17 - 26
August 2017
5 Alberte Rimdal (DEN)
to read

Five teams through to the Quarter-Finals, three more spots to fill on Tuesday

SKOPJE (FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2017, Division B) - More than half of the places in the Quarter-Finals at the FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2017, Division B are already off the table in Skopje.

Belgium, Finland, Greece, Portugal and Sweden have all secured Play-Off berths in advance, while six more teams will be in the hunt for the remaining three tickets to the next round on the final day of Group Phase on Tuesday.

The most exciting action will likely take place in Group D, with the three-team band of Denmark, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Switzerland set to face off for the two remaining unfilled spots in Group D.

The undefeated group leaders Denmark improved to a 4-0 mark by tearing apart Albania 97-43 behind a 15-point, 8-rebound and 6-assist performance by Malene Pedersen but that in itself couldn't get the job done.

The Susie Heede-Andersen-coached Danes will have to finish off the task in the final game against Switzerland, who suffered their first defeat of the campaign by losing 69-68 to Bosnia and Herzegovina after Azra Nikisic's game-winning basket with 1:36 left to play in regulation.

Ines Babic led the winners with 16 points, Anica Skrivan added a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds; while Emma Chardon collected 14 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and a couple of steals for the Swiss side.

Denmark can afford to take a loss of no more than 11 points against the Swiss side and still advance in a three-way tie, leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina as the odd team out in this particular scenario.

In the last game in Group D, the Slovak Republic got on the board with a 47-36 win against Great Britain but do not have any theoretical possibilities of climbing any higher than fourth place in the standings.

Belgium wrapped up the number one seed before the Quarter-Finals by staying on the straight and narrow against Slovenia and inscribing a 76-44 victory to move to 4-0 in the standings in Group C.

The second ticket to the Play-Offs is now for Ukraine, Slovenia and Ireland to decide among themselves, with the Ukrainian side in pole position after improving to a 3-1 mark with a 73-17 win over Moldova, with Myroslava Topchy scoring a team-high 14 points in just 14 minutes of action.

Ireland, who have a 2-2 record like Slovenia, got a 72-54 win over the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to stay in the race for second place thanks to an 18-point and 12-rebound game by Katie Walshe.

Matched up with Ireland in the final game, Ukraine will advance to the next round with any win, while Slovenia need an Irish victory to go through, providing they take care of business against group outsiders Moldova themselves. 

Unless Slovenia slip up, the path to qualification is extremely tough for the Irish team, who would need a win in the region of 39 points to come out winners in a possible three-way-tie.

The situation is fully resolved in the two other groups, with Portugal locking up a top-two finish in Group A by improving to a 3-0 mark with a 76-21 blowout victory against Norway, joining the already-qualified Finland, who enjoyed a rest day, in the next round.

Meanwhile, it was a case of too little, too late for Bulgaria, who defeated Estonia 59-50 for their first win of the tournament, but left themselves too much ground to make up by losing the first couple of games.

In Group B, Sweden notched up their third consecutive victory with a 58-33 performance against Luxembourg to celebrate qualification, with Tova Sabel once again doing most of the heavy lifting with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Divora Alem contributed with 4 points, 8 rebounds, 6 steals and 3 assists.

The Swedes will play for the first place in the standings against Greece, who share a group-leading 3-0 record, but had a break in their schedule and did not play on Monday.

After losses to both of the group leaders, Israel finally got their victory count rolling with a 63-48 triumph over Iceland with Gaya Sless leading the team in efficiency after scoring 15 points and 7 assists. On the other side of the barricades, Asta Grimsdottir posted a tournament-high 24 rebounds, as well as 18 points and 4 blocks.