Albania crowned champions, Monaco's Lucas N'Gombo named MVP
SERRAVALLE (San Marino) - Albania have been crowned champions of the FIBA U18 European Championship, Division C after defeating Monaco 93-78, claiming their first gold medal since 2003.
Monaco trailed 56-44 in the third quarter before going on a 22-9 run to get back into the game, only to have Albania outscore them 24-12 in the final quarter.
Enzo Zotaj exploded for 41 points and 8 rebounds, following up on his 30-point Semi-Final game, while teammate Aleksis Nika recorded his fourth double-double of the tournament with 22 points and 12 rebounds along with 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
Nika's outstanding tournament averaging 17.2 points, 15.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.8 steals and 1.5 blocks per game landed him a spot on the All-Star Five.
For Monaco, Matis Moncada led the team in defeat and stuffed the stat sheet with 27 points along with 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals, while Lucas N'Gombo also reached the 20-point mark, finishing with 21 points, 17 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks.
N'Gombo finished the tournament averaging 22.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game, while shooting 54.9 percent from the field in six games, earning him MVP honors and a spot on the All-Star Five.
Monaco's Eithan Zerbib also made the All-Star Five after averaging 21.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.5 steals per game.
In a thrilling overtime game, Azerbaijan secured the bronze medal over Luxembourg in the Third Place Game, 78-73.
Azerbaijan led by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter, but Luxembourg battled back to tie the game and force overtime. Azerbaijan's 14-9 extra period put the game away behind Said Ismayilov's 6 points in those extra five minutes.
Roderick Anderson III closed his strong tournament with 32 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals and was rewarded with a spot in the All-Star Five, averaging 32.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 6.5 steals per game.
Luxembourg's Isak Semedo Linder rounded out the All-Star Five after his 19-point, 5-rebound performance in the Third Place Game, finishing the tournament averaging 16.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.7 steals per game.
Meanwhile in the classification games, Andorra prevailed over Malta, 73-60, in the 5-6 classification game, Moldova over Armenia, 70-65, in the 7-8 classification game and hosts San Marino ended their tournament on a high note by getting their first win over Gibraltar, 69-51, in the 9-10 classification game.
1. Albania 5-1
2. Monaco 5-1
3. Azerbaijan 5-1
4. Luxembourg 3-3
5. Andorra 4-2
6. Malta 2-4
7. Moldova 3-3
8. Armenia 1-5
9. San Marino 1-4
10. Gibraltar 0-5