11 - 19
August 2017
to read

Germany vs Serbia, Italy vs Montenegro highlight Round of 16 lineup

PODGORICA (FIBA U16 European Championship 2017) - The stakes just went up as the Knockout Phase of the FIBA U16 European Championship 2017 tips off with 16 teams still dreaming of a title and having nightmares about going down to Division B. The top two showdowns should be Germany vs Serbia and Italy vs hosts Montenegro. 

The eight winners not only reach the Quarter-Finals but they are just one more win from booking a ticket for the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2018 - with five spots up for grabs. And the eight losers enter the Classification 9-16 and start the fight to stay in Division A. 

Pobeda protiv Hrvatske, sutra osmina finala protiv Nemačke. 🔴🔵⚪

A post shared by @lazarzivanovicc on

Germany and Serbia have split their eight matchups with Germany winning the last two, including German talent Luc Van Slooten nailing a three-pointer at the buzzer to win in the Classification 9-10 game last summer as a 14-year-old. Both teams can score the ball as Serbia are second in scoring, and Germany fifth. Germany are second in field goal percentage and Serbia are second in assists. The key could be Germany's ability to handle the ball. The Germans have committed the third-most turnovers (21.0 per game) while Serbia have the third-most steals. And Serbia have committed the second-fewest turnovers in the tournament.

Tras este dia de descanso u acabar primeros la fase de grupos, nos toca mañana Estonia 🇪🇪 en octavos a las 16:00 #dancewithme

A post shared by Real Madrid Basketball Player (@godyde10) on

The Germany vs Serbia winner will take on the winner of Spain vs Estonia in the Quarter-Finals. This will be the first time these two teams have met at the U16 level. The reigning champions Spain have the number one offense at 93.3 points a game while Estonia average 64.7 points for a spot in the lower third. Estonia are third in field goal percentage and fourth in three-point percentage, so they are effective. And while Spain have made only 57 percent of their free throws, Estonia are actually worse.

It ain't over yet #ontothenextone #fibau16europe

A post shared by Kaspar Kitsing (@kasparkitsing) on

Other important stats show that Estonia are second worst at offensive rebounds while Spain have blocked just four shots in three games, meaning the Estonians could penetrate to the basket. Spain, however, are second in steals while Estonia are second-worst in creating steals. One note for Estonia is that star point guard Kerr Kriisa did get a chance to rest a bit against France, playing just 14 minutes. And Kaspar Kitsing poured in 20 points against the French - two more than the combined total from the first two games.

#u16europeanchampionship Pala mala Španija.

A post shared by Haris Karamanaga (@karamanaga_7) on

The hosts Montenegro will be looking to rebound from losing big against Latvia and dropping to third place in Group D and now face a tough Italy team. Montenegro have never beaten Italy in four meetings, including in each of the last two years. This game could very much revolve around Montenegro's ability to stop - or at least slow down - Italian point guard Nico Mannion, who dropped 42 points on Russia in the final Group Phase game. Montenegro are second in blocks and might try to funnel Mannion to their rim protectors. But ball-handling will be crucial as Italy have the most steals in the tournament and they have committed the third-fewest turnovers. Another key could be the support of the home fans in Podgorica after the team lost their first game.

U16 vaikinų rinktinės laisva diena čempionate. "Pravėdintos galvos" ir nusiteikimas svarbiausioms kovoms #mesuzlietuva #fibau16europe

A post shared by Lietuvos krepšinio federacija (@krepsinionamai) on

The Italy vs Montenegro winner will then take on the victor between Lithuania and Finland. Lithuania - the second-place finishers the past two summers - have never lost in their four matchups with the Finns, including winning in the 2015 Quarter-Finals. Both teams are not great at scoring - with Lithuania at 13th and Finland at 14th. Finland are last in field goal percentage at 29.9 percent while Lithuania are the worst free throw shooting team in the competition at 51 percent. But Lithuania are tops in rebounds and offensive rebounds and number one in blocks. Finland will need to be hitting from mid-range out to the three-point line and beyond to reach the Quarter-Finals for the third straight year. 

That is the top half of the bracket and the bottom half actually has the two remaining undefeated teams in France and Slovenia

France face Sweden in their first meeting since 1985. The Swedes hold a 3-1 record over France in this competition. But Sweden have struggled in many facets in Podgorica. They are last in scoring, assists and assist-to-turnover ratio and have committed the most turnovers. They are second to last in field goal percentage and second-worst in three-point percentage at just 19 percent. France may have a 3-0 record but they have been anything but dominant. They are third-worst in three-point percentage at 20.7 percent, but they have committed the third-fewest turnovers. France twice needed big comebacks in the final five minutes to grab wins in the Group Phase. 

The winner of that game then meets the victor from Israel vs Turkey. These two teams are facing off for the 20th time in this age category but the first time since 2010. Israel won the last encounter but Turkey hold the series advantage at 10-9. Israel ended up finishing second in Group A with wins over Croatia and Serbia. They are number one in three-point shooting at 38.8 percent. Turkey meanwhile are last at 14.8 percent. Turkey on the other hand are tops in free throws at 71.7 percent and Israel are second to last at 54.8 percent. While Turkey are third in rebounding and second in offensive rebounds, Israel are last in offensive rebounds in the competition but the number one team on the defensive glass. Israel also take care of the ball with the fewest turnovers and the third-most assists. The big matchup will be Israel's Deni Avdjia against Turkey's Mustafa Kurtuldum. 

Another one. #fibau16europe

A post shared by Rok Radovic (@rokrado12) on

Slovenia have not been in the top eight at the U16 level since 2004 and only Croatia stand in their way. It is the first time these teams have met since 1997, when they split their only two encounters. Croatia have struggled in Podgorica as the second-worst scoring team and have committed the second-most turnovers. Slovenia meanwhile are second in free throws at 71.2 percent but otherwise are near the middle of the rankings in stats. The question for Croatia is if they can slow down Slovenia's strong combo of Rok Radovic and Gregor Glas, who are combining for 35.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 3.4 assists. 

Latvia celebrate after beating hosts Montenegro at #fibau16europe

A post shared by David Hein (@mr.heinnews) on

The winner of that encounter faces either Latvia or Russia. The Russians have four wins in seven previous games against Latvia. The Latvians are third-worst in overall field goal percentage but third-best in three-pointers. They also are fourth in rebounds and third in offensive rebounds with 20.0 per game. Russia are second-worst in rebounds and last in steals. But they are second in blocks, meaning Latvia must be careful about driving to the basket. Latvia have only one top-eight showing since 2011 - the second place in 2014 - while Russia have not been in the final eight since 2011. 

The action from Podgorica is just a click away as you can follow Live Updates throughout each game day, watch all of the games for free on the FIBA YouTube channel and follow #FIBAU16Europe across social media.

Germany vs Serbia

Latvia vs Russia

Slovenia vs Croatia

Spain vs Estonia

Lithuania vs Finland

Israel vs Turkey

France vs Sweden

Italy vs Montenegro