Super six for France while Spain outclass Russia
SOPRON (FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship 2016) - France and Spain won their Semi-Finals to set up a repeat of the FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship 2015 Final, while a pair of dramatic thrillers saw Slovak Republic and Netherlands suffer heartbreaking relegation.
France were able to keep Latvia’s star Digna Strautmane quiet to take a tense victory in the first Semi-Final of the day, led by a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds from Alexia Chartereau. It will be France’s sixth successive trip to the Final at this level.
Spain surged away from Russia at the end of the second quarter and withstood a third-quarter barrage before dominating down the stretch, displaying great quality on both ends of the floor. Laia Sole competed well with Russia’s star Raisa Musina inside, ending with a team-high 15 points, and Paul Ginzo added 14 points, eight boards and two blocks.
Away from the battle for medals, the main drama of the day came in two thrilling relegation deciders, with both Slovak Republic and Netherlands left devastated by cruel defeats.
Nikola Kovacikova’s brilliant shot looked to have saved Slovak Republic, but Israel’s Eden Rotberg raced up-court and drew a foul on her last-second heave. She was left alone on the court to take three free throws with no time on the clock and her team down by one, and she sank all three to spark wild scenes of celebration.
In the following game, Netherlands didn’t trail in the second half until Tereza Vitulova’s crucial offensive rebound and put-back with 20 seconds remaining. Czech Republic survived Ilse Kuijt’s final effort, and they will play Israel on Sunday to decide the third relegation place.
Hosts Hungary bounced back from their Quarter-Final defeat to dominate Turkey and set up a decider for fifth place against Belgium. The match will also confirm the final European qualifier for the FIBA U19 Women’s World Championship 2017 in Udine, Italy.
Slovenia recovered from eight points down with seven minutes remaining to beat Serbia and confirm a top-10 finish for the tournament, joining Lithuania, who beat Croatia.
For more on all of today's action, you can also go to the #FIBAU18Europe Live Feed.