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Spain crowned U20 European champions
HELSINKI (FIBA U20 European Championship 2016) – Spain were crowned FIBA U20 European Championship winners for 2016 after pulling away from Lithuania in the fourth quarter for a 68-55 triumph in Helsinki, Finland on Sunday.
Turning Point: Any momentum established with two rapid three-pointers from Ignas Fiodorovas at the end of the third quarter was quickly extinguished early in the final stanza. Spain embarked on a 12-0 run, which would last four minutes and create a 16-point advantage to put the result beyond doubt.
Stats Don’t Lie: Lithuania opted to fly as far as their three-point shooting would take them. This served them well in the opening stages, before the flow slowed. They attempted 33 shots from long-range – two more than they tried from inside the arc – and made 10. But their 16 turnovers, in comparison with six for Spain, were critical.
Game Hero: Without star guards Marc Garcia and Francisco Alonso, it is unlikely Spain would have made it this far. But Ramon Vila’s 18-point, 14-rebound double-double was a huge factor in this final success. Six of those boards came on the offensive glass and contributed to 14 second-chance points, which sapped the life out of Lithuania. Garcia led all scorers with 21 points and picked up the tournament MVP prize.
What they said: "We play as a family, not as individuals. It is down to the teamwork. This game was all about trust in everybody. We are very proud. We need to enjoy this moment." - MVP Marc Garcia, Spain.