Montenegro, Ukraine Storm Into Final Showdown

15.07.2007

Ukraine and Montenegro won their respective semi-finals on Saturday in Warsaw to advance to the title game of the U20 European Championship for Men, Division B.

Ukraine remained unbeaten with an 80-56 mauling of Germany, while Montenegro thrashed Finland 83-53.

It has been an incredible event for Montenegrin basketball, which is competing now on its own without Serbia after having its federation recognised officially at the FIBA World Congress last year in Japan.

This is the first national team tournament for Montenegro and on this evidence, Montenegro is about to become a big player in Europe.

They have lost just once - an 85-83 upset to Austria on July 9.

Against the Finns, Montenegro's talisman came to the fore again in the shape of Vladimir Dasic.

The 19-year-old power forward/center erupted for 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Seven of those points were scored in the first quarter, when Montenegro took control for good by outscoring Finland 21-5.

The game was a rout with only seven and a half minutes played, in fact, with Montenegro holding a 16-1 lead.

The lead ballooned to 41-20 with 30 seconds remaining in the first half after a pair of Marko Mijovic free throws.

The closest Finland would get the rest of the way would be 13 points, when Juho Nenonen's lay-up made it 51-38.

Suad Sehovic had 15 points and Boris Savovic 13 for Montenegro, but the star was once again Dasic, who is averaging 18.3 points and nine rebounds in the tournament and will be the focal point of the attack against Ukraine in the final.

The championship game should be a classic because the Ukrainians are undefeated.

They wasted no time in taking control against Germany, scoring the first 14 points in their semi-final and effectively putting the game way by the end of the first quarter when they led 28-6.

The Germans did show some fight at the start of the second quarter with a 12-2 run to close the gap to 30-18, but Ukraine quickly regained control by reeling off eight straight points and they cruised the rest of the way. Oleksandr Kolchenko had 19 points for Ukraine, with Maxym Korniyenko pouring in 12 and hauling in nine rebounds.

Germany's Maxym Korniyenko led all scorers with 20 points while emerging star Tim Ohlbrecht had 14 rebounds to go with his eight points.

In Saturday's other games, Estonia got 14 points from Tanel Kurbas in a 59-47 triumph over Slovakia and will now take on Poland in battle for fifth place.

The Poles defeated Great Britain 71-64 after getting 20 points and nine rebounds from Kamil Pietras.

Guy Guede led the Britons with 14 points and Dan Clark scoring 12 and grabbing 10 rebounds.


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