Finland hold off Portugal; Iceland complete Nordic quartet in Semi-Finals
PLOIESTI (Romania) - The final four teams are locked in at the FIBA U18 European Championship, Division B after Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden all won their respective Quarter-Finals.
Finland erased a 12-point deficit on their way to beating Portugal 73-69 as Miro Little starred in the comeback with 21 points, 16 rebounds and 5 assists. Portugal had still been 11 points ahead late in the third before a 12-0 Finland run set up a tense finale.
Little iced the win from the line as his side repelled the 28-point, 9-rebound effort from Diogo Seixas as Portugal came up agonizingly short of the victory.
🇫🇮 Miro Little leads his team in points, rebounds and assists - 21/16/5 - helping Finland get a 73-69 win over Portugal after trailing for most of the game— CBB Europe (@CBB_Europe) August 5, 2022
This bucket here in Q4 was a really, really pretty one#FIBAU18Europe @MiroLittle23 pic.twitter.com/xeTmzafYUa
Meanwhile, Romania were unable to build on a bright opening as they fell to a 77-56 defeat against Sweden. Tunde Fasasi starred in the win with a 28-point haul on 12-of-16 shooting pulled clear to deny the hosts a spot in the Semi-Finals.
Romania led 20-15 after the first quarter, but Sweden backed up a 22-8 second period with a 23-12 fourth to seal the win in style.
Iceland completed the set of Nordic nations through to the Semi-Finals as they were able to get past Bosnia and Herzegovina in the last encounter of the day.
Almar Atlason posted an impressive double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds along with 6 assists in the 95-89 triumph with Tomas Thrastarson adding 17 points and 11 rebounds to counter a strong 30-8-5 line from Harun Zrno in defeat.
Denmark had earlier set up a showdown with Finland after they eased past Netherlands in a convincing 85-59 victory. Tobias Jensen flirted with a triple-double with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists in the win as seven players all scored 8+ points for the Danes.
Elsewhere in the 9-16 Classification Games, Ukraine claimed a narrow 61-60 success over Georgia with Estonia also pulling out a close win to beat Bulgaria 87-85 in overtime behind a balanced attack. Belgium beat Hungary 73-60, and Austria rallied late to edge out Latvia 77-75.
The Semi-Finals will take place on Saturday with the two winners earning promotion to Division A next summer.