MVP Garcia headlines All-Star Five
HELSINKI (FIBA U20 European Championship 2016) – Marc Garcia was named tournament MVP after leading Spain to gold at the FIBA U20 European Championship for the first time since 2011.
The guard top-scored with 21 points in Sunday’s Final as the Spanish produced a 12-0 fourth-quarter surge to rise above Lithuania 68-55 in Helsinki, Finland.
This followed a string of sensational performances – all of them from the bench – including a stunning buzzer-beater to secure victory against France.
2 points down with 4 seconds to go? No problem for @marcga8! 👌👌👌 #FIBAU20Europe pic.twitter.com/w0Kk4mQIp6— FIBA (@FIBA) July 17, 2016
"It's an incredible feeling," Garcia said.
"We have been working hard for three years to try and get a trophy and finally we got it.
"We play as a family, not as individuals. It is down to the teamwork. This game is all about passing, it is all about trust in everybody. We are very proud. We need to enjoy this moment."
Garcia shared the winning moment with team-mate Francisco Alonso, who joined him on the tournament All-Star Five.
Alonso scored 26 points in the Quarter-Finals as Spain beat Latvia before inspiring Semi-Final success against Germany with a 22-point showing.
ORO parece plata NO es! Campeones de EUROPA! #reiesdeeuropa #JUNTOS #TEAMWORK 🇪🇸🏀 pic.twitter.com/suyW4FScTq— Marc Garcia (@marcga8) July 24, 2016
Lithuania had to settle for second, but there was some consolation for guard Kristupas Zemaitis.
He came up with some clutch shots for the Green Machine during the knockout rounds, and was one of the standout performers from a balanced team effort. He was rewarded with a spot on the All-Star Five.
Turkey claimed the bronze medal on Sunday with a 76-61 success against Germany.
Their leading scorer was center Omer Yurtseven, who is still eligible to compete at U18 level, and averaged 10.4 points and 5.6 rebounds-per-game.
Home hero Lauri Markkanen rounded off the competition’s outstanding line-up.
He was the tournament’s top scorer, averaging 24.9 point-per-game - nearly six points more than his closest rival - having achieved the same feat in the FIBA U18 European Championship in 2015.