Spain clinch third FIBA U20 European Championship title with win over Lithuania
PODGORICA (Montenegro) - Spain were crowned FIBA U20 European Championship champions for a third time in the competition's history after defeating Lithuania 69-61 in the Final on Sunday.
Defense proved decisive in the final quarter as Spain held their opponents in single figures in the frame to secure victory with some hugely important plays at both ends of the floor.
The gap was as large as 14 points in favor of Spain in the first half before Lithuania rallied and trailed by a single point inside the final three minutes, but were unable to add to their total.
Ruben Dominguez provided the spark off the bench with a game-high 17 points for the champions, as they added to their previous titles from 2011 and 2016.
Spain's Juan Nunez also claimed the tournament MVP award. The talented point guard was joined in the All-Star Five by Lithuania's Mantas Rubstavicius, who led the tournament in scoring. Montenegro's own Fedor Zugic also earned a place, alongside Noam Dovrat of Israel and Turkey's Adem Bona.
There was home joy on the podium as Montenegro triumphed against Israel in the Third Place Game with a big third-quarter effort in their 86-77 success. Fedor Zugic starred for the hosts with a 22-point haul on 7-of-10 shooting with four other players in double figures, while Gilad Levy had 25 points and 10 rebounds in vain for the former winners.
France rounded out the top five as they raced out to a strong start on their way to an 84-65 win over Turkey. Leo Menalo fired Croatia to 7th place with 28 points in their 93-77 success against Belgium, while Italy edged out Slovenia 81-78 in the 9-10 Classification Game.
Germany took 11th place in beating Greece 83-68 behind a combined 45 points from Len Schoormann and Bent Leuchten. Poland secured Division A survival with a 67-57 victory over Portugal, and Czech Republic defeated Ukraine 80-61 with both teams already relegated.
15. Czech Republic