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Spain crowned champions at FIBA U16 European Championship
The Spanish had already celebrated three gold medals in 2016, with their U20 men’s, U20 women’s and U16 women’s teams claiming the titles at the respective FIBA Youth European Championships, while the U18 women’s team added silver to the trophy case.
In a close Final on Saturday, the spectators in Radom were treated to a thrilling finish, as Carlos Unanue netted a corner three with ten seconds left on the clock to put Spain 74-72 ahead, before Usman Garuba came up with the decisive stop to secure the win and Spain’s fourth European title at U16 level.
Garuba finished the game with an astonishing triple-double of 15 points, 11 rebounds and ten blocks. The 14-year-old center recorded dominant figures throughout the tournament, averaging 16.3 points and 12.4 rebounds to claim tournament MVP honours.
He was joined on the All-Star Five by Lithuanian guard Dovydas Giedraitis, Croatian small forward Luka Samanic, tournament top scorer and leading rebounder Marko Pecarski of Serbia, as well as Eray Akyuz of bronze medallists Turkey.
The Turkish team repeated last year’s podium finish by prevailing over Croatia after overtime, 77-70, Akyuz leading the way with 23 points, five assists and seven steals.
Earlier in the day, Estonia cruised past Bosnia and Herzegovina, 85-59, in the Classification Game for 13th-14th Place to retain their Division A status. Bosnia and Herzegovina are relegated to Division B for 2017, where they will be joined by Greece and Poland, whose fate had been decided one day prior.
Meanwhile, the three medallists from this year’s FIBA U16 European Championship Division B in Sofia, Bulgaria, will be competing in Division A next summer. Israel reached the Final in undefeated fashion, but were halted by Russia, 82-76, who claimed gold behind a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double from tournament MVP Alexander Shashkov. Slovenia snatched third place with a 79-71 win over Ukraine to secure the final ticket to the top flight.
The FIBA U16 European Championship Division A standings are:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina