By Jared Grellet
|Alexander Gavrilov and Russia have won all their games in the relegation round|
Russia have completed a clean sweep of the elimination round at the Dadu U16 European Championship Men, holding on in overtime 72-69, sending opponents England home with just one win.
With the pressure of securing their place in Division A for next season disappearing on Saturday following their two-point win over the Czech Republic, Russia were understandably lacking some intensity early against the English who were seeking just their second win of the tournament.
Running out to a 10-point lead midway through the third period, the second win was starting to look realistic for the English but by the end of frame Russia were back on equal footing.
In the final quarter it was England's turn to play catch up basketball before going up by a point on a Theo Oghide jump shot with 47 seconds to play. With the clock counting down, Alexander Gavrilov had the chance to win the game for the Russians but could only convert one of two from the free-throw line, forcing the second overtime of the Championship.
Again at the end of overtime it came down to Gavrilov to deliver and second-time round the shooting guard did just that, making both his free-throws to give the Russia the victory by three.
In the virtual playoff for 14th and 15th positions, it was Slovenia celebrating their third win in Lithuania with a 78-66 win over the Czech Republic.
It was an impressive fight back by the Slovenians who found themselves trailing by 13 points at the conclusion of the opening quarter.
Tilen Kodrin spurred the Slovene comeback in the second quarter, scoring nine points to have the teams level at the half.
Slovenia then dominated the remaining two quarters to wrap up a straightforward win.
Kodrin ended with 13 points and nine rebounds. Matej Kavas had 17 points and Aljaz Slutej 14.
Matej Svoboda assured that he will end the tournament as the leading scorer, finishing with 21 points to improve his nightly average to 19.7.