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Spain capture FIBA U16 European Championship title in Udine
UDINE (Italy) - Spain came up with a masterful game plan and captured their fifth title at the FIBA U16 European Championship by downing France 70-61 to win the 2019 edition and add the crown to the trophies from 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2018.
Despite a major size disadvantage, Spain took over the game with a 13-0 run spanning the first and second quarters and never let the French threaten the rest of the way.
Michael Caicedo nailed five three-pointers in scoring 21 points to go with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Juan Nunez added 21 points, 6 rebounds, 6 steals and 3 assists while Ruben Dominguez chipped in 15 points.
France had Ousmane Dieng, Armel Traore and Yohan Traore with 10 points each and Victor Wembanyama picked up 7 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks. France were looking for a fourth U16 championship but ended up winning their third silver medal after 2005 and 2012.
Dominguez was named the tournament Most Valuable Player as he averaged 13.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals. He was joined on the All-Star Five by Spain teammate Juan Nunez, Victor Wembanyama of France, Matteo Spagnolo of Italy and Adem Bona of Turkey.
Italy took the third step on the podium as they prevailed in a 73-68 thriller over Russia in the Third Place Game. The biggest lead for either team was nine points and it was back and forth with 10 ties and 15 lead changes. Davide Casarin scored all of his team-leading 14 points in the final 13 minutes to go with 6 assists and 4 rebounds.
Nicola Giordano and Tommaso Marangoni both scored 13 points for Italy, whose last U16 European medal came in 1991 when they won the title. Russia, who were hoping to end their podium drought that dated back to second place in 2006, were paced by Iaroslav Niagu with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Turkey punched the last ticket to the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2020 by coming up with a 75-62 victory over Greece in the Classification 5-6 as Adem Bona collected 20 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks, with Batin Tuna chipping in with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals.
Meanwhile, Germany were relegated from Division A alongside Bosnia and Herzegovina and Estonia with Poland, Netherlands and Denmark replacing them after earning promotion in Division B.