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Bulgaria overcome Kuier, Finland to take title; Ireland hold on for bronze
PRISHTINA (Kosovo) - Bulgaria claimed the FIBA U20 Women's European Championship 2019, Division B title after defeating Finland, despite 31 points and 11 rebounds from Awak Kuier.
The 80-75 victory marks their best-ever result at the event having previously earned silver when they lost out to Israel in the 2005 Final.
Gergana Ivanova top scored with 19 points in the win with Karina Konstantinova adding 16 points and Viktoria Ivanova chipping in with 15.
Bulgaria rallied from an early 19-6 deficit with a dominant second quarter and were able to close out the victory with a decisive 8-2 run late in the fourth.
Meanwhile, Ireland held off a spirited fightback from Great Britain to book their spot in Division A at the event for the first time with a 60-57 success. Claire Melia starred with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists.
Ireland raced out of the blocks to lead 18-4 early on and increased their advantage to as many as 24 points in the first half. Holly Winterburn finished with 20 points, 5 assists and 6 steals to help haul her side back into contention, but they came up short in an exciting finish.
The newly-promoted trio of teams will replace Germany, Belarus and Portugal in Division A next summer after they were relegated in Klatovy.