Russia Stay in Division A


By Jared Grellet

14. Ilya Karpenkov (Russia)
Ilya Karpenkov led Russia in points and rebounds as they confirmed their Division A status with a win over the Czech Republic

Russia will stay in Division A next season after defeating the Czech Republic 69-67 on Saturday afternoon at the Dadu U16 European Championship Men.

Russia had already won their previous four games in the elimination round and only needed to win more game, or lose to the Czechs by less than 10 points to avoid elimination.

A 10-point loss never looked likely for Russia who controlled the opening three quarters and despite the Czech Republic coming back to nearly win, they could not manage to produce a lead of more than three points.

Ilya Karpenkov topped scoring and rebounding for Russia with 18 points and nine rebounds. Pavel Afanasev nearly played a full 40 minutes to score 11 points whilst Aleksandr Zuev chipped in with 10.

In the second game of the day from the elimination round, England and Slovenia already had their fate decided, leaving them with nothing but pride to play for.

Coming into the game with a win apiece, it was England who looked the more likely to pick up their second win, leading up until the final four minutes when Matej Kavas sunk a three-pointer to give Slovenia the lead for the first time in the game.

With their confidence up there was no stopping Slovenia who held on over the final moments to record the 66-64 win.

Kavas finished with 16 points whilst Tilen Kodrin recorded a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double.

England's Theo Oghide lead all scoring with 17 points.

In their final games of the tournament on Sunday, Russia play England and the Czech Republic face Slovenia.

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