by Yarone Arbel
Four teams finished their games in the U16 European Championship with the 9-12 Classification Round coming to an end at Osnovna Skola Jugoslavija in Bar, Montenegro on Saturday night.
Italy won the ninth spot behind a 67-53 win over Greece while Poland grabbed the 11th place with a 68-43 victory over Bulgaria in two one-sided games.
The Italians finished with a sweet taste after dominating the second and third quarters on their way to a 14 point win.
Aristide Landi scored 22 points and added five boards for the winners, while Amedeo Tessitori added 12 points and six boards and Matteo Imbra had 10 points with four assists. The Greek big guy Kyprianos Maragkos scored 14 but had also eight turnovers while his teammate Dimitrios Agravanis reached 13 with seven rebounds and Alexandros Mitsialos added 10 with two steals.
Greece still led 14-20 but saw Italy score eight in a row, to eventually finish the half time with a 32-29 lead.
Landi, Tessitori and Imbra dominated after the break and led Italy to a 51-40 lead after 30 minutes, which made the game for Greece too difficult to handle.
Maragkos carried his team back to just seven points behind, but Landi Tessitori combined points again, recaptured a double-digit lead and finalized the outcome.
Poland had an easier time and crushed Bulgaria by 25 points, 68-43 after dominating already in the first half.
Daniel Szymkiewicz led the way as expected with 15 points, seven rebounds and four steals while three players scored 11 - Filip Struski who also had eight rebounds, Damian Jeszke and Kacper Borowski.
Kris Minkov scored 14 for the losing side and was the only player in double-digits.
The Polish team reached an 11 point gap already in the first quarter, and with a good finish to the second quarter extended the difference to 37-21 after 20 minutes of basketball.
Jeszke connected four points in a row to push the gap above the 20 points barrier midway in the third quarter and make it impossible for Bulgaria to fix things until the final buzzer.