Overtime Thriller Crowns San Marino

20.07.2013

U18 MEN

10. Julian Gualtieri (San Marino), 14. Igor Biordi (San Marino)
Julian Gualtieri and Igor Biordi with the trophy and their individual awards

Spectators at the U18 European Championship Men Division C were treated to a stunningly fast and high-scoring finale as San Marino edged out Moldova 103-100 following overtime.

Two points separated the teams at the half as San Marino were leading 43-41.

In the third frame it looked like San Marino would make a decisive push as they took a 65-54 lead after thirty minutes.

But Moldova had different plans. They produced a fantastic 37-26 fourth quarter, even going as far as briefly holding the lead at 86-87 on a Vladislav Solopa jump shot.

If San Marino were shocked, they responded well and regained the lead quickly, only for Solopa to send the game into overtime with two free-throws with time already up.

In overtime, Moldova took a 100-94 lead and with momentum on their side, looked like sure winners.

Alberto Gambuti had different plans however, and scored the last six points of the game to crown San Marino champions.

The up-tempo game was also the story of two players who stood out from their teams: Solopa scored half of his team's points at 50, adding 11 rebounds in 45 minutes of action.

He was outclassed however, by Julian Gualtieri of San Marino, who scored 54, adding five assists and four rebounds.

The duo was also voted into the All Tournament Team for their outstanding performances throughout the championship.

Solopa led the tournament in scoring at an incredible 37.5 points-per-game while Gualtieri was second in this category with 27.

They were joined by Gualtieri's teammate Igor Biordi as well as Moldova's Piotr Liulenov and Monaco's Alessandro Generale, who came in third in the points-per-game category at 21.3.

the All Tournament Team: Vladislav Solopa (Moldova), Piotr Liulenov (Moldova), Julian Gualtieri (San Marino), Igor Biordi (San Marino) and Alessandro Generale (Monaco)
the All Tournament Team: Vladislav Solopa (Moldova), Piotr Liulenov (Moldova), Julian Gualtieri (San Marino), Igor Biordi (San Marino) and Alessandro Generale (Monaco)

Gualtieri was voted MVP, which came as no surprised after having propelled his team to gold in the final.

Earlier in the day, Andorra clinched bronze by dealing Monaco a 70-50 defeat behind a nice all-round cameo by Eduard Fernandez who needed only 19 minutes to collect seven points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

The opening two quarters saw completely reversed storylines as first Andorra opened a 22-7 lead after ten minutes just to see Monaco turn things around with a 22-8 second quarter.

In the third stanza, the hosts were able to remember what they had done in the opening frame and increased the lead to double-digits again - 53-40 - after 30 minutes.

They never allowed Monaco back into the game and finished the tournament at home in high spirits and with silverware around their necks.

10 players wrote their name on the scoreboard for Andorra while Alessandro Generale scored more than half of Monaco's points with 27 in defeat.


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