Spain reclaim FIBA U16 European Championship title
SKOPJE (North Macedonia) - Spain claimed a sixth FIBA U16 European Championship title after beating Italy 77-68 in the Final, on Sunday.
They completed an unbeaten campaign in Skopje, North Macedonia as they used an 11-2 run late in the fourth quarter to surge past their opponents, who were competing in a first Final at the event since 1991.
Guillermo Del Pino top scored with 22 points and also claimed tournament MVP honors with Maximo Garcia-Plata adding 16 points in the Final triumph.
Spain's Gildas Gimenez joined his teammate Del Pino in the All-Star Five lineup with Italy's Maikcol Perez, Akram Naji of France and Arturas Butajevas of Lithuania also earning their places.
Meanwhile, France made it onto the podium after a convincing 88-62 success against Lithuania in the Third Place Game to avenge a defeat from the opening day of the tournament.
Jonas Boulefaa top scored with 19 points with Akram Naji adding 16 points, while Arturas Butajevas posted 23 points and 14 rebounds in defeat as last year's champions missed out on a medal.
Germany secured fifth place and subsequently clinched the last remaining ticket from Europe to the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2024 with a 65-52 triumph over Slovenia as Declan Duru posted 22 points, 15 rebounds and 5 steals.
Israel retained their Division A status for another year after easing past Montenegro 83-61 in the battle for 13th place, with the losers joining Belgium and North Macedonia in Division B next summer.
Elsewhere, Serbia took seventh by beating Greece 71-60, Poland overcame Turkey 61-54 to claim ninth, and Latvia came from behind to see off Finland 73-63 for 11th spot. Belgium avoided a bottom-placed finish with a 90-72 victory over hosts North Macedonia as Jayden Hodge produced 30 points and 18 rebounds for a tournament-high efficiency of 51.
16. North Macedonia
The top five teams qualified for the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2024 alongside hosts, Turkey.
Meanwhile, Croatia picked up the Division B title in Pitesti, Romania after beating Bulgaria 87-65 with both teams already earning promotion to Division A next summer by finishing in the top two.
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