Two Division A tickets already handed out, Czech Republic and North Macedonia fight for the third
ORADEA (Romania) - A successful summer continues for Israel, who have backed up winning FIBA U20 European Championship by advancing to Division A at the U18 level. Poland are the other team to advance, the third and final ticket will go to either North Macedonia or Czech Republic.
Israel powered through against North Macedonia in the battle of previously unbeaten team. A 27-6 second quarter put it beyond the reach of MKD, it finished 78-66, and coach Oren Aharoni had plenty of heroes in his squad, with everybody doing their part.
Noam Shimon Dovrat led the scoring with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Shahar Lazar scored 13, Dori Sahar and Yahel Melamed combined for 24, and two more players who weren't in double digits deserve a mention. Amit Aharoni had 3 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, but Israel were a +22 team with him on the floor. Gilad Levy needed just 11 minutes to get 3 blocks for the new Division A squad.
The other finalist of the FIBA U18 European Championship, Division B are the Group A winners Poland. Coach Andrzej Adamek had five players in double figures, and the sixth one wasn't far behind as Mateusz Kaszowski had 8 points and 8 assists to help Poland to a 76-58 win over Czech Republic.
While Poland and Israel can enjoy the Final knowing they are moving up a division next summer, the fight for the podium between North Macedonia and Czech Republic has added weight. The winning team will not only receive a piece of silverware to remember this competition by, but also the last remaining promotion spot to the top division for 2020.
Elsewhere, Dui Thor Jonsson showed all of his power by scoring a new event-high of 37 points on 12-of-16 shooting from the field, but Iceland still lost the Classification Game 9-12 to Belgium - mostly because Tom Mark had 10 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 6 blocks and 5 steals at the other end in a 91-80 Belgium game.