Double-digit wins for Netherlands, Great Britain, Greece and Georgia in Quarter-Finals
SOFIA (FIBA U16 European Championship 2017, Division B) - Greece, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Georgia took another big step towards promotion in the FIBA U16 European Championship 2017, Division B after moving into the Semi-Finals with wins on Thursday in Sofia.
After inscribing wins in the Quarter-Finals, the Greeks will now take on the British on one end of the bracket, while the Dutch are set to square off against Georgia on the other, with places in the Final, as well as tickets to next year's Division A, on the line.
Great Britain cleared the Hungarian hurdle in the Quarter-Finals with plenty of room to spare, registering an 85-54 victory behind a 16-point, 9-rebound, 4-assist and 3-steal performance by the Debrecen-born shooting guard Mate Okros.
GB u/16 Men go 6-0 to book a place in the S/F after a great win over Hungary 85-54, after the game we spoke with #13 Tomiwa Sulaiman 🇬🇧🏀 pic.twitter.com/U9cMq4Ed4h— GB Basketball (@gbbasketball) August 17, 2017
Christopher Feeney was also effective with a game-high 17 points in his 26 minutes of action, while Tomiwa Sulaiman chipped in with 14 points and 8 rebounds for the Brits, who are one win away from securing their third promotion this summer after doing so at U18 and U20 level already.
Greece had to work harder for a place in the Semi-Finals but also earned a double-digit victory against Ukraine with a 78-63 scoreline after deciding the outcome of the game with a strong fourth-quarter performance.
There were only four points between the sides heading into the final frame, but the Nikolaos Rogkavopoulos-led Greeks used a 12-0 run to achieve a late breakthrough, with the team captain finishing the game with 28 points and 8 rebounds.
Netherlands also got off to a slow start, but warded off a challenge from Belgium to claim a 65-51 victory, as Kaye van der Vuurst de Vries and Jonas Visser scored 18 points each for the winners and Jamie Bergens added 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
Niels De Ridder was the only player in double figures for the Belgians with a double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Haris Bratanovic chipped in with 15 rebounds, 4 points and 4 blocks.
Georgia was the only second seed to come away with an upset in the Quarter-Finals, downing Group C winners Czech Republic 65-51 with a fine defensive team display and solid games by Rati Andonikashvili and Vladimer Tavakarashvili.
Andronikashvili had a game-high 16 points, Tavakarashvili collected 7 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists, while Nikolaos Noumeros scored 14 points for the Czech side who were handed a surprisingly large defeat.
In the Classification Games for 9-16th places, Bosnia and Herzegovina registered an 82-67 victory over the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Poland edged Iceland 62-58, Belarus topped the tournament hosts Bulgaria 71-65, while Ireland came out on top 77-63 against Portugal.
Further down in the standings, in the Classification Games for 17-24th places, Switzerland got the better of Cyprus 61-51, Kosovo inscribed a 66-49 win over Norway; Denmark kept Romania winless with a 78-74 scoreline; while Luxembourg capped the evening with a 59-54 victory against the Slovak Republic.