Quarter-Final pairings all set, Hungary and Montenegro still perfect
SKOPJE (2016 FIBA U18 European Championship Division B) - Slovak Republic were the biggest winners of the final day of the Group Phase. A vital win over Georgia saw them through to the Quarter-Finals.
Slovak Republic will face Estonia in their next game, and the winner of that duel has a Semi-Final date with the winner of the Montenegro and Poland match-up. The other two Quarter-Final pairings see Hungary matched with Belgium, while Ukraine play Czech Republic for a spot in the final four.
Georgia led the way in Group D since the beginning of the championship, but their maiden loss came at the worst possible time. Slovak Republic held them to 20 second-half points in a 68-48 win, Marek Dolezaj collected a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double to hand the Slovaks second place in the group.
Ukraine won the group in a three-way tie with Slovak Republic and Georgia at 4-1. Roman Bondarchuk had 21 points in a 92-65 Ukrainian win against Scotland. England defeated Albania 83-42 to finish fourth in the group.
Group C also saw a leader slip up. Czech Republic lost to Estonia 65-58, Mathias Tass' double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds was crucial as Estonia claimed first place in the group. Iceland took third by beating Netherlands 77-66, and Denmark also move forward to the battle for 9th place, with an 83-52 win against Luxembourg.
In Group A, Hungary clinched first place in dramatic fashion, as they needed two clutch free throws by Csaba Kucsora with 20 seconds left. Kucsora delivered, Hungary defeated Bulgaria 71-70 and reached the Quarter-Finals from the top of the group. Five Hungarian players were in double figures, led by Krisztofer Durazi's 16 points.
Poland finished second with an 88-79 victory against Ireland. A couple of Dominiks were enough to hand Ireland the defeat, as Wilczek scored 20 points in 26 minutes, while Rutkowski finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia won their match-up with Cyprus 82-54 to proceed to the Classification Games for 9th Place.
In Group B, Belgium secured their Quarter-Final berth with an 84-45 win over Romania. Belgium finished on a 3-2 record, but held a tie-breaker over Belarus, who also finished with three wins, following their 83-67 triumph over Austria. Montenegro extended their winning streak to five games with an 80-45 success against Portugal.
Montenegro and Hungary are the only two undefeated teams left in the championship.