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Spain continue to dominate FIBA U20 Women's European Championship
MATOSINHOS (2016 FIBA U20 Women's European Championship 2016) - Spain successfully defended their FIBA U20 Women's European Championship title after clinching a dramatic 71-69 success against Italy in Matosinhos.
Turning Point: It didn't take long for Spain to lay down their authority as they shrugged off an injury to the influential Laura Quevedo to post a 19-point advantage in the first-half. They had not banked on watching their lead disintegrate thanks to a special performance by Italian star and eventual MVP Cecilia Zandalisini. As they looked like being sunk by an incessant blue Italian wave, a few cool heads got them over the line. Yes, Laia Flores Costa deserves incredible credit for having ice in her veins by calmly sinking her free-throws at the death, but perhaps this game was really won by two driving lay-ups to the hoop in the last 90 seconds or so by Ainhoa Lopez Rodriguez and Helena Orts. Just when Zandalsini looked like she would lead Italy to a glorious and great escape, these two players made really tough plays
Stats Don't Lie: There was almost nothing between the teams in any of the statistical areas, although perhaps Italy will regret only managing six points on the fast break across the 40 minutes.
Game Heroes: Aside from a hero in Zandalasini who was responsible for almost single-handedly ensuring one of the most memorable Finals ever at a youth tournament, credit must go to Spanish duo Orts and Maria Conde Alcolado who both both posted 20-point performances.