As the final day of the first round of competition in the FIBA Men U20 European Championship tips off, there are numerous spots remaining to be secured in the second round. With the top three clubs in each group moving on to the second round, there are a few contests that will be played Saturday that will determine the final contestants in the next stage.
Group A is already determined as Lithuania and Greece are both 3-0 and Germany is finished and sits at 2-2. Serbia and Georgia are 0-3 and can’t move on regardless of the results of the final day. The top clubs square off to determine the group winner.
In Group B, Montenegro is undefeated at 3-0 and will move on, but plays #2 Turkey in the final game, who is 2-1. The winner of the contest will win the group, the loser will take the #2 spot. Ukraine is 1-3 and will end up out of contention, but the final match of the group will be between Croatia and Sweden, both sitting at 1-2, meaning the winner will move on, the loser will go home.
Group C has a winning club as Latvia ran the table and finished the first round at 4-0. Spain, Russia, and Israel all have the opportunity to move on based on the final contest. Israel (1-2) squares off against Spain (2-1) and Russia (1-2) will meet Bulgaria (0-3). Depending on the results, there will be tie-breakers involved. Spain beat Russia in Game 1 by 22; Russia beat Israel by 18; Israel only beat Bulgaria by two.
Group D is also looking at a variety of options, but one certainty is that 3-1 Slovenia will move on. France and Italy are both 2-1, with France playing 0-3 Czech Republic and Italy playing 1-2 Estonia. Both have their fate in their own hands as wins by either France and Italy will advance them. If either club loses it’ll set up a potential tie-breaker situation. The Czech Republic can’t advance, but if Estonia beats Italy they’ll be tied with Estonia winning the head-to-head tie-break. If both France and Italy lose, it’ll come down to points.
Greece – Georgia, 75:61
Greece grabbed a spot in the next round with a 14-point win over winless Georgia on Friday. Even though the final score reflects a solid win for Greece, it was Georgia that held the upper hand in the first half, leading by as many as 10. A 27:11 third frame turned the game around and kept Greece undefeated in Group A. The win improves the Greek club’s record to 3-0 and keeps them even with Lithuania, setting up a Group A title showdown on Saturday.
Ioannis Papapetrou paced Greece scoring with 15, Ioannis Karamalgkos and Dimitris Agravanisadded 13 each. Giorgi Tsirekidze was game-high with 21 for Georgia, and Irakill Mikeladze dropped in 12.
Germany – Serbia, 66:56
Germany locked up the final spot in the second round from Group A with a 66:56 win over winless Serbia. It wasn’t a dominating performance, but the German’s played well enough to add to their lead in three of four quarters, building a five-point advantage through three and then holding Serbia to 10 points in the fourth, while dropping 15 to double their lead to 10 at the end.
Bogdan Radosaviljevic and Alexander Blessig scored 12 each for Germany, and David Brembly added 11. Nemanja Bezbradica was game-high with 17 for Serbia and Luka Mitrovic contributed 15.
Montenegro – Sweden, 91:65
Montenegro stayed perfect at 3-0 with a 25-point win over Sweden, who drops to 1-2, on Friday. A 26:9 first quarter set up the rest of the contest for Montenegro, while a 25:15 third quarter put the game away.
Danilo Mikolic scored 19 for Montenegro, Marko Mugosa added 17, and Masan Vrbica dropped in 15. Hannes Erhardt scored 11 for Sweden and Jesper Eliasson added 10.
Ukraine – Turkey, 74:72
Turkey was handed their first loss of the competition by Ukraine, who hadn’t won a match prior to this game. Turkey held a 59:54 advantage heading into the final frame, but a 20:13 final 10 from the Ukrainians gave them the win. Turkey had the ball with 10 seconds to play, down by two, but a final triple came up short giving Turkey their first loss.
Klym Artamonov dropped 23 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds for Ukraine, and Maksym Lutsenko added 15. Sami Erdogan scored 16 for Turkey.
Israel – Bulgaria, 68:66
Israel picked up their first win of Round 1 with a come-from-behind victory over winless Bulgaria. The win sets up a final day match up against Russia that could send them to Round 2 with a win. Bulgaria had an opportunity for the win at the buzzer, but Kris Minkov’s came up empty with a triple, keeping Israel alive in the playoff hunt.
Rafael Menco was high-man for Israel with 14 points. Igor Mayor and Or Solomon added 10 each. Aleks Simeonov was game-high for Bulgaria with 15.
Latvia – Spain, 75:67
In a battle of previously unbeaten clubs, Latvia earned the Group C title by going unbeaten in their four group contests. A 15-point margin in the third quarter was the difference as Spain could only manage 5 points, while Latvia dropped 20 in the frame. The Spaniards outscored Latvia 22:17 in the final 10, but it wasn’t enough to overcome their disastrous third and Latvia completed their perfect first round.
Kaspars Vecvagars was game-high for Latvia with 22 points, Ingus Jakovics added 16, and Ojars Sillins contributed a 10P/12R double-double. Daniel Diez was team-high for Spain with 16 and Guillem Vives added 14.
Slovenia – Italy, 65:61
Slovenia handed Italy their first loss of Round 1 by outscoring the Italians 36:25 in the second half, including a 16:2 run, after trailing 36:29 at the mid-game break.
Ziga Dimec was game-high for Slovenia with 15, Tomaz Bolcina added an 11P/12R double-double, and Miha Lapornik dropped in 12. Amedeo Della Valle was high-man for Italy with 13 and Stefano Tonut added 10.
Estonia – Czech Republic, 75:68
A 20:9 fourth quarter put the game away for Estonia, keeping their advancement potential alive. If Estonia beats Italy on Saturday, the hosts will move on to Round 2, a loss ends the tournament for the Estonians.
Oliver Metsalu was game-high for Estonia with 21, Martin Paasoja added 17, and Martin Jurtom contributed 11. Dalibor Fait paced the Czechs with 19, Martin Kriz added a 10P/11R double-double.
Menu U20 European Championships
Group A Matches[matches league_id=30 group=A template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]
Standings – Group A[standings league_id=30 group=A show_website=false template=nolink]
Group B Matches[matches league_id=30 group=B template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]
Standings – Group B[standings league_id=30 group=B show_website=false template=nolink]
Group C Matches[matches league_id=30 group=C template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]
Standings – Group C[standings league_id=30 group=C show_website=false template=nolink]
Group D Matches[matches league_id=30 group=D template=summary dateformat=”M. j, Y”]
Standings – Group D[standings league_id=30 group=D show_website=false template=nolink]