Day 4 of the U16 European Championship Division B revealed already half of the teams that advance to the Qualifying Round as four clinched their place in the next round and will continue to fight for the two Division A tickets.
The qualifiers from Group A were decided following today's scores as Ukraine and Switzerland will head to the Qualifying Round and the winner in their game tomorrow will take the top spot of the group. Switzerland kept Sweden with no wins in the first game today while Portugal smashed Austria but won't go further after dropping their games against Switzerland earlier.
The Swiss team needed an overtime to beat Sweden 75-69, which eventually secured their place in the next round. Clint N'Dumba-Capela was once again on fire with 29 points, 20 rebounds and five blocks but it was Thomas Bugnon who missed all his shots from the field tonight but hit twice from the foul line to force overtime and save his team. Niklas Larsson scored 21 for the losing side.
Portugal beat Austira 65-32 as Diogo Ventura was their top scorer again with 11 while Timur Bas and Valentin Bauer had 10 each.
In Group B England and Slovak Republic won their games, but it was the Czech Republic who qualified to the next round following today's results while being on their rest day. The loss of Ireland to England meant the Czechs are secure in the top spot after beating the two teams that may match their record earlier in the tournament. Tomorrow England and the Slovak Republic will go head-to-head and the winner will remain in the race for the Division A ticket.
England beat Ireland 86-53 in a one sided game to go 2-1 and be ready for tomorrow's game. Joshua Ward-Hibbert finished with 22 points and seven rebounds for the winner while Ryan Downey and Thomas Paul Macdonald had 12 points each for Ireland.
Slovak Republic crushed Belarus 85-65 to go 2-1 as well while this was the fourth loss of Belarus in the competition. Simon Krajcovic collected 24 points and seven steals for the winners, while Belarus saw Aliaksei Pahireichyk finish with 21 points and seven boards.
Group C saw Slovenia react to their overtime one point loss yesterday with vengeance and crush Luxembourg, while Belgium did the same to Romania as the two top spots are still open and will be decided between Georgia, Slovenia and Luxembourg.
The last arrived to their meeting with Slovenia with a perfect 2-0 record but were hammered 93-42 as Slovenia took all their anger out on them. The half time score was already 50-11 and marked the face of the game. Luka Kokol was on fire with 33 points, while Tomaz Bolcina added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Tim Schmit scored 14 for the losing side.
The game between Belgium and Romania matched two teams in search for a debut win and it was Belgium who released their anger first with an 82-40 win to finish the Preliminary Round with a 1-3 record while Romania remain clean of wins with 0-3. Mathias Van Steenwinkel led four players of Belgium in double-digits with 14 while Vlad Popovici had 20 and 11 rebounds for the losing side.
In Group D Finland and Estonia won their games and the later are still in the race for the Qualifying Round, while the Netherlands qualified despite the loss.
Estonia beat Netherlands 59-50 to break the perfect record of the Dutch and set it on 3-1 following their last game in the group while the win bestowed the locals a 2-1 record before their final game tomorrow. Estonia must win and hope for a Hungary to drop their game against the win-free Norway to qualify, and then will do it with style from the first place. Any other scenario will send Hungary together with Netherlands to the next round.
Estonia used an 11-0 run in the last quarter to turn the game over and win 59-50 as Styv Solovjov scored 13 with seven boards and four steals while Shane Hammink topped the losers' lists with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Jito Kok had nine points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.
Finland showed just how much of a small chance there is for Hungary to lose tomorrow with an 88-57 win over Norway, after leading by 27 already at the half. Johnny Laakkonen had 19 points and nine rebounds for the winners while Norway had Espen Fjaerestad on top of their list with 11 points.