Poland puncture hopes of hosts, Germany win thriller as Quarter-Finals set
HERAKLION (Greece) - The previously winless Poland and a relieved Germany wrote the headlines in the FIBA U18 Women's European Championship Round of 16 as both snapped up a spot in the Quarter-Finals.
In what was a stinging disappointment for Greece, the host nation lost 69-46 to a Poland team that were 0-3 during the group phase. Emily Kalenik led Poland with a super 12 points and 16 rebounds, while Polyxeni Palaska replied with 14 points and 12 boards in defeat.
The game of the day was the one between Germany and Hungary as the former scraped a 56-55 success, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. The German side turned the ball over in the dying seconds and then fouled Fruzsina Olah right before the final buzzer, but the Hungarian player missed both her free-throws. Frieda Buhner starred with 22 points and 13 boards.
Elsewhere, several frontrunners advanced, including Spain, although points were at a premium when they edged out Belgium 50-43 with Carla Brito top-scoring with 11 points. Another likely title contender in France had little difficulty in soaring past Sweden 94-57 as Leila Lecan showed out with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals.
The last winners of the competition back in 2019 are through after Italy successfully navigated a tricky tie against a dangerous Latvia 74-64. Matilde Villa again rose up with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists, while Carlotta Zanardi fired a nice cameo with 16 points.
Czech Republic produced their best of the tournament as they blew away Turkey 83-53 off the back of an eye-catching 22 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals from Dominika Paurova. Lithuania also enjoyed a huge win as they stormed past Bosnia and Herzegovina 84-40, with five players reaching double-figures, including Juste Jocyte with 15 points.,
Finland march on although it was not straightforward against Israel. They turned the ball over 27 times but still managed to ride their way to a 71-61 triumph behind 21 points from Meri Kanerva.
While half the competition now focuses on trying to land a place on the podium, those nations that did not get a Round of 16 victory will play classification games to try and avoid one of three relegation spots that will see them fall into Division B.