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13 - 22
July 2018
7 Krasimir Ventsislavov Dimitrov (BUL)
18/07/2018
News
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Bulgaria survive a thriller, book ticket to the Quarter-Finals; Czech Republic also through

SOFIA (FIBA U20 European Championship, Division B) - Bulgaria dodged a bullet on the last day of group play, whilst Czech Republic took the last spot in the Quarter-Finals.

The hosts were up against Estonia in a winner-takes-all duel, and it seemed to be heading to a dramatic finish when Tormi Niits cut the gap to 58-56 with 80 seconds remaining. It turns out, it was the final score, with both teams missing multiple shots in the closing minute.

Yordan Minchev is the biggest star for Bulgaria, so it was of no surprise that he took over in such a decisive game. Minchev had 18 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks for Bulgaria, who will now take on a perfect Latvian side in the Quarter-Finals.

Czech Republic were in a similar situation as the hosts heading into the last 40 minutes of Group C. Defense did the trick for them, as they held the Netherlands below 50 points in a 64-49 game. Frantisek Vana had 12 points for the Czechs to set up a rendezvous with Poland in the Quarter-Finals.

 

Along with Latvia and Poland, there are two more unbeaten teams heading into the elimination rounds. Slovenia got a monster game from Jurij Macura, with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 blocks in an 86-52 win over Albania. At 5-0, Slovenia won Group B, they play Belgium next.

Russia also finished with a 5-0 record. Luxembourg gave them all they had, with Mathis Wolff missing a game-tying three-pointer late in the game. The game finished 65-62 in Russia's favor, Grigory Motovilov leading the scoring with 13 points. Russia will take on Finland in the battle for the Semi-Finals.

Thursday will be a day off for the teams, with the Quarter-Finals scheduled for Friday:

  • Slovenia v Belgium 13:45 (GMT+03)
  • Russia v Finland 16:00 (GMT+03)
  • Latvia v Bulgaria 18:15 (GMT+03)
  • Poland v Czech Republic 20:30 (GMT+03)


Endar Poladkhanli (14) was dominant again on Wednesday

Top scorer of the day: Azerbaijan ended the Group Phase winless, but even in an 81-51 beating they took against Belgium, Endar Poladkhanli was able to show he can go off for 28 points.

Top rebounder of the day: Yordan Minchev would not let his nation be let down, collecting 13 rebounds in his all-round effort against Estonia. Neemias Queta also grabbed 13 boards, but his Portugal lost 66-62 to the hands of Georgia. Both Portugal and Georgia were already eliminated.

Top passer of the day: Belgium dished out 28 points, sharing and caring on their was to the aforementioned lopsided win. Ayoub Nouhi topped that list with 8 dimes.

Top thief of the day: Three guys re-took possession on 5 times on Wednesday. Gabor Kovacs helped Hungary to a 106-50 score against Armenia with 5 steals in 15 minutes. Tomas Gajan stole the show on 5 occasions as Slovakia defeated Moldova 100-58, and Nika Darbaidze helped Georgia beat Portugal, also with 5 steals.

Top blocker of the day: Minchev was the man once again, stopping 4 shots by his opposition. It was a fine day at the for Yordan.

FIBA