Italy upset Lithuania, hosts Portugal stay alive as Quarter-Finals set
MATOSINHOS (Portugal) - The Round of 16 at the FIBA U16 Women's European Championship saw Italy get an upset and hosts Portugal keep their title hopes alive, as both earned their spot in the Quarter-Finals.
After going 2-1 in Group B, Lithuania were upset by Italy (previously 1-2 in Group A), 51-44. After trailing by four after one quarter, Italy won the next two quarters 31-20 to pull away. Out of the 11 players who played for Italy, 10 of them scored, with Anita Franchini having a balanced game of 9 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals.
Greece is moving on after defeating Latvia 77-64. Greece held an 18-point advantage over Latvia at halftime that was just too much to overcome. Vasiliki Cholopoulou led the way with 21 points, 6 assists and 5 steals on 8-of-14 shooting from the field.
Frontrunners Spain and France advanced after getting big wins against Finland and Poland, respectively.
Spain took down Finland 90-49, as the victors forced 33 turnovers and converted that into 50 points. Iyana Martin Carrion led the way with 15 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals.
France dominated Poland 82-39 and held them to just single digit points in three of the four quarters. Similar to Spain, France also forced many turnovers (36) and scored 41 points off of them. Ines Pitarch-Granel led France in scoring with 19 points in just 14 minutes of action.
The game of the day was between Croatia and Slovenia with Croatia coming through 68-66 on a game-winning layup by Lena Bilic with 7 seconds left. Petra Bozan kept her streak of double doubles going with 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Tanja Valancic had quite a game for Slovenia, playing all 40 minutes and finishing with a game-high 25 points while draining 7-of-15 from three-point range.
In a back-and-forth game with 13 lead changes, Hungary held on to beat Germany 53-47. Hungary trailed 45-44 with about 5 minutes left in the game before going on a 9-2 run to close out the game. Dora and Reka Toman combined for 22 points and shot a perfect 9-of-9 from the free-throw line.
Belgium blew out Denmark 112-46 and had two players eclipse the 20-point scoring mark with Kato Anne Bevernage (24 points, 10-of-14 FG, 4-of-7 3P) and Zhen Verburgt (22 points, 8-of-15 FG, 6-of-10 3P). The two also combined to make 10 of the team's 15 total threes.
The final Round of 16 game to finish was hosts Portugal and they treated the home crowd to an 80-61 triumph, leading the entire game for all but three minutes. Center Clara Sofia Silva recorded a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double.
While half of the teams will be vying for a podium finish as well as a championship, the teams that didn't get a win in the Round of 16 will now be trying to avoid landing in the three relegation spots that will see them fall into Division B.
Quarter-Finals pairings (Wednesday, August 24):
- Hungary v Portugal
- Italy v France
- Croatia v Belgium
- Spain v Greece