In the match that marked the start of the qualifying group stage for the 2025 European Championship – which will be played in Latvia, Cyprus and Finland – as well as the debuts of Neemias Queta and Travante Williams in the national team senior, Portugal went to Ploieste, 56 km from Bucharest, beat Romania 59-75 (14-17, 16-25, 19-19, 10-14), which puts the team led by Mário Gomes top of group F.
With Neemias (10 res, 3 dsl) off balance as he was an almost insurmountable defensive obstacle inside the painted area and was effective whenever he tried to throw close to the edge – he recorded 12 of his 20 points in 12 minutes in the 2nd half – , after surprising the opponent at the start (0-8), the Quinas team was never at a disadvantage and after the break (30-42) they never allowed the hosts to close the gap by tens.
When the leadership was in danger and it was necessary to put order in the attack, Rafael Lisboa (17 pts, with 6/9 in field throws, and 3 res) was always the best solution that came out of the bench. Especially after Diogo Brito (9 pts) never came on in the 2nd half because he seemed to have a physical setback that wasn’t worth risking.
Among the Portuguese, Travante (5 res, 3 asses), finished with 9 pts in 30 minutes, and Diogo Ventura (7 pts, 2 asses).
Patrick Richard (13 pts, 7 res, 4 ass), Alex Olah (13) and Bogdan Nicolescu (11, 4 res) were the most productive of a Romanian team with few solutions and which took advantage of size and weight of some of them its elements sought balance in the area, especially during the periods when the Sacramento Kings post was resting, but every time Portugal was right to defend, it did not succeed in the wondering who would be the winner.