U18 MEN DIVISION B
|Jusuf Nurkic and Bosnia and Herzegovina gave the home fans reason to celebrate after gaining promotion |
Hosts Bosnia and Herzegovina snatched a dramatic 64-63 victory over England to reach the final of the U18 European Championship Men Division B on Saturday night.
The Final appearance also means they will be playing in the Division A tournament in 2013.
Cheered on the by home crowd in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina held off the form team of this competition so far in a dramatic finish.
The hosts had built a double-digit lead when Srdan Damjanovic put them up 58-48 midway through the final period and they led 63-52 on Adin Vrabac's three-point play with 3:06 to go.
But England, who won their opening six games here, reeled off eight straight points before Jusuf Nurkic split a pair of free throws for Bosnia.
Luke Nelson then hit a late three but after Damjanovic missed a pair of free throws for Bosnia, Dwayne Orija came up empty on a late hail mary and the hosts hung on.
Nedim Buza led Bosnia and Herzegovina with 19 points while Nurkic had 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Nelson finished with 33 points, more than half of his team's output, and 10 boards for England.
|Karel Ausprunk and the Czech Republic are joining Bosnia and Herzegovina in Division A next year|
The other semi-final was much more straightforward as the Czech Republic breezed through 85-63 over Finland behind 18 points from Radovan Kouril, and 15 points and 12 rebounds from Prokop Slanina, joining the hosts on their way to Division A.
Both England and Finland still have a chance to book one of the three available spots in Division B next year when the two sides face-off in the bronze medal game on Sunday evening.
In the qualification rounds, Montenegro edged out Israel 67-65 in the battle for fifth place, with Milos Pajovic contributing 13 points.
Montenegro will now face Estonia for fifth after they beat Belgium 78-59 behind 21 points and 10 rebounds from Martin Jurtom.
Portugal will play the Netherlands for ninth place, as the Portuguese saw off Hungary 88-83 thanks in part to 25 points from Andre Miguens, and the Dutch overpowered Austria 72-48.
The battle for 13th place will be between Iceland and Sweden, with Iceland beating Slovak Republic 74-59 and Sweden topping Romania 78-71.