Czech Republic Stay In Division A


Czech Republic celebrating their victory
Czech Republic players celebrating their victory over Poland on Saturday, which meant they maintain their Division A status at the U18 European Championship Women

There was joy for the Czech Republic at the U18 European Championship Women on Saturday after they picked up the win they needed to survive in Division A and condemn both Poland and last year's gold medallists Belgium to relegation.

With Romania having already suffered the drop to Division B, a Czech Republic loss against Poland would have set up a thrilling final day in Bucharest but they got the job done early, coming back with a 20-10 final quarter to ride out 58-54 winners against Poland.

Once again, Sarka Jozova had an impact for the Czech Republic with a couple of essential three-pointers, especially when her team trailed 47-41 early in the final quarter.

Poland just couldn't find the offence they needed during the last five minutes and, as they dried up, the Czech Republic made the most of it.

It meant that Belgium's convincing 98-45 victory against Romania was, in the context of the survival race at least, rendered meaningless.

Unconvincing from the start of the tournament, Belgium has never looked a team with chemistry and they have been dealt the ultimate punishment for their under-par displays by being relegated.

Many had expected them to prevail and stay in the division despite a stuttering start during round one.

But, losses to both the Czech Republic and Poland proved costly and their fate was sealed despite Saturday's win against the hosts and an impressive 20 points from Heleen Adams.



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