Four teams remain unbeaten as Israel schools Czech Republic
ORADEA (Romania) - Only one day of Group Phase is left in the FIBA U18 European Championship 2019, Division B, with only one team through to the Quarter-Finals, and all the others in danger of missing out.
North Macedonia eased through Group B, and an 83-58 win over Slovakia took them two wins clear of Ukraine and Ireland in third and fourth, respectively, and they already secured the first seed, since they own a tiebreaker against Georgia in this group. Andrej Jakimovski needed 18 minutes to collect 10 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.
In Group A, Poland are all-but-certain to make it to the Quarter-Finals, as they are 4-0 ahead of Belgium and Estonia at 3-1, with a game against Estonia coming up. They are currently +22 in the potential triangle, with Estonia at -10 and Belgium at -12 - it means only a 35+ point defeat of Poland would mean that Estonia and Belgium are going through.
In Group C, Czech Republic scored more than 100 points in each of their first three games, but Israel came prepared for that kind of offense. Noam Shimon Dovrat scored 18 points to give Israel a 61-50 win over Czech Republic, holding the hot shooting nation to just 5-of-40 shooting from beyond the arc.
Israel and Czech Republic are looking like strong candidates to advance from the group, because even a three-way tie does not work in favor of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are at 3-1 so far, but lost by 44 points to Czech Republic earlier in the tournament.
Top scorer of the day: Daniil Barysevich kept Belarus alive in Group D, collecting a 26-point, 15-rebound double-double to give them an 83-74 win over Kosovo and send the team to 3-1. Portugal share the same record, but are +15 in a potential three-way tie; Sweden are currently +3 against Portugal and Belarus; Belarus need to find a way out of a -18 hole. A 11-point win would take Belarus through, send Sweden to classification games.
Top rebounder of the day: Barysevich again.
Top passer of the day: Kerr Kriisa dropped 8 dimes on the day, but could not prevent an 89-79 defeat to the hands of Belgium. Both teams now at 3-1 records with perfect Poland in front of them.
Top thief of the day: Portugal are still in the hunt for the Quarter-Finals, and Hugo Morais Ferreira is a big reason why. He had 15 points and a day-high 6 steals to lead the nation to a 78-45 win over Austria.
Top blocker of the day: Kiryl Tsetserukou had 17 points, 14 rebounds and a top-of-the-day 4 blocks for Belarus, to help Barysevich out under both rims.