U20 Women Semi-Finals
|Vanessa Blé pulled down 11 rebounds for Spain, 5 of them on the offensive glass as Spain romped to victory|
Spain were back to their devastating best as they brushed aside hosts Serbia in ruthless fashion to reach the U20 European Championship Women with a 75-38 win.
After struggling in the quarter-finals before eventually seeing off Ukraine, Spain ensured there was no doubt it would be they who advanced to face Russia in the final with a thoroughly dominant performance in which they hussled and harried their opponents into early submission.
Serbia were essentially in the contest for only seven minutes - a tense opening that left the teams locked together at 4-4, but a three-pointer from Vega Gimeno was swiftly followed by a lay-up from Laura Gil and then Queralt Casas' steal and lay-up gave Spain an 11-4 bulge - seven points coming in the space of 40 seconds after it had taken seven minutes to score the first four.
A score on the buzzer from Gimeno at the end of the first period saw the lead grow to 16-6.
Serbia could not make any inroads in the second quarter as Serbia dominated on the boards, and trailed 40-20 at the break. It only got worse when the game restarted as Spain began the third period on a 13-0 run, with Serbia failing to score for six minutes until Kaja Stankovic's lay-up stopped the rot.
That was hardly a sign of better fortunes to come, though, as Serbia could not deal with Spain's speed despite their size advantage, and they found themselves 61-24 down at the end of the third quarter, ensuring the Spanish could cruise to the finish.
Gimeno led Spain with 16 points, while Leonor Rodriguez added 11 and Casas had 10 points, 11 rebounds and six steals.
Vanessa Ble also came up with 11 boards, while Amaya Gastaminza added eight, contributing to a 61-39 Spanish advantage on the glass - with 39 of the rebounds coming on the offensive end.
Sara Krnjic led Serbia with 14 points while Tijana Ajdukovic had 12.