Turkey U16 Tourney A European Affair

05 February 2013

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Stephane Gombauld (France) at the U16 European Championship 2012
Stephane Gombauld has been impressive for France, averaging a tournamen-high 22.5 points and 12.8 rebounds per game

Serbia, Germany and Greece continue to turn heads in the city of Sakarya, extending their winning streaks at the U16 Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF) International Tournament to four games on Monday.

Either the Germans or the Greeks will have to abolish their unbeaten record on Tuesday evening though, when the two sides meet on the final day of Group B action.

All three undefeated European sides, as well as France and Turkey, who are second and third respectively behind Serbia in the Group A standings, have already secured their place in the quarter-finals.

Slovenia are third in Group B with a 2-2 record and very well placed to clinch a spot in the last eight as well, while the quarter-final berths could be occupied entirely by European teams if Latvia prevail over China and the Slovenes beat Argentina on Tuesday.

Hosts Turkey secured their place in the quarter-finals with a hard-earned 65-63 victory over China in the game that concluded Group A Day 4 action in Sakarya.

Following a back and forth encounter in which none of the two teams ever managed to pull away, the fact the Chinese scored the last basket of the game approximately two and a half minutes before the final buzzer is indicative of the nerves on both sides.

Turkey shooting guard Furkan Korkmaz led all scorers wit 18 points and added five rebounds, while power forward Arber Berisha collected a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Serbia meanwhile registered their fourth victory perhaps in more comfortable fashion than they expected, as they took apart Sweden, 88-38.

The Group A leaders dominated the Scandinavians from tip-off to finish and only took their foot off the gas in the final frame, when the lead had already exceeded 45 points.

Forward Dimitrije Spasojevic paced Serbia with 17 points while the tournament's second-best scorer, Milos Glisic, finished with 13.

In the other all-European clash in Group A on Monday, France came from behind in the fourth quarter to edge out Latvia, 69-67.

Forward Stephane Gombauld was immense for Les Bleus, picking up a double-double of 27 points and 11 rebounds while Luc Loubaki contributed 17 points and five boards.

For the Latvians, Renars Birkans had 17 points in a losing effort.

Germany preserved their perfect record after prevailing over Slovenia with the exact same score, 69-67, this time in a clash between Europeans in Group B.

The Germans had taken an eight-point lead at half-time and despite a Slovenian comeback in the second half, they managed to cling on until the final buzzer for the win.

Moritz Sanders had 14 points and two assists, and Tibor Taras added 12 points for the winners, who once again relied on their balanced offence.

Slovenia's Blaz Mesicek meanwhile led all scorers with 15 points in defeat.

Georgios Papagiannis (Greece)
Georgios Papagiannis is leading Greece in points (11.5), rebounds (7.5) and blocks (3.25) per game

The Greeks had an easier time staying perfect, as they stunned Ukraine with a strong start, that allowed them to take a 19-point lead at the end of the first quarter and, despite some inconsistencies, they managed their advantage efficiently until the end to clinch an 81-67 victory.

Center Georgios Papagiannis led all scorers with 20 points on 10-for-12 shooting from the field while Antonis Koniaris and Giannis Mihaloutsos each had 10 points for the Greeks.

Kiril Marchenko was the only Ukrainian to score in double digits and finished with 10 points.

Montenegro, who are bottom of Group B, fell 64-56 to Argentina despite a 19-point display by guard Nikola Lucic.

Slovenia will take on Argentina in the game that opens Group B action on Tuesday and is followed by the battle of the two unbeaten sides, Germany and Greece, while Montenegro will try to claim their first victory against Ukraine, in the final game of the day.

In Group A, Sweden take on France, Latvia go up against China while hosts Turkey will be tested against the undefeated Serbians in the game that will conclude group stage action.


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