: Kullamäe 31
Rebs: Nurger 6
Asts: Kullamäe, Veideman 5
Arena: Boris Trajkovski Sports Center
Referees: Mārtiņš Kozlovskis (LAT), Mehmet Sahin (TUR), Zdenko Tomašovič (SVK)
23 February 2020 Estonia  81–87  Italy Tallinn, Estonia
18:00 Scoring by quarter: 18–18, 29–23, 14–18, 20–28
Pts: Kitsing 22
Rebs: Jõesaar 9
Asts: Kullamäe 8
Boxscore Pts: Vitali 22
Rebs: three players 4
Asts: Spissu 8
Arena: Saku Suurhall
Referees: Mārtiņš Kozlovskis (LAT), Martin Horozov (BUL), Petr Hrůša (CZE)
28 November 2020 Estonia  56–84  Russia Tallinn, Estonia* [note 1]
20:30 Scoring by quarter: 14–18, 13–23, 15–21, 14–22
Pts: Jõesaar 11
Rebs: Treier 7
Asts: Veideman 8
Boxscore Pts: Baburin 19
Rebs: Vorontsevich 6
Asts: Strebkov 7
Arena: Saku Suurhall
Referees: Mārtiņš Kozlovskis (LAT), Martin Horozov (BUL), Petr Hrůša (CZE)

2021[edit]

19 February 2021 Italy  101–1050(OT)  Estonia Perm, Russia* [note 1]
16:30 Scoring by quarter: 21–20, 23–34, 22–28, 28–12, Overtime: 7–11
Pts: Vitali 24
Rebs: Vitali 9
Asts: Spissu 6
Boxscore Pts: Kotsar 32
Rebs: Treier 6
Asts: Sokk 14
Arena: Molot Sports Hall
Referees: Yener Yılmaz (TUR), Zdeno Tomašovič (SVK), Gvidas Gedvilas (LTU)
21 February 2021 Russia  75–52  Estonia Perm, Russia* [note 1]
20:00 Scoring by quarter: 17–15, 16–12, 20–18, 22–7
Pts: Baburin 14
Rebs: Ivlev 10
Asts: Vorontsevich 4
Boxscore Pts: Jõesaar 10
Rebs: Jõesaar, Nurger 5
Asts: Kotsar 4
Arena: Molot Sports Hall
Referees: Zafer Yılmaz (TUR), Carsten Straube (GER), Steve Bittner (GER)
22 February 2021* [note 2] Estonia  84–86  North Macedonia Perm, Russia* [note 1]
19:00 Scoring by quarter: 27–18, 22–20, 20–25, 15–23
Pts: Kotsar 15
Rebs: Treier 12
Asts: Sokk 7
Boxscore Pts: Dimitrijevikj 23
Rebs: Wiley 14
Asts: Dimitrijevikj 5
Arena: Molot Sports Hall
Referees: Tomas Jasevičius (LTU), Yener Yılmaz (TUR), Zafer Yılmaz (TUR)
25 November 2021 (2021-11-25) Germany  66–69  Estonia Nuremberg
19:00 Scoring by quarter: 18–17, 16–13, 19–25, 13–14
Pts: Sengfelder 21
Rebs: Sengfelder 8
Asts: Benzing, Hollatz 3
Boxscore Pts: Kullamäe, Vene 15
Rebs: Nurger 6
Asts: Kullamäe 7
Arena: KIA Metropol Arena
Attendance: 900
Referees: Boris Krejić (SLO), Andrei Sharapa (BLR), Geert Jacobs (BEL)
Note:
28 November 2021 (2021-11-28) Estonia  69–79  Israel Tallinn
19:00 Scoring by quarter: 14–20, 22–19, 17–22, 16–18
Pts: Jurkatamm 14
Rebs: Drell, Treier 5
Asts: Kullamäe, Vene 4
Boxscore Pts: four players 10
Rebs: Levi 11
Asts: Mekel 10
Arena: Saku Suurhall
Attendance: 2,532
Referees: Luis Castillo (ESP), Andris Aunkrogers (LAT), Mehmet Sahin (TUR)
Note:

2022[edit]

25 February 2022 (2022-02-25) Estonia  75–71  Poland Tallinn
19:00 Scoring by quarter: 15–14, 32–22, 13–18, 15–17
Pts: Jõesaar 22
Rebs: Kotsar 10
Asts: Rosenthal 9
Boxscore Pts: Garbacz 15
Rebs: Garbacz 5
Asts: Sokołowski 7
Arena: Saku Suurhall
Attendance: 2,857
Referees: Marek Kúkelčík (SVK), Gatis Saliņš (LAT), Josip Jurčević (CRO)
Note:
28 February 2022 (2022-02-28) Poland  70–68  Estonia Lublin
18:00 Scoring by quarter: 12–21, 26–21, 17–14, 15–12
Pts: Sokołowski 15
Rebs: Ponitka, Zyskowski 5
Asts: Schenk 7
Boxscore Pts: Kotsar 24
Rebs: Kotsar 7
Asts: Rosenthal 5
Arena: Globus Arena
Attendance: 1,520
Referees: Georgios Poursanidis (GRE), Özlem Yalman (TUR), Martin Vulić (CRO)
Note:
30 June 2022 (2022-06-30) Estonia  57–88  Germany Tallinn
19:00 Scoring by quarter: 11–18, 11–13, 16–36, 19–21
Pts: Kotsar 13
Rebs: Kotsar 7
Asts: Kullamäe, Treier 4
Boxscore Pts: Sengfelder 23
Rebs: Sengfelder 9
Asts: Schröder 9
Arena: Saku Suurhall
Attendance: 4,326
Referees: Nicolás Maestre (FRA), Thomas Bissuel (FRA), Zdenko Tomašovič (SVK)
Note:
3 July 2022 (2022-07-03) Israel  96–77  Estonia Tel Aviv
20:30 Scoring by quarter: 29–22, 19–22, 24–13, 24–20
Pts: Ginat 17
Rebs: Zoosman 8
Asts: Blatt, Mekel 6
Boxscore Pts: Kotsar 13
Rebs: Kullamäe 6
Asts: Kullamäe 8
Arena: Drive in Arena
Attendance: 3,500
Referees: Ademir Zurapović (BIH), Gintaras Vitkauskas (LTU), Zdravko Rutešić (MNE)
Note:

Team[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Roster for the 2023 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers matches on 30 June and 3 July 2022 against Germany and Israel.[14]

Estonia men's national basketball team roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Age – Date of birth Height Club Ctr.
G/F 0 Henri Drell 22 – (2000-04-25)25 April 2000 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) Windy City Bulls United States
F 2 Sander Raieste 23 – (1999-03-31)31 March 1999 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) Baskonia Spain
F 3 Kaspar Treier 22 – (1999-09-19)19 September 1999 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) Dinamo Sassari Italy
PG 7 Sten Sokk 32 – (1989-02-14)14 February 1989 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in) Messolonghi Greece
F/C 9 Matthias Tass 23 – (1999-03-23)23 March 1999 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) Saint Mary's United States
F 11 Siim-Sander Vene 31 – (1990-11-12)12 November 1990 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) Varese Italy
F 15 Maik-Kalev Kotsar 25 – (1996-12-22)22 December 1996 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) Hamburg Germany
SG 17 Robert Valge 25 – (1997-04-20)20 April 1997 1.92 m (6 ft 4 in) Pärnu Sadam Estonia
C 20 Rauno Nurger 28 – (1993-11-24)24 November 1993 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) Kalev/Cramo Estonia
SF 21 Janari Jõesaar 28 – (1993-12-08)8 December 1993 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) Bayreuth Germany
F/C 33 Kristjan Kitsing 31 – (1990-12-11)11 December 1990 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) Kalev/Cramo Estonia
PG 77 Kristian Kullamäe 23 – (1999-05-25)25 May 1999 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) Burgos Spain
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • Club – describes last
    club before the competition
  • Age – describes age
    on 30 June 2022

Depth chart[edit]

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2
C Maik-Kalev Kotsar Matthias Tass Rauno Nurger
PF Kaspar Treier Kristjan Kitsing
SF Siim-Sander Vene Sander Raieste
SG Janari Jõesaar Henri Drell Robert Valge
PG Kristian Kullamäe Sten Sokk

Coaches[edit]

Jukka Toijala, current head coach of Estonia.
Coach Period Competition Result
Estonia Herbert Niiler 1929–1940 1936 Olympic Games 9th
1937 EuroBasket 5th
1939 EuroBasket 5th
Estonia Jaanus Levkoi 1991–1992
Estonia Jaak Salumets 1993–1997 1993 EuroBasket 6th
Netherlands Maarten van Gent 1997–1999
Estonia Üllar Kerde 1999–2001 2001 EuroBasket 14th
Estonia Heino Enden 2001–2004
Estonia Tiit Sokk 2004–2007
Estonia Üllar Kerde 2007–2009
Estonia Tiit Sokk 2009–2019 2015 EuroBasket 20th
Finland Jukka Toijala 2019–

Past rosters[edit]

1936 Olympic Games: finished 9th among 23 teams

3 Erich Altosaar, 4 Artur Amon, 5 Aleksander Illi, 6 Vladimir Kärk, 8 Robert Keres, 9 Evald Mahl, 10 Aleksander Margiste, 11 Bernhard Nooni, 12 Leonid Saar, 13 Heino Veskila, 14 Georg Vinogradov (Coach: Herbert Niiler)


1937 EuroBasket: finished 5th among 8 teams

3 Oskar Erikson, 4 Aleksander Illi, 5 Vladimir Kärk, 6 Robert Keres, 7 Evald Mahl, 8 Albert Suurna, 9 Heino Veskila, 10 Ralf Viksten, 11 Alfred Zimmermann (Coach: Herbert Niiler)


1939 EuroBasket: finished 5th among 8 teams

3 Valdeko Valdmäe, 4 Oskar Erikson, 5 Herbert Tillemann, 6 Ralf Viksten, 7 Georg Vinogradov, 8 Artur Amon, 9 Hans Juurup, 10 Erich Altosaar, 11 Heino Veskila, 13 Evald Mahl (Coach: Herbert Niiler)


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)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all matches in the November 2020 and February 2021 windows were played behind closed doors in select host cities.[12]
  2. ^ Due to several COVID-19 positive tests by Macedonian players, the match originally scheduled for Nov. 2020 was postponed to Feb. 2021.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FIBA Ranking Presented by Nike". FIBA. 1 March 2022. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Eesti korvpall 95" [Estonian basketball 95] (in Estonian). Estonian Basketball Association. 3 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Estonia - EuroBasket 1937 tournament results". fibaeurope.com. 7 May 1937.
  4. ^ "Season 1939". FIBA Europe. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Season 1993". FIBA Europe. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Season 2001". FIBA Europe. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Estonia revel in historic success". eurobasket2015.org. Archived from the original on 11 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Latvia battle back to punch Last 16 ticket". eurobasket2015.org. Archived from the original on 14 September 2015. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Estonia during the EuroBasket 2017 Qualifiers". Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Estonia during the 2019 FIBA World Cup European Pre-Qualifiers". Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  11. ^ "Estonia during the 2019 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers". Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Statement regarding the November 2020 and February 2021 Qualifiers". Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  13. ^ "FIBA statement about the November FIBA EuroBasket 2022 Qualifiers window". FIBA. Retrieved 29 November 2020.
  14. ^ "Estonia during the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers in June/July 2022". Retrieved 30 June 2022.

External links[edit]