Finland and Belarus through to the Quarter-Finals
AUSTRIA (FIBA U18 Women's European Championship 2018, Division B) – The Awak Kuier-led Finland was one of two teams to book tickets to the next round of the FIBA U18 Women's European Championship 2018, Division B on Tuesday.
The towering 16-year-old center scored 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, as the Finns ran away to a 70-57 victory in Group A against the previously undefeated Romania after turning on the afterburners in the fourth quarter.
Sara El Khasane Bejedi was the game's top scorer with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals and Lotta Vehka-aho chipped in with a 15-point effort, while Maria Ferariu had 16 points and 8 boards for Romania in the defeat.
Sara El Khasane Bejedi and Awak Kuier were unstoppable
The second ticket to the Quarter-Finals in Group A will be decided between Romania and Portugal, who are set to meet in a decisive showdown on Wednesday. The Agostinho Pinto-coached Portuguese side improved to a 3-1 mark with an 86-56 blowout win against Georgia, with Mariana Carvalho going off for a game-high 32 points.
In the only other contest in the group, Cyprus got their first win of the tournament by getting the better of Iceland, 60-42, after three consecutive defeats in Austria.
Belarus also secured early bird qualification for the Play-Offs with an emphatic 120-38 victory over Kosovo, moving their marker to 4-0 in Group D behind 19-point performances from Kseniya Molchan and Nastassia Siarchenia.
Belarus defeated Kosovo by 82 points to book Quarter-Final tickets in advance
Meanwhile, Luxembourg and Ukraine improved to 3-1 records in the group's other games. The trio of Anne Simon, Catherine Mreches and Svenia Nurenberg combined for 54 points, as the Luxembourgian side stunned Slovakia with a 21-5 fourth-quarter run for a 66-53 triumph, as Ukraine inscribed a 54-33 win over Norway.
There are three teams in the running for Quarter-Final berth in Group B, with Lithuania currently in pole position, having climbed to a 4-0 mark in the standings with a convincing 92-62 victory over Switzerland.
With their backs against the wall, Greece stayed in contention by handing Israel their first loss of the tournament in an extremely low-scoring and defensive-minded 38-29 contest that put both teams at 3-1 before the final day of the Group Phase.
Also in Group B, Bulgaria kept Albania at the bottom of the standings with an 87-60 win, as Valeria Aleksieva filled the boxscore with 26 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals.
Turkey got their third win in a row in Group C
In Group C, the Netherlands, Turkey and Denmark will enter the final day of action with identical 3-1 records after scoring wins on Tuesday. The Dutch downed Great Britain 73-67, Turkey pipped Montenegro 65-61, while Denmark kept the tournament hosts Austria winless with a 69-36 blowout.
Despite being one win behind the Dutch-Turkish-Danish triumvirate at the top of Group C, Great Britain could also move into the top two on Wednesday if the results go their way on multiple fronts. They would need to win their last remaining game against Denmark by at least 9 points and hope for a Dutch victory over Turkey as well.