Slovenia win thriller to make last eight, Yaacov nears triple-double in Israel win
IZMIR (Turkey) - Just eight teams remain in contention for the FIBA U18 European Championship title as the competition resumed with the Round of 16 action on Wednesday.
All of the higher seeded teams from the Group Phase went through unscathed to leave four teams on course for a perfect run to the Final.
Slovenia pulled out a thrilling 85-83 victory over Croatia after seeing a double-digit fourth quarter lead wiped out in the closing stages. They trailed 81-78 inside the final minute, but produced a decisive 6-0 spell as they capitalized on successive turnovers
Jan Zemljic posted 17 points, 6 assists and 5 steals with Arne Osojnik top scoring with 18 points along with 7 rebounds and 4 steals with their reward a meeting with strong title contenders France in the Quarter-Finals.
France were in cruise control as they defeated Germany 74-51 behind Zacharie Perrin's double-double display of 18 points and 13 rebounds with 11 players on the scoresheet in total in another impressive team performance.
Noam Yaacov produced an impressive individual display to lead Israel past Poland with a near triple-double in their 65-58 success. The point guard finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists with three other players in double figures in scoring as they advanced to the last eight.
Italy led by as many as 21 points on their way to beating Greece 64-55 as they kept their opponents in single figures in the second and third quarters. Niccolo Moretti and Matteo Visintin both contributed 15 points and 6 assists apiece, while Greece were without influential star Alexandros Samodurov.
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Earlier, Serbia swept past Montenegro to continue their unbeaten charge with an 80-56 victory with the damage done in a 27-11 second quarter. Marko Sarenac top scored with 22 points along with 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals as they meet Israel on Thursday.
Lithuania were dominant 88-57 victors over Czech Republic behind 20 points from Paulius Murauskas and Motiejus Krivas' 16-point, 14-rebound double-double. They now look ahead to an intriguing last eight showdown with Turkey as the hosts swept aside Great Britain; winning 82-38 to emphatically round out the day.
There was also a 73-45 win for Spain as they maintained their unbeaten charge in seeing off a spirited early challenge from North Macedonia to complete the last eight lineup. Izan Almansa had an efficient 15 points and 7 rebounds in just 19 minutes on court.
Quarter-Finals (Thursday, August 4):