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Netherlands celebrate historic title in Skopje
SKOPJE (FIBA U18 European Championship 2018, Division B) – Netherlands celebrated a historic first at the FIBA U18 European Championship 2018, Division B, defeating Slovenia in the Final to conquer the country's first-ever title in FIBA competitions.
Having already secured promotion a day previous, the Keye van der Vuurst de Vries-led Dutch side cruised to gold with a one-sided 86-57 triumph over their Slovenian opponents, who were the only other team to earn promotion to Division A in Skopje.
The 16-year-old guard stole the show with 35 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists, Morgan Stilma collected 16 points and 7 rebounds, while Rienk Mast chipped in with a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double. Despite a relatively quiet night with 8 points and 5 rebounds, center Nathan Kuta claimed the Most Valuable Player award.Nathan Kuta received the MVP award in Skopje
Petar Vujacic and Adrian Jogan were the only Slovenian players in double figures with 20 and 10 points, respectively.
Despite falling short in terms of promotion, Belgium got consolation by securing a podium finish with a 73-67 victory over their Group Phase rivals Belgium in the Third-Place Game.
Vrenz Bleijenbergh capped off a fantastic run with an 18-point, 10-rebound and 10-assist triple-double with 3 blocks, while Haris Bratanovic and Noel Coleman collected 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Belgium claimed bronze over Estonia
Czech Republic lined up next after registering an 80-78 overtime victory over Belarus in the Classification Game 5-6, with David Bohm going off for a game-high 28 points. Having defeated Portugal 69-66, Sweden finished the tournament in 7th position.
Despite finishing the tournament with a 7-1 record, Israel had to settle for 9th place after easing past Hungary 81-63 on the last day of the event; Bulgaria signed off with an 85-83 win over Poland, while Norway beat Slovakia 79-71 in the Classification Game 13-14.Israel lost just once in the tournament, but it cost them dearly
A 24-point and 10-rebound double-double by Hilmar Henningsson paved the way to Iceland's 86-55 win over Austria in the contest for 15th place, Switzerland nipped the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 65-64 for 17th spot, while Luxembourg edged Azerbaijan 57-53 for 19th place in the final standings.
Georgia finished their campaign on a positive note, beating Denmark 80-64 in the Classification Game 21-22, as Romania routed Albania 102-55 in the Classification Game 23-24 to avoid the wooden spoon.