We’re now in the second round of the FIBA U16 European Championships and only three teams are unbeaten with 3-0 records. Group E’s Serbia and Group F’s France and Italy hold that distinction.
Lithuania defeated host nation Latvia 79-71 in what was a must-win game. It was their first win, bringing their record to 1-2. Latvia, now at 2-1 is tied with Turkey. The youngsters from Lithuania dominated in the low post, outrebounding their opponents 41-29. The home team also fell short at the free-throw line, only converting 14-of-21 shots from the stripe. Lithuania’s Tadas Sedekerskis had a game-high 23 points. He also took down seven rebounds and handed out five assists. Latvia’s top scorer was Rodions Kurucs, who managed to put up 21 points of his own, while knocking down 2-of-4 shots from three-point range.
Turkey smashed through Bosnia in a stunning 85-54 win. Turkey led throughout the game, but did not relent and even finished strong 34-12 fourth quarter thrashing. Turkey’s Omer Faruk Yurtseven was virtually unstoppable in the paint as he shot an impressive 11-14 from the field. He scored 23 points and hauled in seven rebounds for the contest. This is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second loss and they are now at 1-2.
Serbia kept their pristine 3-0 slate at the expense of the Croatian team. The Serbian squad sealed the victory in the fourth period to end up with a final score of 68-61. Croatia has yet claim a win in the tournament. The Serbian contingent was led by Aleksandar Aranitovic, who recorded 16 points, six rebounds, and six steals.
Italy managed to hold Poland to a 0-3 record with their convincing 85-59 win, keeping their own winning streak alive and up to three games. Italy opened the game with a huge first quarter, outclassing Poland 26-8. Poland never recovered and their push in the fourth quarter was too little, too late and the Italians ran away with the game. Italy got a solid game out of Lorenzo Penna who delivered 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
The game between Russia and France was a completely lopsided affair. The undefeated French squad began the game with their guns blazing and the Russians were simply overwhelmed. Russia’s second unit tried to chop at the lead in the second quarter, but were rebuffed by France’s stifling defense. France finished with 17 steals for the game, compared to Russia’s six. Andrey Lopatin was the only Russian player to score in double figures with 11 points to his name.
Germany’s offense was on point in their 82-68 win over Spain. Kostja Mushidi caught fire from beyond the arc making six of his 12 shots from downtown to finish 29 points. He also tallied eight rebounds and four assists. The game stayed close during the first half, with Germany staying ahead by just three points with a score of 34-31 heading into the break. They steadily widened their advantage in the third and fourth quarters, using good transition defense to keep Spain at bay. Pol Figueras was Spain’s top performer with 25 points and seven dimes.