Bulgaria and Denmark unbeaten after the preliminary round in Varna

Bulgaria and Denmark are the only teams that finished the preliminary round of the U18 Men European Championship Division B, which is being held in Varna, Bulgaria. The host side Bulgaria finished on top of Group A with a balance of 3-0, while Denmark ended up first in Group B with 4 wins and 0 losses. The other teams that go through to the qualifying round are Estonia, Hungary, Netherlands, Sweden, Israel and Montenegro.

In the last day of the preliminary round Bulgaria sealed the top spot in Group A, enjoying a 76:54 win against Hungary.  The young Bulgarians allowed only 16 points total in the first half and never looked like losing the game. Pavlin Ivanov had 21 points, while three other players scored in double digits in Bulgaria’s win. In the other game in this group Georgia needed overtime to defeat Luxembourg 105:98. Beka Burjanadze had a key role in the win, finishing with 18 points and 16 boards. Bulgaria and Hungary go through to the qualifying round.

Denmark and Estonia are the top two teams in Group B, which advance to the qualifying round. Denmark notched down their fourth straight win after 56:65 against Belgium, as Esben Reinholt had 22 points for the success. Estonia didn’t have any trouble with Portugal, and won the game 81:65. Rait-Riivo Laane had 16 points and four of his teammates also scored in double digits for the win.

Montenegro finished first in Group C, after a blowout 96:57 win against Romania in the last round. Nikola Ivanovic impressed with 16 points in 15 minutes of action for Montenegro. Netherlands defeated Austria 71:46 and finished second in the group. Paul Candiff scored a team-high 17 points against the Austrian side.

In Group D, the Slovak Republic found themselves out of the qualifying round, after losing to Israel 61:87 in their last game. Israel, Sweden and Slovakia finished with a balance of 3-1 each, but the first two spots were for Israel and Sweden. Or Solomon scored 21 points for Israel in his team’s decisive win. In the other game, that didn’t matter, as neither team didn’t have a chance for the next round Norway lost to Switzerland, despite Chris Ndow’s impressive 39 points.

The qualifying round starts on Wednesday (27.07), as in Group E are the teams of Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia and Hungary, while in Group F we can see Netherlands, Israel, Sweden and Montenegro.