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Croatia stay perfect, reach the Final, Great Britain also earn Division A promotion
TALLINN (FIBA U18 European Championship 2017, Division B) - Croatia and Great Britain will be the new faces at the FIBA U18 European Championship 2018, Division A. They are also set to meet in the Final on Sunday.
Croatia have reached the Final as the only unbeaten team in the tournament, handing Israel their first loss by doing what they have been doing since Day 1 - producing stellar defense to hold one of the top-scoring nations to less than 70 points for the first time in Estonia, allowing them to celebrate a 75-69 win over Israel.
Antonio Jordano steered Croatia's ship all game long with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists, and had a helping hand from Toni Nakic, who put up 13 points. Darko Bajo was also into double figures with 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Israel had a four-point lead early in the game, but could not run away from the Croats. Tomer Levinson's 24-point, 11-rebound performance went to waste, and Israel will not see Division A basketball next summer.
Neither will the hosts. Estonia's first defeat came at a horrible time, in the Semi-Finals against Great Britain. Romario Spence was flying high, with team-highs of 18 points and 19 rebounds for the British side in a 75-61 win.
Nelson Boachie-Yiadom was in charge of distribution and prevention with 14 points and team-highs of 5 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks, Micah Savery-Richards connected on 4-of-5 from the field to finish with 10 points, and Jaydon Kayne Henry McCalla once again had two figures next to his name. Henry McCalla got to double digits in six of Great Britain's seven games, and finished the game against Estonia with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Matthias Tass had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks, but Estonia's winning run comes to a stop.
Croatia and Great Britain have secured Divison A berths, while Estonia and Israel will play for the bronze medal. Only two teams move up a division this time, since Latvia are hosting FIBA U18 European Championship 2018, Division A, and - as the next hosts - cannot be relegated even after finishing, at best, 15th on the final day of FIBA U18 European Championship 2017, Division A.