Serbia edge out Latvia, Iceland stop unbeaten Sweden to reach Semi-Finals
TBILISI (Georgia) - Four teams remain in contention for promotion at the FIBA U20 European Championship, Division B after coming through an exciting day's action in the Quarter-Finals on Friday.
Unbeaten duo Estonia and Serbia will meet in tomorrow's Semi-Finals with Iceland taking on Finland for a spot in the Final on the other side of the bracket as three teams will gain promotion to Division A over the weekend.
Serbia were pushed all the way in maintaining their perfect record in Tbilisi as they outlasted Latvia 79-76 in a tight Quarter-Finals tussle. Petar Kovacevic made sure of the win with a pair of free throws in the final seconds to finish with a game-high 26 points for his side.
They also had 13 points apiece from Aleksa Kovacevic and Mihailo Boskovic as Serbia were gradually pulled back from their hot start having led by as many as 17 points at one stage. Latvia rallied and took the lead at 70-67 with 4:03 remaining, but could not hold on.
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Iceland snapped Sweden's unbeaten run as they secured a 77-71 win behind a huge 28-point outing from Thorvaldur Arnason along with 9 rebounds and 3 steals. There was nothing to separate the two teams at the half, but Iceland put together a 24-13 third period and that would prove decisive.
Earlier, Estonia had made it five wins from five in the tournament after easing past North Macedonia in a 81-59 victory. Joonas Riismaa was all over the statsheet with 13 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 steals, while Kasper Suurorg top scored with 18 points in the win.
The last spot in the Semi-Finals went to Finland after they overcame Bulgaria in some final game of the day drama with a 67-64 success. Sebastian Lindberg led the way with 20 points for the victors as their double-digit half-time lead was wiped out to set up a tense finale.
Emil Stoilov led Bulgaria's fightback with 14 points and 17 rebounds with further support coming from Konstantin Kostadinov with 14 points and 11 boards as their effort came up short in the fourth having been level inside the final two minutes.
In the Classification Games 9-16, Kosovo celebrated a close fought 82-79 win over Romania with Hungary dominant in beating Switzerland 81-48 and Georgia getting past the Netherlands, 67-53. Ireland were also victorious as they defeated Albania 76-60.
Austria picked up their first win of the tournament as they defeated Luxembourg 77-70 in the Classification Group 17-19 with 17 points and 16 rebounds from Guylain Mbemba.