|Timur Bas and Austria went down after double overtime to a previously winless Sweden team|
The Preliminary Round finished with a huge drama in each of the four groups of the U16 European Championship Division B. The final buzzer saw Ukraine and Switzerland qualify from Group A, joined by Czech Republic and Slovak Republic from Group B form the new Group E, while Georgia and Slovenia from Group C together with the duo Netherlands and Hungary from Group D will form the new Group F as the race for the two Division A tickets continues.
Group A saw Ukraine go perfect and qualify along with Switzerland mainly thanks to Sweden. While Ukraine crushed Switzerland to win the group, in the first game Sweden got their first win by beating Austria in double overtime. In case Austria had won the one to qualify were Portugal in a three way tie with Austria and Switzerland, but the loss to Sweden sent the Swiss to the Qualifying Round.
Ukraine smashed Switzerland 78-37 to go 4-0 on top of the group and drop the Swiss to 2-2 but still good enough for the second spot. Volodymyr Gerun hit 14 points for the winners who held a 21 point lead already at the half. Branislav Kostic with 18 scored almost half of his team's points.
Sweden fought hard to get their debut win against Austria and used a double overtime to smash Portugal's hopes to qualify. Papa Ndiaye hit 19 points for Sweden while Timur Bas had 24 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks for Austria. Ndiaye smashed Portugal's hopes by scoring a three pointer right before the buzzer to force the first overtime, while Austria were the ones to force the second, where Sweden took over.
Group B hosted a big drama as well as Slovak Republic faced England in a head-to-head match for the second spot in the group while Czech Republic finished the group perfect.
With the second ticket to the Qualifying Round on the line England and the Slovaks fought until the last second before Slovakia won 73-72 behind a huge last quarter come back. Simon Krajcovic was the top scorer with 20 points for Slovakia including the winning bucket with nine seconds on the game clock. Joshua Guddemi led England with 22.
The drama didn't stop also in Group C where Slovenia used a two point win to qualify from the second spot, while Georgia won another close game, this time against Luxembourg.
Slovenia beat Romania 62-60 as Luka Kokol scored 21 points and added eight rebounds, while Vlad Popovici had 20 points and Vlad Stoicoviciu added 19 points with 20 rebounds. Jan Rizman scored his first three pointer in the competition to turn a one point lead by Romania to a Slovenian win.
Even with a loss Slovenia would have qualified unless Luxembourg had beat Gerogia, but they weren't too far, with a 103-98 loss that gave the Georgians the first spot with 4-0 and downed Luxembourg to 2-2. Beka Burjanadze scored 33 for the winners and Jo Hoeser reached 36 for the losing side behind eight three pointers and next to eight assists and seven rebounds.
Group D saw Finland edge Estonia to keep the hosts outside the race to Division B, while Hungary took advantage of that with an easy win over Norway to join Netherlands in the next round.
Estoania needed a one point win over Finland to be in the Qualifying Round but dropped a 10 point lead in the last six minutes and saw Niko Mattila score the winning basket with 11 seconds to play. Mattila was the top scorer with 24 points while Tiit Talumaa contributed 20 for the losing and depressed side.
Hungary used the opportunity and smashed Norway 76-49 to take the second spot in the Qualifying Round next to Netherlands. Peter Mohay scored 13 for the winners and Marco Lepovic had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the losing side.
The Czech demolished Ireland 86-41 as Jan Svandrlek scored 14 to top five players in double-digits while Lorcan Murphy had nine for Ireland.