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First teams lock up Quarter-Final spots
SOFIA (FIBA U20 European Championship, Division B) - Head-to-head battles in Groups B and C will reveal the last two names for the Quarter-Finals. The remaining six spots are already taken.
Slovenia handed Estonia their first defeat of the competition, 55-50, pushing them to the brink of elimination after they had had a perfect start to the competition. Ziga Jurcek scored 12 for Slovenia, Aljaz Bratec was the only other player in double figures with 10.
Slovenia won the group with a game in hand, because they own the tiebreakers over both Estonia and Bulgaria. The hosts dismantled Moldova 92-59, setting the Sofia crowd up for a treat in the last game of the Group Phase. Bulgaria will take on Estonia, the winner goes through, the loser will be left playing it out for the minor positions.
Юношеская сборная U20 вышла в четвертьфинал с первого места Российские юноши «до 20 лет» на Первенстве Европы в дивизионе Б обыграли своего главного конкурента Чехию и досрочно заняли первое место в группе С. Россия – Чехия – 85:76 (14:15, 20:17, 25:21, 26:23) Р: Андрианов (15), Тоноян (14), Хоменко (13), Мотовилов (11), Лопатин (10), Карванен (8), Тихоненко (6), Клюев (4), Попов (4), Ахмедов (0), Михеев (0). Ч: Набелек (21). Одержав четвертую победу подряд, сборная России независимо от исхода последнего матча финишировала в своей группе первой. В заключительной встрече групповой стадии наша команда завтра в 13.45 по московскому времени сыграет с Люксембургом. #здесьбаскетбол #U20
A similar scenario is in Group C. Russia had five players in double figures in an 85-76 win over Czech Republic, winning first place in the group and advancing to the Quarter-Finals. The Czechs are at 3-1 and will now have to play for the second spot against the 3-1 Netherlands team, who were on cruise control against Armenia, claiming an 85-36 triumph.
In Group A, Latvia defeated Belarus 81-56, a perfect 4-0 record means they will not be caught at the top, and are safely through. The result also favored Belgium, who advanced while resting on the day. Belgium will stay in second spot even if they lose to Azerbaijan on the final day, since they are 2-0 against Belarus and MKD, teams who are chasing them.
In group D, Finland enjoyed a 71-56 win over Georgia, taking the Wolf Pack to the Quarter-Finals, along with Poland. Elias Valtonen amassed 24 points, Finland were a +29 team with him on the floor.
Top scorer of the day: Celis Taflaj's 29 points fueled Albania to a 77-71 win over Slovakia, with Taflaj also grabbing 12 rebounds, leading Albania to a 2-2 record in Group B. Slovakia still winless.
Top rebounder of the day: It was a close one, but Portugal escaped with a 76-67 win over Kosovo, led by Goncalo Delgado and his tournament-high 16 rebounds. Delgado also had 16 points, but Portugal cannot catch promotion to the Quarter-Finals.
Strazimiri (10) and Taflaj (6) top the stats on Tuesday
Top passer of the day: Aside from Taflaj, Klein Strazimiri was also amazing for Albania, dishing out 12 assists versus Slovakia. Only one other player reached double digits in that department, and it happened in the same game, with Matej Majercak finding his Slovakian teammates ten times.
Top thief of the day: Getting 4 steals in a game became a habit at this championship. Shirzad Shirzadov from Azerbaijan, Aljaz Bratec from Slovenia, Tormi Niits from Estonia, Maik Bouwer from the Netherlands and Kosovo's Valon Bunjaku all had four on Tuesday.
Top blocker of the day: Jurij Macura is a name to write down in your notebook. He's averaging 10.0 points and 6.8 rebounds for Slovenia, but also 2.3 blocks, deleting four Estonian attempts on the day.