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Home-court edge brings Kosovo historic title; Moore's triple puts Ireland on the podium
PRISHTINA (FIBA U18 European Championship 2018, Division C) – Kosovo converted their home-court advantage at the FIBA U18 European Championship 2018, Division C into their first-ever title in FIBA competitions after sweeping aside Cyprus in the Final.
The tournament hosts served up a comfortable 73-64 victory to close the curtains on the event on a historic note after breaking away to a 23-7 lead already in the opening stanza.
Rron Ukaj and Erhan Sholla shared a team-high mark of 17 points for Kosovo, while Rilind Krasniqi added a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. On the opposite side of the barricades, Georgios Tretiakov finished with a 25-point and 9-rebound effort for Cyprus.
Rron Ukaj was named the MVP of the tournament after making history for Kosovo
Up to this point, Kosovo's trophy cabinet in FIBA competitions included a FIBA U16 European Championship 2015, Division C silver and a bronze at the FIBA U18 European Championship 2016, Division C.
Nathan Moore saved Ireland from heartbreak in the Third-Place Game by giving the Paul Kelleher-coached side a 93-91 victory over Monaco with a clutch three-pointer in the dying seconds of the contest.
A ferocious Monegasque fightback effort had put them in a winning position with 13 seconds on the clock in the fourth quarter after a five-minute 25-9 run, but Moore's heroics salvaged the day for the Irish.
Darragh O'Sullivan collected a team-high 21 points for the victors, as David Murray chipped in with a 10-point and 16-rebound double-double. Having played without rest, Roman Tomatis finished with a game-high 32 points and 6 boards for Monaco.
Further down in the standings, Moldova claimed 5th place with a 92-70 victory over San Marino, who subsequently finished in 6th position. Meanwhile, Gibraltar leapfrogged Armenia and moved into 7th place after topping the bottom-of-the-pack Malta 92-77.