Follow FIBA on Facebook
Serbia grab bronze medal, Turkey claim U17 ticket, Germany survive relegation fight
PODGORICA (FIBA U16 European Championship 2017) - Serbia fought off a valiant battle from Croatia but prevailed 75-71 to pick up the bronze medal at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2017 while Turkey claimed fifth place and a spot at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2018 and Germany survived the relegation fight.
Serbia got 22 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals from Djordje Pazin, while Aleksandar Langovic picked up 16 points and 7 rebounds. Serbia took a 15-point lead in the first half but then Croatia charged back in the third, setting up a dogfight of a fourth with five lead changes and three ties in the final 4:08 minutes
But Serbia prevailed for their third U16 European bronze medal following 2009 and 2012. Croatia, who got 16 points from Roko Gizdavic, finished fourth for a third time following 2006 and 2016. Croatia's only appearances on the podium have been at the top with three titles in 1995, 2010 and 2011.
Turkey picked up the final ticket for the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2018 by knocking off Lithuania 80-62 in the Classification Game for 5th-6th. Tarik Sezgun tallied 18 points and Ismail Karabilen collected 13 points and 6 rebounds as Turkey took over the game after the break with a 20-7 third quarter. Lithuania got 19 points from Marek Blazevic, but it was not enough.
Germany meanwhile finished with a 77-44 victory over Sweden to finish 13th and avoid relegation to Division B, sending the Swedes down. Timo Lanmuller poured in 24 points while Ariel Hukporti had 8 points and 11 rebounds for Germany, who jumped out to a big lead of 20-6 after the first quarter and never looked back.
Spain finished their tournament on a high note with a 95-77 win over Latvia for seventh place. Spain, who will miss the U17 global event for the first time, were paced by 24 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks from Jaime Pradilla. Roberts Berzins had 20 points for Latvia.
In other classification games, Italy beat Slovenia 73-47 thanks to 18 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals from Nico Mannion to grab ninth place. Israel came back to beat Estonia for 11th place with Raziel Hayun scoring 35 points and Deni Avdija collecting 14 points, 19 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals.
Finland finished 15th in the competition by beating Russia 69-65 thanks to Mustapha Amzil collecting 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Both teams already knew of their Division B fate prior to Saturday's game.