Czechs Edge Austria In Battle For First Place In Group

30 July 2008

The Czech Republic won the battle for first place in Group A against Austria in the Preliminary Round of the U18 European Championship Men Division B in Debrecen, Hungary.

The Czechs edged the previously unbeaten Austrians 77-73 on Tuesday to leave both sides with 3-1 records.

The top two sides from each of the four pools advance to the Qualifying Round, and the group winners will start the new phase of competition with a 1-0 record and two points.

Therefore, the Czech Republic start Group E play with a victory, while the Austrians, who finished second, enter the same group with an 0-1 mark and just one point.

Jan Vesely of the Czech team has led the competition in scoring with an average of 21.8 points per contest, while teammate Tomás Satoránský has been the tournament's top assist man at 7.3 per game.

Slovenia suffered their first defeat at the event, 87-63 to Bosnia-Herzegovina, but still finished in first place in Group B and also enter Group E with a 1-0 mark and two points.

Sweden prevailed over winless Ireland (0-4) to improve to 3-1 and clinch second place behind the Slovenians. They are the other team to make Group E and also begin the new stage of the competition with one defeat and just one point.

Qualifying Round Group F will consist of Slovakia (1-0), Poland (1-0), Portugal (0-1) and Denmark (0-1).

Poland finished as the Group C winners with four victories in as many games after an 86-60 drubbing of Portugal (2-2).

The Portuguese will start with an 0-1 mark and just one point after finishing second in Group C.

The Slovakians signed off as Group D winners with a 3-1 record after a 95-92 triumph over hosts Hungary. The Danes, who won two of their four games in the group, didn't play on Tuesday.

The Qualifying Round that determines places one through eight tips off on Thursday.

The Czech Republic meet Sweden, Austria face Slovenia, Poland go up against Denmark and Portugal square off against Slovakia.

There is also the Classification Round for places nine through 16.

In Group G, the Netherlands play Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro take on Switzerland while in Group H, Romania face Georgia and Belarus meet Finland.

The Classification Round for places 17 to 20 has Ireland going up against England and Norway meeting Hungary.




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