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Serbia take down favorites France to celebrate second FIBA Women's EuroBasket title
VALENCIA (Spain) - Serbia have been crowned FIBA Women's EuroBasket champions for a second time after they completed a 63-54 success against France to repeat their 2015 Final triumph against their opponents.
Strong favorites to end their streak of silver medals, France had to settle for second place again after suffering a fifth successive Final defeat in the competition.
Turning point: After a torrid first half offensively when they trailed by double-digits, France looked to have hauled themselves back into the contest and established a foothold when they cut the gap to five points. However, Serbia regained control at the start of the second half as they came out with a stunning 12-2 run and never looked back.
Game heroes: Sonja Vasic was a colossus as usual and fittingly led her team with a standout contribution of 12 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Tina Krajisnik also added a super 13 rebounds.
Stats don't lie: The final tally of 54 points speaks volumes for the defense of Serbia and the poor night offensively for France. Serbia forced their rivals into 19 turnovers, while taking great care of the ball themselves.
Bottom line: The nightmare of losing Finals continued for France who were almost universally picked by everyone to get the job done this time. However, they didn't fire on the night despite a loaded roster and succumbed to the relentless defense of Serbia. The big question was whether Serbia had enough left in the tank energy-wise after some strength-sapping games in the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals. They answered with a resounding yes and head back to Belgrade as champions for a second time - led proudly by the legendary Sonja Vasic.
They Said: "Firstly congratulations to France for winning another medal and for the continuity they have shown for their national team. We knew that if we controlled the game and did the small things then it would be one of our easier games of this tournament. Because we could relax and enjoy it, we were not under any pressure. Finally a lot of ourplayers were shining. It is a dream come true for this generation to finish the story like this," Serbia forward and MVP, Sonja Vasic