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Iceland, Poland through to the Quarter-Finals; Ireland spice it up in Group A
SARAJEVO (FIBA U16 European Championship 2018, Division B) – The first pair of tickets to the FIBA U16 European Championship 2018, Division B Quarter-Finals were taken off the table on Monday, with Poland and Iceland securing Play-Off berths ahead of time.
The Roman Prawica-coached Poles continued to dominate Group C action, cruising past Hungary to move their marker to 4-0 in the standings with a conclusive 97-73 victory, as Kacper Klaczek and Filip Siewruk paced the team with 13 points apiece.
Poland got the big break they were looking for after the intermission, outscoring their Hungarian opponents 55-33 in the second half. Both sides put their depth on display, with 23 of 24 players getting on the scoreboard.
All 12 players scored for Poland, who climbed to 4-0 in Group C
Meanwhile, Iceland claimed the second spot in the table after outclassing Bulgaria 79-69 in a winner-takes-all contest, having pulled away in the second part of the game after an evenly-matched opening half. Marino Palmason had a game-high 21 points for the winners, while Hugi Hallgrimsson added 11 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists.
In the only other game in the group, Finland padded their position with a 63-37 win against Cyprus, but both teams are eliminated from Play-Off contention.
Five teams remain in the running for the top two spots in Group A after Ireland pulled off a massive 74-54 upset against the previously undefeated Romania, who would have joined the list of qualified teams with a win. Ronan Collins provided the ammunition for Ireland with a game-high 20 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals, while Luca Domocos was the only Romanian player in double figures with 10 points.
Ireland prevented Romania from booking a spot in the Quarter-Finals
Great Britain joined Romania at the top of the standings with a 3-1 record after a free-throw by Cameron Hildreth in the dying seconds of the game earned Team GB a 53-52 win over Portugal. Meanwhile, Sweden stayed alive with an emphatic 100-49 triumph over Luxembourg.
Going into the final day in Group A, there are still multiple outcomes that could lead to any two teams, with the exception of Luxembourg, qualifying for the Quarter-Finals. Great Britain and Romania can make it easiest for themselves – a win for each of them would be enough to take them through.
Despite maintaining their perfect status after improving to 4-0 in their respective groups, promotion hopefuls Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina will have to wait another day to clinch their places in the Quarter-Finals.
Bosnia and Herzegovina are in pole position to advance in Group D
Russia are still in command of the proceedings in Group B after registering a landslide 111-30 victory, but the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MKD) and Belgium are hot on their heels with 3-1 marks. Paced by Marko Milovanovikj's 30-point, 7-rebound and 9-steal effort, MKD downed Denmark 99-89, as Belgium stayed in the hunt for promotion with an 88-63 win over Slovakia.
Elsewhere, Bosnia and Herzegovina eased past Switzerland 70-55 in Group D, but will have to overcome a challenge from Ukraine on Tuesday to be safe. With their backs against the wall, Czech Republic kept their name in the game by passing the Ukrainian test with a 96-88 victory in overtime, as Ondrej Hanzlik posted a 23-point, 15-rebound double-double.
At the same time, Belarus also preserved their hopes of advancing to the Quarter-Finals ahead of their final game with a 77-61 victory against the winless Kosovo, who dropped to 0-3 in the standings.