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Four teams stay perfect in Sofia; Belarus stun Iceland at the buzzer
SOFIA (FIBA U16 European Championship 2017, Division B) - Czech Republic, Great Britain, Greece and the Netherlands are the only remaining undefeated teams in the FIBA U16 European Championship 2017, Division B after extending their winning streaks to rise above their rivals in the standings on Saturday.
In spite of a sluggish start and the overall failure to connect from three-point land, Czech Republic improved to a 3-0 mark in Group C with a 66-56 victory over Hungary, with Tadeas Manas leading the way with 23 points and 8 rebounds.
The Czechs were stone-cold from long distance with 0-of-18 shooting from beyond the arc, but made use of their 51-40 edge on the glass with a 24-5 advantage in second-chance points.
In the same group, Ireland climbed to a 2-1 record after taking care of business against Norway with a 98-56 score, with Bosnia and Herzegovina also earning their second win by topping Slovak Republic 76-69 in a more tightly contested game.
Great Britain vs Macedonia. This GB team is loaded. Should be a contender to win the B Division. U20, U18, U16 could all get promoted. pic.twitter.com/qzPw8JLdDj— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) August 12, 2017
Great Britain put together a dominant 94-52 display to defeat the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, earning their third consecutive victory in Group D behind a 22-point outburst by captain Mate Okros in just 19 minutes of playing time.
Having previously won both of their games, Portugal couldn't keep up with the Brits at the top of the standings after succumbing to a powerful 80-59 blowout by Georgia, who had been on the other end of a lopsided contest against Great Britain only a day previous.
Meanwhile, Kosovo finally got on the board after two close losses to start the tournament by outlasting Luxembourg 61-51, as Erhan Sholla double-doubled with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the way.
Greece continued to reign supreme in Group A after thrashing Romania 111-60 with Andreas Tsoumanis collecting 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds and Nikolaos Rogkavopoulos adding 17 points and 4 boards.
Belarus managed to erase a 22-point deficit to defeat Iceland 78-77 on a buzzer-beater by Kiryl Tsteterukou after Ingimundur Johansson missed the opportunity to seal the game from the free-throw line on the other end by clanking both attempts.
НЕВЕРАГОДНАЯ перамога нашай зборнай U16 на чэмпіянаце Еўропы! Беларусь - Ісландыя — 78:77 (17:27, 17:24, 19:12, 25:14) Самыя рэзультатыўныя гульцы нашай каманды сёння: Мацаль (16), Барысевіч (14 + 9 падбораў + 4 перадачы), Марынін (13 + 4 падбора), Цецерукоў (12 + 5 падбораў), Навойчык (12 + 4 падбора). #belbasket #belarusbasket #belarus #basket #basketball #tsmokiminsk #nba #MINSK #vtbleague #league #euroleague #fibau16europe
There was a lot less drama in Belgium's 98-52 victory against Switzerland, with Niels De Ridder setting a new tournament-high with 35 points, 12 rebounds, 7 steals and 5 assists for a total efficiency ranking of 44.
The undefeated Dutch did not make any friends in Sofia by handing a 69-50 defeat to the tournament hosts Bulgaria to stay at the top of the standings in Group B, while Poland held off Ukraine 59-57 to move to 2-1.