Turkey Fightback Too Much For Spain


Turkey staged a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback to upset Spain 74-72 at the OSTCHEM U20 European Championship Women in Sopron.

Isil Alben (Turkey)
Isil Alben (Turkey)
Isil Alben had 20 points and came up with five steals to lead a spirited defensive effort for the Turks, who bounced back from their 65-60 opening day Group C defeat to Russia.

The Spanish beat Poland on Day One and looked to be headed for their second successive victory after taking a 67-57 lead with 4:24 remaining in the contest following a pair of free throws from Itziar Mallaviabarrena.

The wheels started to come off a minute later, however, when Silvia Dominguez fouled Bahar Caglar and the power forward sank both attempts from the line to cut the deficit to eight.

More importantly, it began a 13-0 spurt for Turkey that propelled them to victory.

Caglar followed that up with a jump shot just 17 seconds later and then Melike Bakircioglu picked off a pass from Dominguez and took it in for a lay-up to make it 67-63.

Bakircioglu added a pair of free throws and then Alben's lay-up tied the contest with 1:39 to play to take the Turkish run to 10 points.

After another Spanish miss, Turkey went to the other end and Bakircioglu split two from the stripe with 57 seconds to play to give Ayhan Avcia's side a lead that seemed improbable just three minutes before and they never trailed again.

Dominguez again turned the ball over with another bad pass and Alben added another lay-up for a three-point lead.

Spain had their chances at the end.

Anna Cruz trimmed the deficit back to 70-69 after a jumper but the Spaniards fouled Alben and when she made the first of two free throws but missed the second, Turkey's Hande Kayalar grabbed the offensive rebound.

Spain ended up fouling Bakircioglu, who made two free throws for a 73-69 lead and the Turks kept their noses in front for the remainder of the game.

Jordi Fernandez's side, who had thrashed Poland in their first game, got 18 points and four assists from Dominguez.

Spain face Russia on Sunday while Turkey take on Poland.

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