Slovenia halt unbeaten France, Spain stay perfect with Round of 16 matchups set
PODGORICA (Montenegro) - The Round of 16 matchups at the FIBA U20 European Championship are now confirmed after the conclusion of the Group Phase on Monday.
Spain are the only team to remain unbeaten in the competition with every other team with at least one win to their name to leave the tournament nicely poised heading into the knockout stages.
Hector Alderete and Aitor Etxeguren scored 16 points apiece to help their side become the only team to move to 3-0 as they enjoyed an emphatic 89-58 success against Ukraine in Group C action.
Slovenia pulled off arguably the result of the day as they flipped the form book upside down to claim a first win over previously unbeaten France. Having trailed 42-37 in the third, the Greens put together a clinical 27-5 spell to take control on their way to a 74-63 triumph over Les Bleus, with Sasa Ciani going a perfect 8-of-8 in an 18-point haul along with 9 rebounds.
There was an overtime thriller as Israel outlasted Italy for an 83-82 victory with Gilad Levy leading five scorers in double figures with 17 points and 11 rebounds including a go-ahead score in the final minute of the extra period.
Israel claimed first place in Group B as a result, while Greece picked up their first win in dominant fashion in dismissing Portugal, with Georgios Tanoulis firing in 27 points in the 91-56 rout to kickstart their campaign.
Meanwhile, Lithuania also ended their drought in style after racking up 63 points in the first half before completing a comprehensive 108-66 win over Czech Republic. Seven different players reached double figures as Lithuania jumped out to a 37-13 start with the victory securing second place in Group C behind Spain.
Turkey held on to defeat Poland 54-53 as Adem Bona posted a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, while the close games continued with Montenegro pipping them to top spot in Group D after overcoming a strong challenge from Germany to win 76-72 as Fedor Zugic top scored with 21 points.
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Thijs De Ridder produced one of the performances of the tournament so far with 28 points and 15 rebounds to lead Belgium past Croatia in a narrow 76-75 triumph to round out another day of nail-biting action.
Round of 16 pairings (Wednesday, July 20):
France v Portugal
Spain v Poland
Belgium v Greece
Lithuania v Germany
Italy v Croatia
Turkey v Ukraine
Israel v Slovenia
Montenegro v Czech Republic