Turkey Run Away From Ukraine

Turkey remained alive in the hunt for a top-four finish in their group by running away from Ukraine 85-69 at the U18 European Championship Men.

Melih Mahmutoglu poured in 22 points while Mükremin Kilicli had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Enes Kanter collected 14 points and 14 rebounds as Turkey improved to 2-3 in the Qualifying Round Group F.

Turkey needed to have Latvia lose against Russia later on Thursday to gain a spot in the 5th-8th place Semi-Final Round - which will eventually lead to a U19 World Championship berth for 2009.

Ukraine dropped to 0-5 in the group despite 14 points each from Pavlo Burenko and Roman Dmytrenko and 11 points by Oleksandr Osnach.

Turkey scored the first eight points of the game and Mahmutoglu knocked down three triples as Taner Günay's team opened a 19-10 advantage. And Can M. Mutaf knocked down a three-ball of his own in helping Turkey grab a 26-16 lead after one period.

Ruslan Otverchenko closed Ukraine to within 28-26 before Kilicli made four baskets to jump ahead 40-27. Turkey's margin was 41-32 at intermission.

Turkey still led 48-39 but Dmytrenko hit two baskets in bringing Oleg Ruban's team within 48-46. Two more scores by Dmytrenko had the deficit down to 51-50 after three periods. The Turks came out strong in the fourth with the first eight points before Oleksandr Gudkov got Ukraine within 61-57.

Günay's team, however, stepped up the defense and got a number of fast-break scores in reeling off a 14-2 charge for a 75-59 advantage to decide the game.

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