As the final day of Round 1 of the FIBA Men U20 European Championships tipped off, the possible playoff scenarios were numerous, with many involving tie-breakers. As is often the case, a win didn’t necessarily mean moving on, point differential also mattered. In three of the groups, B, C, and D, the there were open spots, but Group A sealed up the day prior, so bubble clubs often had to figure that they’d be looking for help from others to advance.
On Saturday, calculators and ‘help’ from others was not needed as the teams that held their fate in their own play did their jobs and put up the points, providing tournament organizers with a smooth transition between Rounds 1 and 2.
In Group A, Greece recovered from a 28:10 third quarter beating against Lithuania, by putting together a nine-point difference in the fourth to take the group title with a 4-0 record. Lithuania finished second at 3-1, Germany had finished their group play on Friday at 2-2 and will advance as the Num 3 club out of the group. Serbia pounded Georgia 89:52 for their first win of the tournament, while Georgia went 0-4 and finished in the cellar.
Group B had the potential to be ultra complex, but with Croatia beating Sweden 87:75 to give Croatia a 2-2 record and Sweden a 1-3 record, things couldn’t have been any easier. Turkey beat up on previously unbeaten Montenegro, 84:71, to give both clubs identical 3-1 records, giving Turkey the group title on head-to-head competition. Ukraine had finished up their play on Friday at 1-3 and were out of contention.
The one group that had the potential to be ultra complicated was Group C. Latvia had finished on Friday perfect at 4-0 and didn’t really care who did what and Bulgaria was 0-3 and out of the running. Spain, Russia and Israel all had shots to move on depending on the outcome of the games and the potential for tie-breakers was pretty high, unless Spain and Russia won, which would make things quite easy. The odds of something easy? Well, we’d have put money on the ‘not so much’ option on this one and we’d have lost big time as Spain got a big win with a floater at the buzzer sending Israel packing and Russia beat winless Bulgaria (yes, we saw that one coming). Instead of tie breakers, all five teams lined up as nice and neat as a class of school kids lined up by height. Latvia won the group at 4-0, Spain finished at 3-1, Russia was 2-2, Israel concluded the week at 1-3, and Bulgaria capped things off at 0-4.
Then along came Group D… They at least made it easy as to which clubs are moving on as the top three all finished at 3-1. Slovenia had finished their matches on Friday at 3-1 and was already in the next round. France took on the Czech Republic and put up 17 on them, 79:62, to keep the Czechs winless, while giving France the Group title. Italy spoiled host club Estonia’s shot at moving on to Round 2 with a 90:78 win.
Round 2 will begin on Monday with the top three clubs in each of the first round groups advancing to either Group E or F for Round 2. Group A clubs Greece, Lithuania, and Germany will now square off with Group B clubs Turkey, Montenegro, and Croatia in the newly formed Group F. Group C clubs Latvia, Spain, and Russia will meet up with Group D clubs France, Italy, and Slovenia in Group F. The teams will play the three new teams in the group and will keep their records against the two clubs that they’ve already played from their initial group.
Round 2 will consist of three games, played on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with the top four teams in each group advancing to the quarter-final games to be played on July 19th (Friday). The semi-finals will be played on Saturday, July 20, with the finals on Sunday, July 21st.
Menu U20 European Championships – Round 2
Group E Matches[matches league_id=31 group=E template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]
Standings – Group E[standings league_id=31 group=E show_website=false template=nolink]
Group F Matches[matches league_id=31 group=F template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]
Standings – Group F[standings league_id=31 group=F show_website=false template=nolink]