Spain Capture Bronze


For the third time ever Spain has won the bronze medal in the U20 European Championship Men after a 91-72 victory over Turkey on Sunday night in Riga.

This generation of Spain also won the bronze medal two years ago in the 2006 U18 European Championship.

On the losing side, just like two years ago, was Turkey who couldn't match-up with the Spanish energy.

Spain took off already in the second quarter, and decided the game with a 10-0 run late in the third which separated the teams by 20.

This medal joins three silver medals in past Young Men tournaments that Spain won, the last of them last year.

Pere Thomas led Spain with 20 points, all of them already in the first 30 minutes. Sergio De La Fuente added 18, as well as Victor Claver who added seven rebounds.

Baris Hersek led Turkey with 16 points and five rebounds and Azizcar Ozdemir scored 12 with seven rebounds.

"It was very difficult to recover from the loss yesterday, but we made a big work today, put a lot of energy and it was very important for us to get this medal," said Marc Rubio after the game.

"This win has nothing to do with any play or basket I made during the game. It's all about team effort and working together for the win."

Thomas showed his great activity all over the floor in the first quarter to help Spain enter the last two minutes of the quarter tied at 15-15.

Two consecutive long range hits by Raimundo Lopez set the score on 21-15 after ten minutes, but that was just the tip of the Spanish run.

De La Fuente, who scored 11 points in the second quarter, started his run and Lopez hit once more from long range to make it 31-17.

Dogus Balbay and Hersek collected points so it won't be too late, but Claver had the last say of the half to set the half time score on 45-32.

Spain's lead surfed around the mid teens until Melih Yildiz knocked it down twice in a row from long range behind good ball movement by the Turkish offense.

Thomas presented his versatility with his third three-ball made it double-digits again, but Turkey wasn't about to give up yet.

More hustle and long range hit by Mustafa Gorur set the difference on ten, but then came Marc Rubio and nothing was the same again.

A huge tip-in between the Turkish big guys followed by a catch-and-shoot three pointer led a 10-0 run which doubled Spain's lead to 20, 70-50, at the end of the third quarter.

From that pit Turkey could not escape.

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