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Ukraine stroll past Kosovo to draw curtain on Group Phase
SARAJEVO (FIBA U16 European Championship 2018, Division B) – Ukraine pronounced the Group Phase of the FIBA U16 European Championship 2018, Division B over with a 89-57 victory against Kosovo on Wednesday in a fixture rescheduled from earlier in the week.
The Vitaliy Cherniy-coached Ukrainian side ended Group D play in third place with a 3-2 record and will continue the tournament in the Classification Games 9-16, while Kosovo dropped to a 1-4 mark and will battle for the positions directly below.
Turning Point: After being able to keep the deficit in single figures for most of the first half, Kosovo simply ran out of steam after the interval, with Ukraine breaking away for good with a 29-7 run to start the third quarter.
Game Hero: Ruslan Ivashov was on fire from three-point range, knocking down 9-of-18 attempts for a game-high 29 points. He had made just 23.7% of his long-range baskets on 9.5 attempts per game before the break-out performance against Kosovo.
Stats Don't Lie: When you turn the ball over twice as often as your opponent, it's hard to expect a win. Kosovo struggled to take care of the ball and committed 26 turnovers, compared to just 13 by Ukraine.
Bottom Line: There will be no rest for either of the sides, with the Classification Games starting already on Thursday. Ukraine are set to begin the consolation campaign with a test against the Aarni Elias Korkiatupa-led Finland, while Kosovo have a date with the winless Hungary from Group C.