Sweden Beat Slovenia, Clinch Fifth Spot In Group E

20.07.2011

U20 European Championship

Sweden celebrated their debut win in the Qualifying Round after yet another thriller, this time against Slovenia, that saw the Scandinavians take a 69-68 win.

Following the win Sweden climbed to a 1-4 record in the group and grabbed the fifth spot.

Slovenia fell to 0-5 and will take the last place in the standings.

Both teams will continue the tournament in the 9-12 Classification Round.

Alexander Lindqvist led Sweden with 16 points, Viktor Gaddefors added 11 while Christopher Czerapowicz and Andreas Person had 10 each with the last adding 11 boards.

Marko Pajic finished with 21 points and Mitja Nikolic added 17 points and eight rebounds.

Sweden arrived to the game after dropping the two previous games by two points each, only this time managed to finish the 40 minutes with the upper hand, even if just by a single point.

After a balanced start Sweden took a 10-1 run and finished the first quarter with a 22-16 lead, but Charles Barton and Lindqvist created a nine point game after 12 minutes.

Pajic and Nikolic were the driving force behind Slovenia's return as the teams walked off the court for the break with Sweden leading just 39-36.

Lindqvist scored from the arc to recreate the eight point gap, but Nikolic answered with seven points in a row to see his team take the lead with the last point of the third quarter, 50-51.

The teams went neck-to-neck until the very last minute before Slovenia with a pair from the foul line set the score on 67-68 and Sweden saw another close game crawl away, yet following a timeout it was Person who attacked the rim, released a shot that went in with five seconds on the game clock and bestowed Sweden the win.

After the rest day Sweden will take on Greece while Slovenia and Ukraine will try to add another win.


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