U18 MEN DIV. B
|Marko Raicevic and Montenegro capped off a thrilling tournament in Strumica by claiming gold |
Montenegro prevailed 64-63 over Poland in a thrilling final in Strumica on Sunday and stepped on the top of the podium at the U18 European Championship Division B 2013.
Poland appeared to take the upper hand in the encounter when they went on a 10-0 run in the second quarter and claimed a 29-19 lead in the final minute of the first half.
But Montenegro reeled in six unanswered points in 52 seconds to go into the locker room only trailing 29-25 and then went ahead 33-31, on a Mihailo Radunovic dunk within the first three minutes of the third frame.
They never managed to pull away by more than five points though in a tight encounter where the lead changed hands eight times and the scores were tied on nine occasions.
Poland entered the final three-minute stretch leading 63-59 but would not score another point until the final buzzer.
Montenegro were also wasteful in the clutch but a jumper from Milovan Draskovic with 2:24 left on the clock and a golden three-pointer from Luka Djurovic 30 seconds later proved enough to give them the win, as neither side managed to find the target in the final 1:52 of the game.
Zoran Nikolic paved the way to the Division B title for Montenegro with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Draskovic and Petar Popovic finished with 11 points each, the former also adding eight boards.
Mikolaj Witlinski collected a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds and Przemyslaw Zolnierewicz had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists for Poland in losing efforts.
Both finalists, along with Belgium who defeated F.Y.R. Of Macedonia earlier on Sunday to claim the bronze medal, have earned promotion to Division A.