30 June, 2023
09 July
5 Nina Novak (CRO)
to read

Croatia wrap up Division B title in Sofia to confirm promotion

SOFIA (Bulgaria) - Croatia have been crowned FIBA U18 Women's European Championship 2023, Division B winners and will play in the top flight next summer after dominating Luxembourg 93-66 in Sunday's Final. 

They added to their 2007 and 2011 titles off the back of another stellar performance from Petra Bozan, who put up 20 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists in the Final. The forward added to her joy by making the All-Star Five.

There were also impressive contributions in the title game from Lucija Banovic and Nina Novak, who scored 25 and 21 points respectively.

The loss was brutal for Luxembourg star Faith Ehi Etute, who lit it up throughout the competition and was named as the MVP. Etute put up eye-popping numbers in the Final with 23 points, 23 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 steals as they had to settle for silver for their first medal at the event.

Greece won the Third Place Game as they soared past Bosnia and Herzegovina 68-44 to pick up their second bronze and fifth medal in total at the event. Racing into a 21-6 lead after the opening 10 minutes, Greece had no cause to look back as they strolled to the win.

It was a shared 36 points from Lydia Chatira and Angeliki Zlaka that paced the success, with the latter also adding 4 steals. Bosnia and Herzegovina committed 27 turnovers and misfired badly, with only Jana Guska reaching double-figures via a modest 11 points. 

Elsewhere, on the last day of the competition, Slovakia claimed 5th place by beating Ireland 68-43, with the victory founded on a powerful one-sided 30-3 third quarter. Iceland and more specifically Sara Boama were too hot for Bulgaria in the battle for 7th place as she garnered 14 points and 15 rebounds in an 86-69 win.

Netherlands and Ukraine served up one of the most exciting clashes as the former sneaked a 66-64 success that delivered 9th place.  Estonia locked down Great Britain 53-40 for 11th spot, with Marta Jaama excellent and providing 18 points, 6 assists and 6 steals. Sweden sealed 13th as they rode past Denmark 77-62 thanks mainly to 28 points and 9 boards from Tilda Trygger.

Austria claimed 15th by beating North Macedonia 81-74 off the back of double-doubles from Anna Alborova and Iva Sanseovic. Finally, a tremendous 28 points from Ilinca Belegante helped Romania avoid bottom spot as they took 17th with an 80-67 success against Norway.

Final Standings 

1. Croatia 
2. Luxembourg
3. Greece
4. Bosnia and Herzegovina
5. Slovakia
6. Ireland
7. Iceland
8. Bulgaria
9. Netherlands
10. Ukraine
11. Estonia
12. Great Britain
13. Sweden
14. Denmark
15. Austria
16. North Macedonia
17. Romania
18. Norway