by Dan Casey
|high-flying Mario Hezonja led a balanced Croatia attack with 14 points, adding 6 rebounds|
Croatia stayed perfect at the U16 European Championship Men with an emphatic victory over Bulgaria.
Bulgaria will now move to the Classification Round to fight against relegation to Division B, while Croatia move to the Qualifying Round.
Croatia held a large early advantage, with a 25-2 run in the first quarter opening up a 19-point lead.
Croatia used the early advantage to give minutes to all players on the roster, and six players contributed double-digit points, led by Mario Hezonja with 14 points.
Karlo Zganec sat through the second-half after contributing 10 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists in the first half.
Aleksandar Vezenkov contributed a game-high 27 points and 5 blocked shots, and Vassil Stoimenov added 16 points and 6 assists.
But Croatia out-rebounded the Bulgarian team, 50-30.
Croatia held a large advantage entering the final quarter at 80-51.
Bulgaria were able to score 31 points in the final period to improve the scoreline, and will hope that Vezenkov can continue his good scoring to stave off relegation.
Meanwhile defending champion Croatia will enter the Qualifying Round in confident mood after three consecutive wins in Group D.