Division B Round-Up: Semi-Final Pairs Decided

31 July 2009

Sweden came from behind late to beat hosts Bosnia and Herzegovina 73-71 in the Qualifying Round at the U18 European Championship Men 2009 Division B, in Sarajevo and qualify undefeated for the semi-finals.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, who trailed by nine late in the first quarter, recovered well over to take a 71-66 lead on Nikola Gajic's three-pointer with 1:54 left to play.

But Sweden then scored the game's final seven points, including the go-ahead basket by Christopher Czerapowicz  with 20 seconds left and the home side turned the ball over on their final possession.

Czerapowicz had 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Scandinavian nation improved to 3-0 and top Group E. Bosnia and Herzegovina suffered their second defeat in a row and dropped to 1-2. Gajic had a game-high 27 points.

Poland meanwhile held off Estonia 76-72 to also book a spot in the semi-finals. The game was close throughout the first three quarters before the Poles pulled away midway through the final period as they used a 14-3 run to push their lead up to 60-48.

The Baltic nation though did not relent and, slowly but surely, crept back to cut the deficit to three, 70-67, on Sixten Tomingas' three-pointer with 1:42 remaining.  Robert Magnuszewski hit back right away, draining a long bomb of his own at the other end and made timely free-throws in the final minute to secure the win.

In Group F, Montenegro beat England 77-68 to remain unbeaten, while handing the English their first defeat. Both nations are through to the semi-finals.

The Montenegrins never trailed and had a 38-23 lead at the break and were up by 20, 59-39 heading into the final quarter where England were able to reduce their margin of defeat to a more respectable 11 points.

Nemanja Radovic had game-highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds.

In the group's other game, Belgium thrashed the Netherlands 106-71 to earn their first win in this round.  The Belgians took a 30-13 lead at the end of the opening period and kept adding to it for much of the remained three quarters. Pierre-Antoine Gillet had a game-high 26 points and Terry Deroover added 23. The result saw the Dutch drop to 0-3.


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