28 June, 2014
06 July
Players (USA)
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FIBA U17W - USA and Spain set up a Final repeat

PILSEN/KLATOVY (FIBA U17 World Championship for Women) - The USA will once again get to defend their FIBA U17 World Championship for Women crown against Spain after both sides won their respective Semi-Finals to maintain their perfect records and set up a repeat of the 2012 Final in Amsterdam.

Spain proved to be simply too good for hosts Czech Republic as they booked their place in Sunday's Final. Their swarming defense was the key factor in a one-sided 73-41 win as Angela Salvadores claimed six steals and captain Maite Cazorla contributed 13 points.

The United States needed a strong defensive effort in the second half of their clash with Hungary to see them off 91-63 and return to the title game for the third time in as many editions of the Championship. Katie Lou Samuelson had the hot hand early on, hitting six three-pointers in the first quarter alone, on her way to a game-high 25 points. 

On Sunday, the USA will go in search of their third U17 crown when they face Spain in the Final at 20:15 CET/Local time (GMT +2). Hungary will face European rivals Czech Republic in the Third-Place Game at 18:00. Both games are available to watch for free (registration required; no purchase necessary) on LiveBasketball.tv.

Spain v Czech Republic
In a re-match of a very tight final of the U16 European Championship Women last year, the Spaniards got onto the front foot early and never relinquished control in a superb display.

They were up 8-0 when Salvadores made one of the plays of the tournament by executing an exquisite reverse assist.

After almost five minutes without scoring, the hosts finally got rolling via a three-pointer by Petra Holesinska, but it didn't slow down Spain at the other end of the floor with captain Maite Cazorla leading by example.

They continued to dominate and led 21-4 after 10 minutes, keeping the accelerator pushed down hard in the second period and brutally punishing Czech Republic, who wilted under the defensive intensity.

Converting a flurry of fast-break scores from turnovers, Spain amassed a super 15 steals to build a 40-25 advantage heading to the locker rooms at the break and with one foot already firmly in the Final.

The home fans dreamed of a salvage mission after the interval and it duly arrived as the Czech players almost cut the deficit in half at 42-29, with Michaela Matuskova laying down a new defensive attitude and Julia Reisingerova getting supporters out of their seats with a monstrous block.

But, the renaissance was all too brief as Laia Raventos drilled a big triple to quell the fight back and restore Spain's authority which helped them cruise over the finishing line in the last quarter.

USA v Hungary
Samuelson's shooting display was the highlight for the reigning champions and resulted in her becoming the USA player with the most three-pointers in any FIBA U17 World Championship for Women game.

Despite her impressive shooting clinic, Hungary still managed to just about hang tough in a free-flowing opening period, down just 32-26 thanks to some big shots from Debora Dubei.

Samuelson didn't score in the second period, but the USA stayed in front as Joyner Holmes stepped up. The Hungarians though prevented them from racing away by pushing the ball hard in transition and were within striking distance, trailing 46-39 at half-time.

After the break, the Americans began to press harder defensively as they looked to establish more daylight with their opponents  and the strategy worked as Hungary began to struggle to cope.

Asia Durr began to pull the strings and threatened to push the margin for USA over twenty points, but Dubei converted from long-range to get her team within 15 with 1:30 left in the third quarter.

But however hard the Hungarians fought to get back in contention, the two-time reigning champions simply had too much depth and pulled away even further in the last period.

Durr finished with 17 points and six assists.

Dubei paced Hungary with 16 points, while Virag Kiss had a dozen.

Classification Games
and Canada will fight it out for fifth place on the final day of the tournament after beating France and Japan respectively, who will have to settle on a duel for seventh place.

Mikaela Brewer had a night to remember as she top-scored for Canada with 17 points and hit a buzzer-beating triple to hand her team a thrilling last-gasp 46-45 victory.

The Sapphires strolled past Les Bleues 65-48, with Tahlia Tupaea producing a six of seven shooting display to garner 13 points.

There was a major slice of history for Mexico who achieved their first-ever success at the event with a 76-70 win against Egypt - thanks mainly to a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds from Claudia Ramos. It also proved the perfect birthday gift from his players for head coach Israel Zermeno.

Italy bounced back from their loss to Mali on Friday by waltzing past the Slovak Republic 58-37, while Brazil just edged past China 48-44. Korea secured successive victories after beating Mali 76-68, with Ji-Su Park going for 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Djeneba N'Diaye had 28 points and eight steals in defeat.