A drama-soaked day in Udine for Semi-Finals and survival fight
UDINE (FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2016) - There was more drama, history and despair on what proved to be a thrilling penultimate day at the FIBA U16 Women's European Championship 2016 in Udine.
Germany continued to make the headlines by booking their place in a first-ever Final, courtesy of a nerve-shredding 44-43 success against tournament favourites France. Luisa Geiselsoder was the hero with 20 points in a famous victory, although credit also went to Jessika Schiffer for holding her nerve and sinking a free-throw with less than a second remaining on the game clock - having missed the first two of the three.
While Germany are newcomers to the title game, the climax of the competition will see a familiar face in Spain, who are the most successful team in history at this level. They overcome Italy 57-49 due to some wonderful defence which booked their fifth Final in six editions.
If there was heartache for France and Italy, they will at least still get a chance to play for the third podium step. After the latest 9-16 Classification Games, Sweden and Slovak Republic are now contemplating Division B after their relegation was sealed. Sweden were undone by Nadezda Nedeljkov who came up with the highest individual score of the tournament for Serbia as she netted 31 points, while Portugal gained from Bruna Zagaria coming up with 12 points, 7 steals and 5 assists.
Lithuania and Croatia will compete for fifth place after they took wins against Belarus and Czech Republic. Ninth spot will be contested by Turkey and Latvia. The former beat Hungary and there was a memorable win for the Latvians who completed a derby double over Russia, having also taken them down in the Group Phase.
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