U16 MEN DIVISION B
|U16 European Division B Champions 2013 - Denmark|
Denmark edged out hosts Bosnia and Herzegovina 72-69 in the final of the U16 European Championship Division B while Finland claimed the bronze medal and the third ticket to Division A on Sunday.
Jacob Larsen came up with a monstrous double-double of 24 points and 16 rebounds, also adding a head-turning seven blocks, to pave Denmark's way to the gold medal in Sarajevo, against a home team that had reached the title game with an unbeaten record.
The Danes started better and once made perfect use of their size and superiority under the rim to to lead the tournament hosts 38-28 at the half-time interval.
Denmark out-rebounded Bosnia and Herzegovina 44 to 36, blocked 10 shots and scored 48 points in the paint and when they extended their lead to 17 points, 47-30 midway through the third quarter, they seemed to have put the clash beyond their hosts' reach.
But, spurred on by the local crowd and their winning attitude Bosnia and Herzegovina clawed their way back and took a two-point lead, their biggest in the game, on a Dorde Aleksic triple with 3:46 remaining to the final buzzer, that made it 69-67 for the hosts.
But Larsen was not going to let this one slip away from his team; he brought Denmark ahead again by converting an and-one play and then scored again from the low post on the next possession, to give the Danes a 72-69 lead with 2:28 left on the clock.
The big man had spoken in the clutch and Bosnia and Herzegovina called their last time-out to draw up their reply, but as nerves got the best of both sides in the finale, neither opponent managed to score again from any range and Denmark tasted gold.
Point guard August Haas was also excellent for Denmark and finished with 18 points, six assists and four rebounds and Mads Sturup chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Bosnia and Herzegovina sharp-shooter had a game-high 25 points and Enis Memic collected a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds in losing efforts.
BRONZE MEDAL GAME
Finland ticked like a metronome on Sunday and overpowered Slovenia 96-62 in the bronze medal game in Sarajevo to earn promotion to Division A of the U16 European Championship.
The amazingly precise Finns, who shot 58.8 percent from the floor (Slovenia just 37.5%) used an 11-0 run in the first quarter to take their first double-digit lead, 16-5, on a Ville Leikas triple with 4:51 left in the opening period.
They maintained that gap almost unaltered for 20 minutes and then delivered the decisive blow with an even more dominant 22-0 run that bridged the third and fourth frames.
The decisive Finnish burst came after Slovenia scored six consecutive points to reduce to 60-51, with 4:56 remaining to the third buzzer.
When it was over, with 6:20 left on the clock to the end of the encounter, Finland had widened their lead to 82-51 and could afford to return to metronome mode the rest of the way and celebrate stepping on the third spot on the podium.
Finland small forward Lauri Markkanen led all scorers with 26 points, Matias Suvanto added 17 points and four rebounds and point guard Edon Maxhuni chipped in with 16 points; guard Blaz Mesicek once again top-scored for Slovenia and finished with 15 points and five rebounds.
The Czech Republic delivered a strong third-quarter defensive display and defeated England 72-58, behind 15 points from Krystof Chaloupka, to take fifth place in the tournament.
Davit Lomidze and Giorgi Tsirikidze each scored 17 points and Georgia dominated F.Y.R. of Macedonia 86-64 to finish in seventh spot.
Israel won 87-70 over Romania in the game for ninth place, on the back of a double-double showing of 19 points and 13 assists by Tamir Blatt.
Switzerland edged out the Netherlands 68-65 and took 11th spot in the final standings, as Anthony Polite erupted for 25 points and 12 rebounds.
In another dramatic encounter, Hungary prevailed 60-57 over Austria to finish in 13th place, with Kristóf Horváth collecting 13 points, three rebounds and four assists.
Portugal came from behind to beat Estonia 60-54 and claim 15th place behind Diogo Brito's game-high 16 points.
The Slovak Republic out-defended Ireland 41-39 and finished in 17th spot, Bulgaria finished strong and edged out Belarus 70-67 in the battle for 19th spot, while Luxembourg 62-52 outscored Norway 20-7 in the final quarter to win 62-52 in the clash for 21st place in Sarajevo.