U16 European Championship, here’s the last four

U16 European Championship, here’s the last fourThe Quarterfinals of the U16 European Championship have been completed and the semi-final picture for the tournament in Lithuania is finished. Reigning champions France are down and out after tasting defeat against Spain, while Bosnia and Herzegovina continued to attack the bucket at every opportunity on the way to crushing Germany. In the other contest, Lithuania is on course at home after pushing aside Finland in the highest scoring game of the competition, and lastly Turkey smashed Serbia to make the last 4.

Spain vs. France, 72-63
Spain crashed France’s party by knocking out the defending champions, finding a way to pass the French back court to secure a win. Spain controlled the scoreboard for much of the game, including taking a big 15-8 lead in the opening ten minutes. Through three quarters the Spanish were leading 52-40, but France responded with a 9-0 run to open the fourth act and drew to within four points with 3:55 on the clock. Spain hit another gear in those closing minutes to see the game out and end France’s U16 European Championship defence. Yanick Blanc came into this as France’s best scorer but didn’t supply a single point and was hailed off never to return in the third period. Spain are now on a hot six game streak and could be the team to beat.

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Germany, 70-54
After a sloppy two game losing streak earlier in the competition, Bosnia and Herzegovina has regained its exciting scoring touch and brushed Germany aside to make the Semi-final. Bosnia is making the last four at this level for the first time ever and if the team progresses to the final it will be the most successful run in Bosnia and Herzegovina Basketball history, across all age tiers. The winners were sensational here, using a 21-0 run that spanned the first and second quarters, and by halftime it was 39-17. Germany won the second half (12-13 and 19-24), but it was not enough to make up the difference and the Bosnians run out comfortable winners.

Finland vs. Lithuania, 74-93
Tournament hosts put Finland to the sword to make the last four in its home tournament. Finland were undefeated until last game, and it looks as though the exertions of the amazing opening caught up with the players. The Finnish started well, winning the first frame 23-21, but the consistency of Lithuania’s scoring soon began to tell as the hosts took the next three quarters 15-22, 21-25, and 15-25. A total of 12 hits from downtown out of 26 attempts kept the Lithuanians ticking as Vitalijus Kozys came up with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Heading into the semi’s, Lithuania will have to sort out its discipline as the team committed 26 personal fouls despite the win.

Turkey vs. Serbia, 87-66
Serbia’s terrific resurgence at the U16 European Championship finally came to a grinding halt as Turkey run riot and demolished the Serbs. After winning the first quarter 24-16, the Turks all but killed the game in the second stanza with a 10-0 run. Onuralp Bitim and Ahmet Duran were the driving forces for Turkey as they combined for 50 points, Bitim leading with 27 points, while Duran doubled up with 23 points and 17 rebounds. Speaking of rebounds, Turkey utterly dominated the boards, grabbing 57 off the glass compared to 26 from Turkey.

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