U16 European Championship, Second Stage roundup

U16 European ChampionshipDay 2 of the Second Stage at the U16 European Championship provided more nations moving forward to the Quarterfinals. Turkey, Spain, and Lithuania are through from Group E, while Germany are on the brink after seeing off hosts Lithuania. England collected its first win of the competition by defeating Greece, while Spain took out Turkey in Kaunas.

Finland’s amazing run at the U16 European Championship continued as they remain as the only undefeated country after edging Montenegro. Serbia’s resurgence now extends to three consecutive wins with a victory over Croatia, and finally Bosnia and Herzegovina found its scoring touch again in defeating France.

Group E

Greece vs. England, 50-60
England turned it on during Day 2 of the Second Stage of the FIBA European Championship to collect its first win of the competition. The English reached this stage winless, a walkover result against absent Russia, but against Greece the team showed it deserves to be where it is. England will still likely miss out on qualification, while Greece are down and out. Huge second and third quarters helped England to the win, a 35-17 run through the middle periods that made the fourth quarter easier, with the winners settling the game despite a Greek rally in Q4. England were aided by a Greece attack that was sloppy for range, failing to hit a triple until the fourth quarter, after twenty failed attempts.

Germany vs. Lithuania, 77-70
Tournament hosts Lithuania remained top of Group E despite slipping to its first defeat at the hands of Germany, with the winners moving to 3-2 in fourth place. The home team is already qualified for the next round, while Germany can progress with a win on Wednesday. Germany used an 8-0 run in the third act to take the lead after a poor first half, before Philipp Herkenhoff hit two and drained 100% from the charity strip to make it 72-62. From there the Germans never looked back as they punished Lithuania from beyond the arc, hitting 8 from 15 chances from downtown.

Turkey vs. Spain, 64-75
Spain continued its improved form with a win over a Turkey team that always poses a potent threat. The victory put both nations on 4-1 in Group E, both punching tickets to the Quarterfinals. Spain walked the first quarter 17-23, but the Turks hit back in the second and third frames to make it 52-54 through thirty minutes. The Turkish fightback slowed in the final stanza as Spain went 0-12 in the last six minutes to stroll to victory late on. Spain negated Turkey’s tough inside defence by attacking from the perimeter, streaming in a massive 14 buckets from triple distance during the contest.

Group B

Croatia vs. Serbia, 71-75
Serbia continued to make strides and gather momentum by defeating Croatia to move to 3-2 and to confine their opponents to bottom of Group F with a 0-5 record. Serbia have won three consecutive games and can still make the last eight, although Croatian are now out of the running for gold. A huge 24-10 run in the first quarter gave Serbia a big lead to move forward, but Croatia got back into the contest staying undefeated through the following three quarters. Serbia held tight to claim the win though, thanks to 55% shooting from two point distance.

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. France, 64-57

Bosnia and Herzegovina regained its hot scoring touch early on against France and it proved enough to secure a victory. The Bosnians’ form has tailed since the groups, but the nation bounced back with a solid first half, winning 35-23 through the long break. France struck back with a 15-17 winning third act, but Bosnia hit back again with an 8-0 run to open the fourth quarter, giving enough room to ease to victory. The winners went back to aggressive plays at the net and collected more than half its points (34 points) in the paint.

Finland vs. Montenegro, 58-56
Finland stayed undefeated with a narrow win over Montenegro, and on this evidence the unfancied country is on course after an amazing run. The score stood at 43-36 through thirty minutes, but the game sparked into furious action in the fourth frame. Finland looked to have killed the game with an 11-0 run, but Montenegro hit back with their own 11-0 repost and then a 7-0 run that tied the score with just 12 seconds left. It was a massive comeback, but Finland broke Montenegrin hearts when Elias Valtonen added a driving lay up to snatch the game at the finale.

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