Turkey wins silver at U18 European Championship
ISTANBULTurkey lost in the final of the U18 European Championship 64-61 to hosts Greece in a hard-fought game on Aug. 2 that came down to the wire.
Turkey entered the fourth quarter with a 48-41 lead, but Greece battled back in front of the home crowd, opening the final period with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 48-48. After Greece took a 57-54 lead Barış Ülker got the hoop and the foul with 2:35 to play. He converted from the free-throw line to tie the game at 57-57, but Greece re-gained the lead 15 seconds later and hung on for the victory.
“I congratulate our Head Coach Mustafa Derin, his staff, and the players of the U18 Men’s National Team on winning the silver medal,” TBF President Harun Erdenay said. “This silver comes on the heels of bronze medals at both the U20 European Championship Men and the FIBA U19 World Championship. This summer our youth national teams have shown the world that the future for Turkish Basketball is very bright.”
Ülker finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Enes Taşkıran also impressed with 12 points and 6 boards.
Guard Furkan Korkmaz delivered another dominant performance, finishing with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals.
Korkmaz finished the tournament as Turkey’s leading scorer, averaging 16.1 points per game. His 3 steals per game, including a combined 11 in the semifinal and final games, were also a team best.
In recognition of his performance Korkmaz was named to the All-Tournament Team, just weeks after receiving the same honor at the FIBA U19 World Championship.
Turkey finished the tournament with a 7-2 record. Turkey emerged from group play 5-1 and reached the finals after a 90-79 win over Serbia in the quarterfinals and an 82-77 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in the semifinals.
The silver medal marks Turkey third consecutive trip to the podium at the U18 European Championship Men and the fourth trip in five years. Turkey won gold in both 2014 and 2013, and bronze in 2011.