Bosnia and Herzegovina wins U16 European Championships

Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina has made history by winning the 2015 FIBA U16 European Championships, opening a new chapter in the sporting history of a whole nation. This was the first FIBA tournament Bosnia and Herzegovina has ever won, and if the U18 team that made the semis of its European Championship spoke of a bright future, it seems the country has young stars at other age groups.

The fact that the Bosnians pulled this win off in Kaunas is even more impressive, after-all they faced off against tournament hosts Lithuania in the gold medal contest. Both teams entered the showpiece on the crest of a wave, but Bosnia and Herzegovina finally managed to combine its consistent hot scoring with discipline in the final stages of a game. Speaking of bright futures, Dzanan Musa certainly has one as he propelled the Bosnians to victory here and collected the final and competition MVP in the process.

The 83-85 success was built with intent, with the visitors laying down a marker in the first quarter to ignite the scoreboard and lead 26-19 through ten minutes. Bosnia and Herzegovina continued its ascent in the second frame, putting another 24 points on the board and ensuring a 50-37 lead at the long break. Lithuania had been stunned, but the Bosnians have shown this week that they are prone to a third act lapse, so the hosts still had hope. Credit to Lithuania then as they won the third 19-22 to make it 69-59 after thirty minutes. The home side continued with momentum in the fourth and the Bosnians lost Njegos Sikiras to ill-discipline with 4:10 left, opening the door for the Lithuanians. The hosts drew to within two points, but Bosnia and Herzegovina looked to Vitalijus Kozys from downtown to eventually seal the game.

The winners maintained near 50% shooting from the field, converting 7 of its 14 attempts from beyond the arc and 31 from 65 attempts at two point range.

Musa nailed 33 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists in an explosive game winning performance. Sani Campara hit 23 points in the winning team, while Emir Cerkezovic managed 10 points for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Arnas Velicka paced Lithuania through the nets with 14 points, followed by Grantus Vasiliauskas with 12 points and 6 boards, Lukas Uleckas with 11 points, and Vitaljuas Kozys with 10 points.

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