28 July, 2017
06 August
21 Krastan Krastanov (BUL)
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Bulgaria edge out Iceland in the battle for the Quarter-Finals; Croatia, Israel and Estonia still unbeaten

TALLINN (FIBA U18 European Championship 2017, Division B) - Bulgaria were the biggest winner of the final Group Phase day, coming back from 18 down to take out Iceland and move on to the Quarter-Finals.

Ivaylo Tonev broke Icelandic hearts with the go-ahead bucket entering the final minute of the game, giving Bulgaria a 77-76 win. Tonev's late game heroics erased the bad taste of his 6-of-20 shooting from the field, and he finished with 15 points. Ivan Alipiev gave Tonev the chance to win the game by keeping Bulgaria afloat with 30 points on 13-of-19 shooting from the field. Alipiev also had a game-high 12 rebounds.

Iceland not only let a 56-38 third quarter-lead slip out of their hands, but also blew a fantastic 3-0 start to the tournament. Tied at 3-2, Bulgaria had the tie-breaker and advanced to the Quarter-Finals, sending Iceland to the Classification Games 9-16.

Croatia knew they had won the group prior to the last day of group action, and Mateo Dreznjak collected a game-high 16 points in a 73-67 win over Belarus, to make it 5-of-5 for Croatia in Group B. Hungary finished at 2-3, following their 66-59 win over the 0-5 Georgia.

The closest group was Group D, and Denmark fought off a dismal start to defeat Ireland 84-63 and advance just ahead of Belgium. Trailing 16-8 at the start of Q2, Denmark switched through gears and took control with a 32-13 second quarter. Marcus Sampson led the way with 17 points.

Belgium cruised to an 84-50 win over Switzerland on Vincent Peeters' 22 points, but it was only enough for a third place-finish in the group. Hosts Estonia take the number one seed to the Quarter-Finals, defeating MKD 78-58. Karl Karpin had 14 points and 7 rebounds for the winners.

Group A was crowded at the top ahead of the final day of basketball, but there were no tie-breakers deciding who goes through. Great Britain take the first place at 4-1, reaching the century mark by dismantling Albania 100-43. Jaydon Kayne Henry McCalla needed 17 minutes to score 16 points.

The Netherlands also took home a 4-1 record, but their earlier loss to Team GB meant they finished the group phase in second place. A 96-61 defeat was handed to their neighbors from Luxembourg sealed their Quarter-Final berth. Czech Republic defeated Sweden 84-61, but their 3-2 records weren't good enough to make the elite eight.

Along with Estonia and Croatia, the only other unbeaten team is the Group C winner. Israel had a stress-free day in an 80-49 win over Azerbaijan, with 10 different scorers in the boxscore. Poland take second place thanks to a 66-57 win over Austria, as Kacper Makowski and Dominik Wilczek combined for 34 points. Portugal beat Romania 64-59 to win third place in the group.

Players will enjoy their day off on Thursday. The Quarter-Finals are all set for Friday:
Great Britain v Bulgaria
Estonia v Poland
Croatia v Netherlands
Israel v Denmark