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25/07/2016
News

Montenegro win the Final overtime thriller, Greece also claim promotion to Division A

10 Petar Popovic (MNE)
10 Petar Popovic (MNE) - Montenegro v Iceland, 2016 FIBA U20 European Championship Division B (GRE), Halkida - Tasos Kambouris Hall (Greece), Final, 24 July 2016

CHALKIDA (FIBA U20 European Championship 2016 Division B) - Montenegro and Iceland worked overtime in the Final, but the trophy was going to Podogorica when the exhilarating final concluded.

The final lived up to the expectations, as Iceland fought back from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime. Montenegro still had a 10-point lead with three minutes left in the game, but Petur Runar Birgisson, Kristinn Palsson and Kari Jonsson connected on three-pointers to make it a single possession game. Palsson took responsibility in the final attack, as his third triple leveled the score at 71 after 40 minutes of play.

Drama continued in overtime. Aleksa Ilic had scored what proved to be a game-winning basket with 30 seconds remaining, and then followed it up with a big defensive play. He blocked Jon Axel Gudmundsson, then Vasilije Bacovic followed suit, stopping Vidar Agustsson's shot with 12 seconds remaining.

The ball bounced back to Birgisson, who could not convert a three-pointer for the lead. Even as Milos Krivokapic missed both free throws with seven seconds left, Gudmundsson's last ditch attempt was off target. Montenegro held on for a 78-76 win to take gold back to Podgorica.

Petar Popovic had a team-high 21 points, Ilic finished with 14, 18 rebounds and four blocks, Krivokapic had 17 points and 5 assists. Gudmundsson scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the runners-up, who had allowed Montenegro 48 points in the paint.

Both Montenegro and Iceland won promotion to Division A, and Greece joined them after a 73-67 win over Croatia in the Third-Place Game. All it took was a couple of Vasileioses. Toliopoulos had 17 points and 4 assists, Charalampopoulos finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Croatia were once again without their star player Luka Bozic, and Lovro Mazalin could not do it all himself. Mazalin collected 30 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals and a block, but Roko Badzim with 12 was the only other player in double digits for Croatia.

Mazalin was selected to the All-Star Five, along with the Iceland duo Gudmundsson and Jonsson, and Zoran Nikolic from Montenegro. The final all-tournament team spot went to Greece's Charalampopoulos, who was also selected as the Most Valuable Player of the Championship.

FIBA