The group stage of the FIBA U18 European Championships are now in the books and 16 teams remain to face off in the next phase of the tournament. To say that competition is tight in this event would be an understatement. Only one team managed to escape the group stage without having to swallow the bitter pill of defeat and that was Turkey.
The Turkish squad finished with a 3-0 record after defeating Montenegro 85-74, carried by a big game from Ragip Atar who finished the contest with 27 points and nine boards to dominate their opponents.
In Group B, Germany managed to edge out Russia, 67-65 for their first win. They are now on a collision course to face Group leaders, Serbia in the next phase. Serbia topped the Ukraine 72-63.
Spain tasted defeat at the hands of a motivated Italian squad, falling 68-61. Michelle Serpilli caught fire from beyond the arc to lead the Italians to victory.
Tournament hosts, Slovakia dropped the key game against France 68-54 in Group D action. Ivan Fevrier paced France with 16 markers and nine rebounds.
Latvia played spoiler to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s hopes for a perfect run. They cut the win streak with a 79-74 victory behind a perfect shooting night from the field (7-of-7) from Francis Lacis who topped up with 16 points.
Lithuania clashed with Greece and found themselves victorious and on top of the Group C standings. It was a huge blowout with a final score of 81-61. Slovenia found success in their game against Finland 90-80. David Kralj was an unstoppable beast with 32 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
Here are the matchups for the Round of 16:
Turkey vs. Ukraine
Russia vs. Italy
Serbia vs. Germany
Spain vs. Montenegro
Lithuania vs. Slovakia
Greece vs. Latvia
Bosnia and Herzegovina vs. Slovenia
France vs. Finland.
Will Turkey continue their winning run or will a new leader emerge from the pack and snatch the gold?