Follow FIBA on Facebook
A perfect day for perfect teams: All four advance to the Semi-Finals
SOFIA (FIBA U20 European Championship 2018, Division B) - The unbeaten teams allowed no upsets in the Quarter-Finals, as all four reached the Semi-Finals at the FIBA U20 European Championship, Division B in Bulgaria.
Russia had the toughest assignment, but prevailed in a 78-71 win over Finland. The tird quarter was crucial, as the Russians overturned a 7-point halftime deficit into an 8-point lead with 10 minutes left, and even after Finland made it a one-possession game heading into the last minute, Grigory Motovilov stabbed the dagger three-pointer to spread the gap to six.
Fitting, as Motovilov was Russia's MVP of the day, with 23 points. Kirill Popov helped him out with 16 points and 10 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. Russia will play Slovenia in the Semi-Finals. Belgium could not come back after a 20-3 first quarter by the Slovenians, who won the game 64-52. Miha Skedelj had 20 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals for the winning side.
In the other Semi-Final, Latvia will take on Poland. Latvia held Yordan Minchev to 4-of-15 shooting in a 77-57 victory against the hosts Bulgaria. Arturs Strautins had a 23-point, 11-rebound double-double to lead Latvia to a date with Poland.
Poland used their balanced attack to perfection against Czech Republic, with Dominik Rutkowski's 17-point outing leading six Polish players in double digits. The game finished 91-70, Adrian Bogucki's 14-point, 13-rebound double-double deserves a mention as he also had 5 assists and 4 blocks.
Top scorer of the day: Endar Poladkhanli set a mark that will not be caught anytime soon. Azerbaijan destroyed Moldova 121-56, with Poladkhanli almost outscoring the entire opposing team. He finished with 48 points on 23-of-41 shooting, adding 16 boards to his name, too.
Poladkhanli was on another level
Top rebounder of the day: Tormi Niits pulled down 17 boards for Estonia in a 66-53 defeat to Belarus. Azerbaijan matched this stat, with Akbar Mammadov collecting 18 rebounds, while also scoring 30 points.
Top passer of the day: Edon Maxhuni could not help Finland against Russia, even though he found his teammates 11 times, making it the highest assist mark of the day.
Top thief of the day: Eldi Hysa had 6 steals as Albania suffered a 77-69 defeat against MKD. It was a busy day, with four more players recording 5 steals on Friday.
Top blocker of the day: What Endar Poladkhanli was in the scoring department, Neemias Queta was in the blocking section. Portugal got 20 points, 14 rebounds and an unreal number of 9 blocks from Queta, keeping Netherlands far away in a 65-51 win.