Turkey Win Nail-Biter, Make Quarters

Berkay Candan scored 18 points as Turkey held off Slovenia 64-61 in the Qualifying Round Group E to secure a spot in the quarterfinals of the U18 European Championship.

Tayfun Erülkü added 13 points for Turkey, who improved to 3-2 in the group. 

Slovenia finished 1-4 and will place for places 9-12 despite 17 points, four rebounds and five assists by Luka Rupnik.

Neither team could pull away in the first quarter with Slovenia opening the biggest lead at five points and led 16-14 after one period.

Slovenia led again by five points 22-17 when Turkey went on a 18-5 run to finish the first half ahead 35-27.

The Turks pushed the margin to 42-30 before watching the Slovenians get back into the game with an 11-0 run to pull within 42-41. Turkey however were up 45-41 after three periods.

Turkey pushed the margin to eight points at 54-46 and the gap was still 60-53. But Slovenia would not go away as Rupnik nailed a three-pointer to cut the lead to 62-61.

With Turkey ahead 64-61 with five seconds left, Ugur Dokuyan missed two free throws but Rupnik was off target on this potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer.


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