Unbeaten Portugal Survive Tough Challenge By Finns

05 August 2008

Portugal and Germany won for the fourth consecutive time on the trot and Belgium remained undefeated at the U20 European Championship Division B.

The Portuguese have been sensational in Targu Mures where on Monday, Finland became their latest victim in Preliminary Round Group A.

José Silva had 16 points and six rebounds for Portugal, who trailed 47-46 late in the third quarter before a Pedro Pereira basket sparked a 10-0 run which put the Portuguese in front for good.

They ended up outscoring Finland 28-16 in the final quarter and won 76-63.

Also in Group A, FYR Macedonia prevailed 91-83 with Aleksandar Kostoski pouring in 20 points and pulling down seven rebounds.

The Norwegians, having lost their first two games, battled hard and trailed only 59-58 late in the third quarter following a lay-up by Torgrim Sommerfeldt but a three-pointer by Marko Simonovski allowed the Macedonians to keep their noses in front.

Portugal top the group at 4-0, followed by the Macedonians (2-1), Great Britain (1-2), Finland  (1/2) and Norway (0-3).

In Group B, Ireland claimed their first win by beating Azerbaijan 80-51. Keith Anderson led the way for the Irish with 29 points.

The Germans were far superior to the Czech Republic in a 100-57 rout.

Tibor Pleiß had 19 points and 12 boards for Germany, who took command in the first quarter when they outscored the Czechs 32-18.

The Germans (4-0) top the pool ahead of  Sweden (2-1), the Czech Republic (1-2), Ireland (1-2) and Azerbaijan (0-3).

Belgium are flying high in Group C at 3-0 after edging Estonia 86-81 in a battle of unbeatens.

Point guard B. Hockins Munda Mawejanangila had 22 points and seven assists while also blocking two shots for the Belgians, who had to hold on for dear life in the final two minutes.

Munda Mawejanangila fouled Tanel Kurbas (24 points) with 1:34 remaining when the Estonia star was attempting a shot from behind the arc.

Kurbas made two of his three free throws to close the gap to 77-76.

Boris Penninck replied with a three-point play for Belgium and they ended up winning by five.

Slovakia were too good for Switzerland, winning 71-58.

Because they have played more games, Estonia (3-1) are on top of the group on seven points while Belgium (3-0) are second.

Next come Austria and Slovakia (both 1-2) and Switzerland (0-3).

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