Switzerland Beat Ireland To Stay Perfect

12. Cyril Bächler (Switzerland)
Cyril Bächler and Switzerland enjoyed a perfect start into the tournament and moved to 3-0

Coach Zoran Popovic was pleased after his Switzerland team's third victory in Group C of the U16 European Championship Men Division B, this time 65-47 against Ireland.

"These games are always difficult, when you know you've already qualified. The good thing is that we can use three or four other players, and we can do it tomorrow against Hungary too. Our plan is to beat the Hungarian team, and if we continue like the first three games in this tournament, we can do that," said Popovic.

Mathias Tolusso and Randon Grüninger top-scored for Switzerland with 15 points. Jason Carr scrored 10 for Ireland.

In other Group C action, Hungary joined Switzerland at 3-0 as they moved clear of the Slovak Republic in the second half to win 69-48. Laszlo Fulop led Hungary with 14 points. Matej Baluch top-scored for the Slovak Republic with 18 points.

In the other Group C game Sweden survived a strong second-half comeback by Armenia to win 85-79.

Coach Christer Stjenborg said that the game would be a good lesson for his players: "This game proved that you must play well for the whole 40 minutes. We had a comfortable lead but in the last few minutes, the opponent cut our lead. We rode our luck but I think we deserved to win."

Ludvig Hakanson had 19 points, 7 assists and 6 steals in the win. Vladmir Radivoevich recorded a huge double-double for Armenia with 24 points and 18 rebounds.

Host nation FYR of Macedonia went cold down the stretch to lose their second game in Group A, Romania winning 68-62. FYR of Macedonia could only score three points in the final 5:40 of the match.

Speaking afterwards, coach Igor Mihajlovski was understandably disappointed: "Tonight we had our chances to win, but we made mistakes in the final decisive minutes. If you miss free throws, it's difficult to win close games like this."

The Romanian dynamic duo of Mehmet Hortoglu and Vlad Cobzaru combined to devastating effect. Hortoglu scored 20 points and Cobzaru grabbed a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

For the home team, Daniel Nacevski also registered a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

England moved to 3-0 with a 69-58 win over Georgia. England were leading 45-21 at half-time, but a revitalized Georgian team came roaring back after the break and cut the deficit to 9 by the end of the third quarter. England held firm in the final few minutes to take the victory.

Luke Nelson top-scored with 16 points. Tyrell Isaacs got 11 points and 6 steals. Nugzar Abuladze led Georgia with 12 points.

In Group D, Bosnia and Herzegovina were cruising towards their second victory, 13 points ahead of Belgium at half-time, but an 11-1 run at the end of the third quarter saw Belgium take the lead.

Bosnia and Herzegovina found a solution at the right time, with a 13-0 burst late in the fourth quarter ensuring victory.

Adi Zahiragic top-scored with 22 points. Nedim Buza added a double-double, 16 points and 11 rebounds. Romain Boxus led Belgium with 16 points.

Israel joined Bosnia and Herzegovina with a 2-0 record after beating Denmark 80-59. Israel took a 46-25 half-time lead and never looked back.

Naor Sharon led Israel with 13 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds. Aladdin Barakeh top-scored for Denmark with 15 points, and Rasmus Hansen added a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

In Group B, Slovenia had to work for their third straight win, beating Portugal 59-51. Portugal led at half-time 28-26, but Slovenia went on a 10-2 run after the break and never trailed again.

Matic Rebec top-scored with 16 points. Isaias Insaly registered a double-double in the losing cause with 11 points and 17 rebounds.

Finland picked up their second win with a strong defensive effort, holding Cyprus to just 17 first-half points in the 69-57 win.

Finland had a large rebounding advantage, 52-23, and two players recorded double-doubles, Ozan Odabasi (10 points, 11 rebounds) and Emir Sulejmanovic (12 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks). Shawn Hopkins led Finnish scoring with 19 points. Antreas Christodoulou poured in 28 points in the defeat.

The final Group B game saw the Netherlands record their third win and hand Austria their third defeat, final score 90-48.

The Dutch team led 50-25 at half-time and didn't give the Austrian team any rest. Bas Veenstra top-scored with 20 points and added 9 rebounds. Mike Hogervorts provided great assitance with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

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