Unbeaten Denmark lead promotion push as Quarter-Finals are confirmed
PLOIESTI (Romania) - The push for promotion is heating up at the FIBA U18 European Championship, Division B as the Quarter-Finals are set after five days of action in Ploiesti.
The two finalists will earn their places in Division A next summer with Denmark the only unbeaten team left in the competition heading into the knockout stages.
Denmark swept through the Group Phase with four wins from four including what turned out to be a pivotal 87-75 victory against Iceland on the opening day. Marqus Marion produced a huge performance in the win with 27 points and 18 rebounds for a big double-double.
They followed with double-digit wins over Ukraine and Estonia before securing a 4-0 record in style as they powered past Ireland in an 86-59 success as they dominated the middle periods.
View this post on Instagram
Tomas Thrastarson fired in a tournament-high of 38 points on 15-of-23 shooting as Iceland responded with a 105-91 victory against Estonia. They then sealed second spot with a 3-1 record after beating Ukraine 88-52 on Wednesday in a straight shootout to advance.
Bosnia and Herzegovina battled to top spot in Group B as they recorded four wins from five games. Ajdin Becirovic came up with the game-winner on Day 1 in a dramatic 90-89 overtime triumph over Bulgaria and they rounded out the group phase with a crushing 90-58 win against Kosovo.
Their momentum had been stalled on the penultimate day as Georgia claimed a 79-75 victory as a tense fight for the runners-up spot ensued. Netherlands beat Georgia 59-52 on Wednesday to leave both sides with 3-2 records, while they were joined by Bulgaria after they overcame Norway in a 74-56 success.
However, Netherlands advanced having also beaten Bulgaria 70-66 in the previous day to come out on top in the three-way tie.
The hosts claimed top spot in Group C after edging out previously unbeaten Portugal in a 53-49 triumph in Wednesday's action. In a low-scoring encounter, Romania overturned a 12-point deficit in the third quarter to complete victory in front of their passionate supporters.
Romania had suffered their first loss of the competition on the opening day as they fell to a 68-64 loss to Slovakia, who were later beaten 68-64 by Hungary to halt their unbeaten start before a third successive defeat came against Latvia.
There was a three-way tie at the top of the group as Finland and Sweden made it through at the expense of Belgium, who missed out on the Quarter-Finals despite their own 3-1 record.
Miro Little had led Finland to victory with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 11 assists before their unbeaten run was ended on Wednesday as Sweden claimed a decisive 78-67 triumph to secure a top-two finish with a 26-8 final quarter effort.
Sverige U18 slog storfavoriten Finland med 78-67 efter att ha vänt ett stort underläge! pic.twitter.com/i2Xqyos0o2— Johannes Wohlert (@johanneswohlert) August 3, 2022
Quarter-Finals (Friday, August 5):
Denmark v Netherlands
Finland v Portugal
Bosnia and Herzegovina v Iceland
Romania v Sweden