FIBA U16: Four unbeaten in Euro Championships

FIBA U16
Turkey’s Erten Gazi looks to dump the ball inside as he falls away.

Four teams remain undefeated after Day 1 of Round 2 in the FIBA U16 European Championship for Men being held in Kyiv, Ukraine. Turkey and Greece came out of the first of three games in Round 2 with wins to sit on top of Group E with 3-0 records, while Croatia and Serbia sport similar unblemished records and are leading the way in Group F.

Day 2 of Round 2 will either bring the tops of the groups together or widen the gaps as the top four teams play in each group, while the bottom two will battle for their tournament lives with the loser of each contest being knocked out of any chance of moving on.

Group E
Greece – Lithuania, 68:65
Greece came from five down at the start of the fourth, tied up the contest and then used the extra five to keep their unbeaten record, while Lithuania continues to struggle, dropping to 0-3 in Group E.

The Greek squad came out and built a nine-point lead by the mid-way point in the game, 13:4, before Lithuania got on track, but by the end of the first 10, Greece was up 23:14.

Lithuania put together a solid second frame, outscoring the Greek 17:12, even playing to a 31-all tie with two and a half minutes to play, only to have Greece tally the final four of the half to send the clubs to their mid-game break with Greek up 35:31.

The third frame was a turning point as the Lithuanians put up nine on Greece and at one point had a 10-point advantage, 51:41 only to settle for five at the end of the 10, 52:47.

The first two of the fourth quarter came from Lithuanian, but then Greece went on an 11:0 run to get out in front by four, 58:54. Matas Andruskevicius knocked down a three-ball to pull the Lithuanians back to within a point, 58:57. Georgios Papagiannis hit two of his game-high 19 at the line to push Greece back up by three with just under three minutes to play and Martynas Varnas knotted the contest at 60 with a triple with a minute and a half left. Those would be the last time the rock would hit the bottom of the net and the clubs regrouped to run the extra five.

They played to a 63-all score with a minute left on the clock and the game came down to free throws with Greece connecting on five of eight from the stripe to deny the Lithuanians a major upset.

Papagiannis added 10 rebounds to give him a 19P/10R double/double on the night for Greece.

Germany – Spain, 77:70
Germany used a strong second quarter to put up enough of a cushion in their Round 2 opener against Spain to come out with a 77:70 win, improving their record to 2-1, while Spain drops to 1-2.

After a 19:17 first quarter that had Spain enjoying an advantage, the Germans ran off 15 straight to get up 32:29 midway through the second quarter. Before the buzzer sounded at the half, Spain had trimmed five off their deficit to head into the break down eight, 41:33.

It looked like the Spaniards were going to take the lead back early in the third, cutting the lead to three, 43:40, before Germany ran off nine unanswered to get back up 52:40. Germany enjoyed a nine-point margin as the horn sounded to close out the third 10.

In the fourth Germany extended their lead to as many as 13, but Spain chipped away and hit five straight to pull to within five with 22 seconds, only to have Germany ice the game at the line and take the advantage in the middle of Group E.

Leon Kratzer put up some impressive numbers for Germany in the win, tallying a 22P/20R double/double, that included 12 offensive rebounds. Santiago Yusta put up a monster game of his own for Spain with 27 points in the loss.

Turkey – Russia, 76:57
Turkey grabbed their fourth consecutive win at the FIBA Europe U16 Championships for Men with a 19-point decision over Russia, 76:57. The win keeps the Turks perfect in Group E at 3-0, while drops Russia to 0-3.

Turkey outscored Russia in the first, third, and fourth, with Russia taking 10 back in the second after a 15:5 quarter.

Furkan Korkmasz led the way for Turkey with 22 points on the night.

Group F
Italy – France, 63:60
Italy used a strong second half to come from behind to defeat France and move into the No. 3 spot in the group with a 2-1 record, while France dropped to No. 4 with a 1-2 mark.

France took the early advantage, getting up 14:9 at the end of the first 10 by dropping the final six points of the frame on long-balls. Italy opened the second with six unanswered to take the lead back. Neither team could get an advantage and with a minute and a half left Italy drew even at 25. France again hit the final two shots of the quarter, this time inside the arc, giving them a four-point lead, 29:25, as they headed to the dressing rooms for the mid-game break.

The Italians put up an 11:2 run to get the second half underway, building a 36:31 lead with four minutes to play in the third. France once again scored the final points in the frame, this time tallying the final six, including a three-point play with nine seconds on the clock, to head into the final quarter up 41:40.

France slowly pulled away during the beginning stages of the fourth, getting up by six, 50:44, with just over five minutes to play and then seven, 57:50, with two and a half minutes to play. Italy pulled even in under a minute on a pair of deuces by Davide Moretti and a triple by Andrea La Torre. Renathan Ona Embo countered with a three-ball for France, but that would be the last time the Frenchmen would score as the squad from Italy would shut them down in the final minutes for the first time in the game, scoring the final six of the contest and grabbing a critical 63:60 win.

Serbia – Ukraine, 85:50
The Serbians put a damper on the hosts’ playoff aspirations with a 35-point beating, 85:50. The win is the fourth straight for the big, strong Serbian club, while the Ukrainians have now lost three straight after winning their opening contest.

Six Serbian players scored in double figures, with Milos Glisic tallying a 12P/10R double/double and Stefan Peno missing his own DD with a 10P/9R night. The Ukraine was led by Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s 16 points.

The win improves Serbia to 3-0, while dropping the Ukraine’s to 0-3 and facing an elimination game with Montenegro on Tuesday.

Croatia – Montenegro, 100:48
Croatia celebrated a jumper at the buzzer in their opener of Round 2 against Montenegro, but it wasn’t a victory they celebrated, it was a buzzer-beater that gave the young club 100 points in their Round 2 match-up with Montenegro. The 52-point victory improved the Croatian’s Group E record to 3-0, while dropping Montenegro to 0-3 and one game from elimination.

Ante Zizic paced Croatia with a 17P/11R double/double, while Nik Slavica came two boards short of a DD of his own, knocking down 16 points while grabbing 8 rebounds on the night. Montenegro had no players hit double figures, but Aleksa Dubak scored eight points and Todor Radonjic combined for six points and seven rebounds.

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