Historic bronze for hosts Hungary as they surge past Mali
DEBRECEN (Hungary) - Hungary celebrated securing a first-ever medal at the U19 Women's World Cup as they overcame Mali in the battle for a historic bronze.
The hosts turned on the style in the final stages as they earned an 88-67 triumph to join the United States and Australia on the podium.
Turning point: It was an even start before Hungary used a 7-0 run across quarters to build a lead that quickly turned into a double-digit advantage. The hosts continued to push on, picking up an additional two-point advantage in the third period before racing ahead further before the final buzzer.
Game heroes: Julia Boros capped an impressive tournament for Hungary with a 25-point performance that included five three-pointers and 6 assists, while Reka Dombai put a tough shooting night in the Semi-Final behind her with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals to help Hungary to victory.
Stats don't lie: Once again, Mali struggled with their free throws, missing 10-of-18, whilst also committing 19 turnovers in the contest which Hungary converted into 28 points.
Bottom line: Home delight for Hungary as they earned a spot on the podium for the first time at the U19 Women's World Cup as they produced a convincing display on the final day. Not to be for Mali, but another step in the right direction for the team and Sika Kone, who had 25 points and 16 rebounds in a losing effort.
They said: "There are no words. I cannot explain my feelings now. We have no superstars, we played like a big family and when we had problems, we would always help each other. I'd like to thank everyone who helped us to reach this unbelievable result," - Hungary forward Reka Dombai.
Here is how the rest of the tournament unfolded on the final day in the Classification Rounds:
Czech Republic 61-72 Canada
Canada secured a fifth-placed finish as a dominant 23-5 start setting them up for a double-digit triumph against the Czech Republic. Yvonne Ejim led the way with 12 points and 13 rebounds for yet another double-double as Canada bounced back from two defeats in the Group Phase.
Spain 60-51 Russia
Spain bounced back from successive defeats as they recorded a nine-point victory over Russia. Spain used a strong start to gain a double-digit advantage and never trailed with Anastasiia Kosu not in action for Russia.
Japan 68-62 France
Two nations that earned medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at senior level, but could not quite live up to the same global standing in Debrecen. Japan had the final say this week with a six-point success over France. Aika Hirashita's play and 23 points were the difference in this contest.
Italy 80-66 Egypt
Italy finished on a high with another win against Egypt in a repeat of their Group Phase clash. The European side trailed after 10 minutes but surged ahead through the middle periods on their way to a 14-point victory.
Chinese Taipei 50-55 Korea
Haeran Lee posted 14 points and 18 rebounds to help Korea overcome Chinese Taipei by a five-point margin to help the Koreans finish on a high. A low-scoring encounter, Korea did enough to open up a lead as large as 17 and then hold on for victory.
Brazil 63-69 Argentina
South American bragging rights went to Argentina in the battle of the 15-16 classification game. Argentina outscored Brazil 19-9 in the final period to take the win. In another impressive individual effort, Maisa Pereira poured in 17 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists for Brazil.