FIBA Men’s U18: Montenegro wins Div. B

U18 Montenegro

Montenegro’s U18 National Team was triumphant over their Polish counterparts in a close, 64:63 victory to claim the FIBA Men’s U18 Division B title for 2013. Both teams have earned  a promotion into Division A in 2014.

The Belgian team crushed the Macedonian hosts 70:45, winning the bronze medal and earning themselves a promotion into Division A for next year’s championships.

Poland vs. Montenegro 63:64

It was an exciting and tightly contested game. Poland came up with the lead and took control of the game in the first two quarters. A late rally by the Montenegrin team in the dying minutes of the first half allowed them to finish trailing 25-29 at the break, keeping themselves within striking distance. Neither team could gain a decisive advantage as clutch shots were exchanged by both teams. It was only until Luka Djurovic (190 cm) nailed a three-point shot to give Montenegro a slight lead with less than two minutes remaining in the game. The shot proved to be the nail on the coffin as neither team was able to muster any more offense in the final seconds of regulation.

Montenegro was led by Zoran Nikolic (208 cm) who finished the game with an impressive double-double, scoring 19 points while grabbing 11 boards. Teammates Milovan Draskovic (211 cm) and Petar Popovic (188 cm) added 11 points apiece.

Polish big man Mikolaj Witlinski (207 cm) paced his team with his own double-double performance, with him scoring 18 points while taking down 12 rebounds. Przemyslaw Zolnierewicz (194 cm) added 13 points of his own.

Belgium vs. F.Y.R. Macedonia 70:45

It was a sad day in Strumica, Macedonia as the host team fell to the Belgian squad in a lopsided runaway victory. Belgium took a six point lead at the end of the first quarter 26-20 and simply went on a tear after that with an 18-7 run in the second quarter. Macedonia made a push, but Belgium answered with an 18-6 run to finally overwhelm their opponents.

Vincent Kesteloot (200 cm) was dominant with 25 points and 18 rebounds for the Belgian team. Sam Hemeleers (180 cm) and Ismael Bako (208 cm) were the only other Belgian players who scored in double figures, with 10 points each.

Macedonia was carried by the efforts of Kristjian Nikolov (187 cm) and Andrej Magdevski (190 cm), who scored 13 and 12 points respectively.

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