Titus Nicoara Shines As Romania See Off Hungary

04.08.2008

Hungary made things interesting in the fourth quarter but hosts Romania held on for a 62-58 win on day three of the U20 European Championship for Men Division B in Taru Mures.

Titus Nicoara had 19 points, 12 rebounds and four assists while also coming up with five steals in a game-winning effort for the Romanians, who improved to 2-0 after a day off for the four sides in Group D.

A three-pointer from Nicoara opened up a 58-51 lead with 4:03 remaining but Hungary maintained their focus and closed the gap to 58-56 with 2:22 to go after a shot from the arc from Péter Hajmásy and a jumper from Akos Keller.

Adrian Filovici's basket restored a four-point advantage, only for Keller to reply again with 1:19 to go to trim the deficit to 60-58.

Nicoara then turned the ball over and Hungary had a chance to pull level or go ahead but Zoltán Supola's jumper was off target and Nicoara added two free throws for the four-point victory.

Hungary slumped to 0-2.

Poland beat the Netherlands 76-64 in the other Group D game after an excellent display from Michal Nowakowski. He finished with 29 points and nine rebounds and also came up with three steals for the Poles.

In Group A, Portugal almost blew a big fourth-quarter lead but held on to scrape an 84-81 win over Norway.

Fábio Lima scored 26 points and grabbed 13 boards for Portugal, who led 72-57 at the start of the final frame and avoided an embarrassing collapse when Stian Mjoes missed a three-pointer close to the end with Norway trailing 82-81.

Cristovao Cordeiro made a pair of free throws for the final margin of victory.

FYR Macedonia won 80-75 over Great Britain in the group's other game.

Aleksandar Kostoski had 26 points and 11 assists for the Macedonians.

Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Brits.

In Group C, Estonia won for the third day on the trot, defeating Slovakia 79-67 after outscoring their opponents 29-15 in the fourth quarter.

Center Rain Raadik had 18 points to pace the Estonians.

Austria overcame Switzerland 77-60 in the other clash.

Blowouts were the order of the day in Group B with Sweden thrashing Azerbaijan 100-44 and Germany pummeling Ireland 112-40.


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