Only One Place Left In Semi-Finals

29.07.2010

Qualifying Round

The opening day of the Qualifying Round saw already two teams qualify to the semi-finals of the U18 European Championship Division B in Tel Aviv, Israel after the local side and Montenegro booked their seats in the next round through Group F.

In the parallel group three teams are still in the race that will be decided tomorrow between Finland, Belgium and Czech Republic.

The winners of the semi-finals on Saturday evening will enjoy a great celebration with the ticket to the Division B.

Group F is where the tension is at peak after Belgium suffered their first loss in the competition.

After winning all their games in the Preliminary Round the time came for Belgium to feel the bitter taste of a loss with a 75-65 defeat to the Czech Republic.

Jaromir Bohacik hit 18 points followed by big guy Ondrej Balvin and forward Martin Kriz who registered with 14 points and 8 rebounds each. Loic Schwartz was the only player for Belgium to score in double-digits by reaching 15.

The Czechs dominated the game all the way, but a bit more focus could have helped Belgium who scored only a single point in the last 3:30 minutes and saw the gap jump back to 10 with the final buzzer.

In the 2nd game Finland eliminated Bosnia and Herzegovina from the race with a 62-55 win as Markus Molenius celebrated under the boards with 15 points and 11 rebounds with Villematti Kopio and Osku Heinonen collecting 13 each.

Mirza Bulic was the best scorer of the losing side with 20 points.

"It was a difficult for us to play against their zone defense," said the losing coach Goran Sehovac.

"They returned in the second half but we stayed focused and knew what to do until a certain point.

"We played well today but not enough, yet we need to stay focused and continue to get better every day."

Bosnia and Herzegovina were strong in the game for 40 minutes, and trailed just by 3 points with 5:12 minutes on the game clock, but Kilian Cato led a 6-0 run to create a 9 point difference, 60-51 and decide the game.

Following today's results Finland is ranked 1st with a 2-0 record followed by Belgium and Czech Republic tied with 1-1.

Bosnia and Herzegovina dropped to 0-2 and are out of the race.

Tomorrow Belgium will take on Finland while the Czech team will face Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Finland can lose by up to 9 points and advance together with Czech, while Belgium must win by 11 to advance as well with the Czech.

In case of a 10 point win by Belgium the 3rd tie-breaker will be in effect, and the three spots will be decided by goal average (Points scored/Points received).

In Group F both Israel and Montenegro turned tomorrow's games only for the record after taking a 2-0 record as both teams remain unbeaten.

Tomorrow they will go head-to-head as one team's streak will end, but both will put their focus on the Saturday games.

13. Guy Lavie (Israel)
Guy Lavie and Israel are one step closer to their big aim Division A

Israel easily denied Estonia with a 76-47 win following a 2nd quarter run that opened an early double-digit lead.

Ram Elias-Pour and Oz Blayzer made the difference under the boards as the host team continued to increase the gap until the final buzzer for a 29 point win.

Blayzer scored 14 and pulled down 10 rebounds, while Elias-Pour added 11 points as well as Bar Timor.

Rannar Raap scored 13 with 8 rebounds for the losing side.

Montenegro faced no issues as well against England with a 77-50 victory to march on to the next round.

After a close first half Montenegro stepped up on defense, kept their rivals on no more than 17 points in the entire 2nd half and cruised to a 27 point win.

Nemanja Grabovica scored 17 points including 5 three pointers without a miss for the winners.

Joshua Owen-Thomas reached 11 for England who saw Devon Van Oostrum add 10 points and 5 rebounds.


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