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Four teams left in race for promotion as Czech Republic, MKD register Quarter-Final upsets
SARAJEVO (FIBA U16 European Championship 2018, Division B) – There are just four teams left in the race for promotion at the FIBA U16 European Championship 2018, Division B in Sarajevo, with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MKD) and Russia a single step away from securing Division A status after reaching the Semi-Finals.
Having placed second in the Group Phase, the Czechs were one of two lower-seeded teams to register upsets in the Quarter-Finals, eliminating the previously undefeated Group C winners Poland with an impressive 104-85 victory on the back of impressive performances by the trio of Ondrej Hanzlik, Filip Staniszewski and Jakub Sury.
The team's leading scorer Hanzlik collected 29 points, 10 rebounds and 9 steals; Staniszewski had 20 points; while Sury chipped in with 19 points in just under 24 minutes of action. Meanwhile, Filip Siewruk had a team-high 24 points and 10 rebounds for Poland.
Jakub Sury had a strong game for Czech Republic in the Quarter-Finals
MKD also got past the Quarter-Final barrier by beating a higher-ranked opponent in Romania, who had finished the Group Phase atop the standings in Group A. Marko Milovanovikj filled the boxscore with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists and Bogdan Mirkovski double-doubled with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 blocks, as the Macedonians nipped Romania 74-71 in a close-fought contest that went all the way to the wire.
Stefan Grasu had a team-high 21 points and 6 rebounds in a losing effort for the Romanian side, who saw their promotion dream squashed after a promising start of the tournament.
Following their Quarter-Final upsets, MKD and Czech Republic are set to face Bosnia and Herzegovina and Russia respectively, in the next round of the Play-Offs after they also celebrated wins on Thursday.
The tournament hosts are still without a defeat in Sarajevo
The tournament hosts Bosnia and Herzegovina had a walk in the park against Iceland, registering an 86-59 victory behind 18 points from Alem Huseinovic and a double-double by Djordje Curovic, who collected 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Magnus Ludviksson was the only double-digit scorer for Iceland with 10 points, but there was not much the Icelanders could do after falling behind 38-18 in the first half of play.
Meanwhile, Russia held off a late fourth-quarter push from Great Britain to close in on one of the three available promotion spots in Sarajevo with a 78-70 victory. Pavel Savkov and Maxim Kuzemkin collected 15 points apiece for the Ivan Kucherov-coached side, while Anton Kardanakhishvili added 14 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 steals.
Russia will play Czech Republic in the Semi-Finals
Cameron Hildreth and Joshua Uduje combined for 53 points for Team GB, with the former collecting a game-high 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field and the latter chipping in with a 25-point effort.
In the Classification Games 9-16, Jonathan Klussmann turned in another big 27-point and 11-rebound performance to give Denmark a 64-63 win over Ireland, Ukraine defeated Finland 88-67, Belgium topped Portugal with an 81-73 scoreline, while Bulgaria got the better of Belarus in a 69-61 contest.
Further down in the standings, Slovakia began the Classification Games 17-24 with a 123-64 triumph over Luxembourg, Hungary breezed past Kosovo 96-58, Sweden beat their Norwegian neighbors 77-58 and Switzerland picked up their mood with a 46-38 victory against Cyprus.
- Czech Republic v Russia
- Bosnia and Herzegovina v MKD