Round of 16 pairings set
LIEPAJA/VENTSPILS (FIBA U18 European Championship 2018) - The FIBA U18 European Championship 2018 Round of 16 is set as hosts Latvia won their group as did undefeated Spain and Lithuania, while reigning champs Serbia finished second after an improbable overtime win on the final day of group action.
Latvia grabbed first place in Group A with a dominant 90-68 win over Italy in Ventspils. Arturs Zagars nailed four three-pointers in scoring 17 points in less than 17 minutes while Adrians Snipke collected 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals for the Latvians, who ended group play at 2-1 and will next face Turkey in the Round of 16.
Italy were playing without captain Matteo Lagana as well as leader Mattia Palumbo. Federico Miaschi scored the team's first 10 points and ended with 18 points. The Italians' knockout stage first date is with Russia.
Greece took second place in the group after a 76-67 win over Croatia for a 2-1 record - behind Latvia because of their loss to the hosts. Greece gave up a 23-point lead but were able to regain control and win thanks to Nikos Arsenopoulos' 16 points, 5 steals, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Andreas Tsoumanis added 11 points and 9 rebounds. The Greeks now have a KO date with France.
Croatia, who saw Filip Vujicic tally 15 points, ended up in last place in the group with a 1-2 record and play Germany.
Spain, whose 2000-born generation won the FIBA U16 European Championship 2016, cruised to another victory in Group C, 104-53 over Ukraine for a 3-0 record. Didac Cuevas led the way with 20 points while Jaime Pradilla had 14 and Diego Alderete added 12 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals for the Spanish, who will face Montenego in the big Round of 16 game.
Ukraine finished at 1-2 and they will next take on Serbia.
Finland booked their second victory in Group C in beating Bosnia and Herzegovina 86-68 as Ville Tahvanainen buried six three-pointers in scoring 25 points. Finland's Round of 16 opponent is Great Britain.
Bosnia and Herzegovina, who dropped to 0-3 in the group, got 22 points from Vojin Ilic but there was not enough other help. They will need all the help they can get in their knockout start against Lithuania.
Lithuania were the other team to win all three games in the Group Phase with a 93-82 victory over Great Britain in Group D. Gertautas Urbonavicius had 20 points; Rokas Jokubaitis pitched in 16 points and 4 steals; and Deividas Sirvydis had 14 points for the Lithuanians.
Great Britain, who finished with a 1-2 record, got 27 points from Mate Okros.
Also in Group D, Serbia came up with an improbable comeback to knock off Montenegro 97-95 in overtime. Marko Pecarski scored 28 points to go with 9 rebounds while Filip Petrusev had 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks and Zoran Paunovic scored 18 points.
Montenegro were leading by seven points with 50 seconds left in regulation when Zoran Paunovic put back an offensive rebound and then Altin Islamovic nailed a three-pointer with 24 seconds to play. After Bojan Tomasevic split two free throws for Montenegro, Islamovic hit another three-pointer with 4 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Jovan Kljajic knotted it at 95-95 with 29 seconds left but Filip Petrusev scored under the basket with 3 seconds remaining to get the win.
Montenegro, who finished 0-3 in the group, got 23 points from Tomasevic and 19 points and 10 assists from Kljajic.
Top honors in Group B went to Germany, who beat France 93-76 with Killian Binapfl scoring 13 points while Hendrik Drescher, Kay Bruhnke and Marco Hollersbacher all had 11. Germany will face Croatia for a spot in the Quarter-Finals.
France, who had 14 points from Lucas Bourhis, took third place in the group at 1-2 and will play Greece.
Also in Group B, Russia wasted a 17-point lead but were able to regain control of the game and beat Turkey 65-56 for a 2-1 mark and second place. Aleksandr Ershov led the way with 12 points while Nikita Mikhailovskii came off the bench to pick up 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
Eray Akyuz hit for 20 points for Turkey, who took last place in the group at 1-2 and will take on Latvia.
Here the Round of 16 match-ups:
Finland v Great Britain
Russia v Italy
Greece v France
Lithuania v Bosnia and Herzegovina
Serbia v Ukraine
Latvia v Turkey
Spain v Montenegro