In the first game, on the final day of the European Championships Division C, Greece took on Serbia in the 5th/6th play-off game. In a close first quarter, Serbia edged a three-point lead going into the second period. A 9-0 run helped them increase this lead out to 14 points at the end of the half, 36-22. They continued to control the game throughout the second half, taking the game and fifth place, 65-39. Sabid Karupović (29 points and 17 rebounds) and Željko Ćirković (22 points and 17 rebounds) both hit double doubles for Serbia.
Portugal took on Ireland in the bronze game, and it went right down to the wire in a nail biter of a game. Ireland held a slender advantage at the half-time break, 28-25. However, the momentum shifted in the third and Portugal came back to take the third and lead by three going into the final ten minutes, a lead which they extended out to seven early in the fourth quarter. An 8-0 run from Ireland bought them back into the game as the lead changed hands six times in the final few minutes. Portugal had the opportunity to win the game but couldn’t score on their last possession, and it was Ireland who claimed victory and the bronze medal, 51-50.
The gold medal game saw an undefeated Czech Republic take on an undefeated Belgium. It was Belgium who came out of the blocks the quickest taking an early lead with some strong defence and disciplined offence, ending the quarter 17-8 up. The Czech Republic got in early foul trouble but managed to stay in the game in the second quarter and third quarter with scores of 17-17 and 13-14, which meant Belgium took a 10-point advantage going into the final period. Despite the best efforts of the Czech team, who managed to bring the score back to within seven, the advantage was too much for them to overturn and Belgium continued to convert their opportunities to go on and win the match 65 -50 and claim the gold medal.
Belgium and Czech Republic will move up to the European Championships Division B!
- Czech Republic
All Star 5
Bart Nulens (BEL, 1.0), Philippe Minten (BEL, 2.0), Michael Cunningham (IRE, 3), Matthew Rollston (IRE, 3.5), Adam Erben (CZE, 4.5)