05 - 14
August 2016
4 Alison Blaney (IRL)
to read

Ireland outlast England in the battle for Quarter-Finals, Greece win Group B

ORADEA (2016 FIBA U16 Women's European Championship Division B) - The Quarter-Final pairings are all set. Eight teams are now in a fight for three promotion tickets to next season's Division A competition.

The Quarter-Finals will start with the Benelux derby, featuring the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Poland or Ireland will face the winner of that match-up in the Semi-Finals. The other side of the draw sees Finland take on Romania, while Greece have to play Israel.

Group C saw the most entertaining ending to the group phase, as Finland and Ireland crossed the finish line in the first two spots. Just two more points by Bosnia and Herzegovina could have changed the whole picture, and England are the most disappointed with the Bosnia and Herzegovina defeat.

Valeria Aleksieva connected on a three-pointer with 30 seconds left to give Bulgaria a 62-60 lead against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Dragana Zubac drew the foul on the final possession, but could hit only one of two free throws, as Bulgaria ended with a 62-61 victory.

If Bosnia and Herzegovina had won, they would have sent England to the Quarter-Finals because of a three-way tie of teams at 3-2. This way Ireland had the tie-breaker over their neighbours, defeating England 52-46 to clinch second place.  

Finland had no trouble in claiming first place. An 81-37 win over Scotland was their fifth in a row at the championship, and it sets up a Quarter-Final with the hosts on Friday. Finland dominated the group, winning all the games by an average margin of 45 points per game.

In Group D, Poland had already secured first place prior to the last day of group action. Romania clinched second place and their Quarter-Final berth with a comfortable 89-34 win over the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Belgium finished third on a 2-2 record following their 86-23 triumph against Norway.

In Group B, Eirini Kouki came up big with 18 points and eight rebounds to give Greece a 53-51 victory over Luxembourg. Greece also clinched first place in their group, dropping Luxembourg to the number two seed. Ukraine and Denmark finished in third and fourth place respectively, both on 3-2 records. Ukraine defeated Iceland 48-36, and Denmark cruised to a 66-41 win over Albania. Even if Greece had joined the three-way tie at a 3-2 record, they still would have advanced on points difference.

Group A had the least drama on Wednesday. The Netherlands had already booked first place and made sure their five-game win streak is still alive with a 78-35 success against Austria. Israel knew they would finish second, but still stayed focused and defeated Cyprus 70-36 to finish on a 4-1 record. Slovenia won the battle for third with a 60-49 win over Estonia.