08/13/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 08/13/2019 16:52
UDINE (Italy) - Spain and Serbia both survived scares but managed to reach the Quarter-Finals at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2019 along with most of the other favorites.
Spain forced 33 turnovers but could only squeak out a 62-60 victory over Germany, who had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds after coming back from a 16-point deficit. Ruben Dominguez helped Spain do just enough with 15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals while Germany wasted Michael-Ken Rataj's 11 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.
Serbia saw Slovenia erase a 10-point fourth quarter but were able to grab a 67-64 triumph thanks to Matija Belich collecting 22 points and 12 rebounds while Nikola Radovanovic scored 13 of his 16 points in the final 13 minutes to go with 14 rebounds for the winning Serbs. Urban Klavzar missed a three-pointer at the buzzer and ended with 22 points in the loss.
The reigning champs Croatia prevailed in a battle with Israel 66-65. The biggest lead for either team was eight points and the twins Zvonimir and Tomislav Ivisic combined for 38 points, 30 rebounds, 6 blocks and 4 assists to offset Emanuel Sharp's 29 points for Israel.
Lithuania were not as lucky as some of the other favored teams as Greece tripped them up 67-56. The Greeks took control in the third quarter with their hard-nosed defense and Lefteris Mantzoukas (20 points and 7 rebounds) and Sotirios Oikonomopoulos (17 points with 4 three-pointers) carried the offensive load.
France were held in check by Estonia for 24 minutes but then the three-time U16 European champions pulled away for good with a 33-7 run and won 70-44. Armel Traore was the main weapon for the French with 23 points and Nathan De Sousa did a good job running the ship with 7 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
Hosts Italy also faced one half of resistance from a Baltic country but the host team cruised past Latvia in the final 20 minutes for an 82-62 victory. Italian playmaker Matteo Spagnolo flirted with a quadruple-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and 7 steals.
Turkey were not challenged against Bosnia and Herzegovina, staying undefeated in Italy with an 87-65 victory as Adem Bona led the way with 10 points, 16 rebounds and 6 blocks.
Russia also cruised to a comfortable win, beating North Macedonia 70-45 thanks to Victor Panov's 10 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists.
Spain v Serbia
Two of the real powers in basketball face off in an intriguing game that some thought could have been the Final. Spain have reached the Semi-Finals in four of the last six years - with two titles. Serbia's only top four finish since 2014 was third in 2017.
Russia v Turkey
Russia have reached their absolute minimum goal of staying in Division A and now they would love to grab a spot in the U17 World Cup for the first time. Turkey have been to the last two U17 World Cups and have the goal of winning their fourth U16 European crown. But this will be a tough match-up.
Croatia v France
The reigning champs Croatia have some length on their squad but it's nothing compared to France's size. Croatia are one win from four straight Semi-Finals appearances while France won the U16 titles in 2014 and 2017.
Italy v Greece
The hosts bounced back from their loss in the final group game to reach the Quarter-Finals. Italy's last podium came with the 1991 title and the home side wants to reach their first U17 World Cup since 2014. Greece are into the top eight for the second straight year. But they are looking for more than the third place they got in 2013, which gave them their only appearance in the U17 World Cup in 2014.