|14 August 2009|
By Yarone Arbel
The list of semi-finalist is set and done after Spain won the fourth ticket with a 57-41 win over Turkey in the last Quarter-Final game of the Omnitel U16 European Championship Men.
Spain will face Serbia, who eliminated Russia earlier today, in hopes of return to the finals of the U16 European Championship after making it in 2006 and 2007 but missing it last year.
The two teams have already faced each other in this tournament.
Spain won 92-90 after a big thriller in the Group F games, and will try to recreate such a result tomorrow.
Spain is also the fourth team to obtain a ticket to Hamburg, Germany where the U17 European Championship will take place next year.
Turkey wrote their tournament low at the worst time, and will have to settle for the 5-8 classification games, where they'll meet Russia.
Daniel Diez led Spain with 16 points, Jorge Sanz had 11 points and four steals while Jaime Fernandez added ten points.
Big man Berkay Candan had 14 points with four steals while Erbil Eroglu finished with 13 as Spain had only six players who scored the entire game.
"I'm very happy and not for the victory, but for the way we played and executed the game plan," said Spanish head coach Diego Ocampo.
Spain's defense locked any chance of Turkey to take over the game, although the teams were tied for almost three quarter.
Eroglu dominated in the first minutes to make it a 9-4 game, but Spain had the final say with Diez and finish the quarter up 14-12.
Candan continued to score from the inside for Turkey, but his team couldn't score from long distance and missed all eight shots behind the arc in the first half.
Fernando Cerqueira showed how to make it done with the last bucket of the half, which tied the game at 22-22.
Turkey were the first to grab a small lead after the break, but Fernandez and Diez put Spain on top once more, 35-34, with 13 minutes to play.
Sanz hit twice in a row from three point land to push the margin to 43-34 at the end of the third, but Turkey weren't giving up yet.
Mert Damirel scored from long range to cut the margin to only seven, 47-40, with 5:23 to go and it all seemed like an open game, but then Spain sang the final tone.
Fernandez scored first and then Mikel Motos stepped up.
He hit back-to-back corner three pointers, added a big offensive rebounds, which helped set the score on 55-41 and put an end of the Turkish hopes.
'We know Motos is a very good shooter, and when he score those shots he helped us to win this game," said Ocampo.
"Serbia is a very-very difficult team that we know very well because we faced them here already and also earlier this year in a friendly tournament.
"We'll have to play better than we did to day to win tomorrow."