|Stefan Peno had 15 points, seven rebounds and nine assists against Slovenia, helping Serbia reach the semi-finals |
The four teams that had impressed during the group stage of the Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF) U16 International Tournament in Sakarya won their quarter-final match-ups on Thursday.
In the Friday semi-finals, the undefeated Serbia will take on Germany while the other team to reach this stage unbeaten, Greece, will face off with France.
Greece maintained their perfect record and advanced to the semi-finals in style, as they shut down hosts Turkey on Thursday to clinch a 77-59 win.
The Greeks gave up only 28 points in the first two quarters to take a 17-point lead at the half-time interval.
The tournament came back looking a much more composed side in the second half, but never really managed to mount a challenge that would trouble their guests.
Forward Vasilis Charalampopoulos was once again excellent for the Hellenic team as he led all scorers with 24 points and added 10 rebounds to collect an impressive double-double.
Serbia meanwhile had to work harder than at any point in the tournament against a resilient Slovenia.
The Serbians overcame a bad start to take a 10-point lead at the end of the third quarter but the Slovenes never let them feel at ease until the very end.
The junior 'Plavi' however held on to secure an 82-76 win, thanks in great part to an enormous display by two players.
Forward Milos Glisic went 9-for-11 from the field and led all scorers with 26 points, while he also added eight rebounds.
Guard Vojislav Stojanovic on the other hand finished with 21 points and five rebounds.
Gombauld Powers France Past Ukraine
The scores between Ukraine and France were tied at 34 at half-time and then at 54 at the end of a quite productive third quarter.
By that point, everyone at the Ataturk Sports Hall of Sakarya was half-expecting overtime or, at the very least, a very tight finale, but Les Bleus suddenly decided they'd rather skip the drama.
They stepped on the gas in the final minutes while the Ukrainians seemed to run out of fuel, to register an 84-74 win and punch their ticket to the last four of the tournament.
Stephane Gombauld was already the talk of Sakarya after the first five days in the tournament, but on Thursday he made sure he would leave a lasting impression.
The French forward/center came up with a monstrous 30-point, 21-rebound showing and, no matter how France rate in their last two games, it now seems unlikely Gombauld will not leave Turkey as the top scorer and rebounder of the tournament.
Shooting guard Svyatoslav Mikhayliuk went 4-for-7 from behind the three-point arc and had 20 points for Ukraine in a losing effort.
Germany were the team that reached the semi-finals with the least possible stress, as Latvia almost failed to show up for the first half of their quarter-final clash.
The Germans cruised to a 41-21 lead at half-time and despite the fact the Baltic side improved vastly after the interval, it was already too little too late as their opponents were too serious to abolish such an advantage.
Germany reached an 82-60 win behind a balanced offensive efffort, as Moritz Hübner had 14 points, Niklas Kiel 13 and Leon Kratzer 12.