08/16/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/15/2019 16:31
PODGORICA (Montenegro) - Hosts Montenegro kept alive their hopes of earning promotion from the FIBA U16 European Championship 2019, Division B by reaching the Semi-Finals along with Denmark, Netherlands and Poland.
Montenegro bounced back from their loss to Denmark in the final group game by beating previously undefeated Belgium 79-72. Montenegro, who were dropped from Division A in 2018 after finishing second a summer earlier, pulled away in the fourth quarter for the victory, paced by Stefan Vukcevic's 27 points, 16 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 blocks and 2 assists for an efficiency of 46. Andrija Grbovic added 11 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. Thijs De Ridder had 23 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.
Stefan Vukcevic was the man for Montenegro.
Montenegro will next face Poland, who remained perfect in Podgorica by knocking off Czech Republic 89-77 as they look to return to Division A after last playing there in 2016. Poland led by 21 points but saw their lead dwindle to four points with 2 minutes left before getting the victory.
Aleksander Wisniewski had 19 points and Jeremy Sochan picked up 15 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists for Poland while Matej Dana had 16 points for the Czechs.
Jeremy Sochan is Mr. Do-it-all for Poland.
Denmark also continued their perfect run in Montenegro with an 86-70 victory over Romania. The Danes scored 14 straight points in the fourth quarter and ended the game on a 26-6 run to move one victory from getting back to Division A for the first time since 2014.
Denmark star Gustav Knudsen got plenty of help from his teammates in the Quarter-Finals.
Noah Sorensen collected 9 of his 20 points, 4 of his 11 assists and 2 of his 3 steals in the final 7 minutes and also collected 6 rebounds for the Danes. Marvin Brumfeld also knocked down two big three-pointers in the stretch in scoring 16 points while main leader Gustav Knudsen was held to 8 points - 8.2 points below his average - but collected 12 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals. Romania lost despite Stefan Grasu tallying 26 points and 14 rebounds.
In the Semi-Finals, Denmark will be facing the Netherlands, who defeated Bulgaria 102-90 to reach the final four. Netherlands took control in the third quarter and never led Bulgaria back into the game.
Nino Vrencken was a major weapon from the outside for Netherlands.
Nino Vrencken nailed 6 three-pointers in scoring 27 points with 6 assists while Armin Strojili added 20 points and 7 assists for Netherlands, who were promoted to Division A in 2017 for the first time since 1983 but were relegated right back down last summer. Bulgaria wasted 22 points, 14 rebounds and 4 steals from Konstantin Kostadinov.