|29 July 2012|
By Jared Grellet
|Marc Garcia did most of the damage for Spain once more with 21 points and 5 rebounds|
Turning Point: Carlos Martinez leads Spain on an 8-3 run with with just over two minutes to play, allowing the Spaniards to relax easy in the final minutes.
Game Hero: Marc Garcia. Eights points in the final frame to finish with 21.
Stats Don't Lie: Spain picked up 18 points from turnovers, compared to Croatia's seven.
Spain have ended the Dadu U16 European Championship on a high note, defeating Croatia 79-72 to finish in seventh position.
In yet another tight finish at Siemens Arena, Croatia were guilty once more of fading when it mattered. Sticking with Spain for three quarters, Croatia could not finish, making just one-of-eight three-point attempts in the final frame.
Not for the first time in this Championship, Croat Marko Arapovic was having a productive opening quarter, scoring 13 points to help his team hold onto a slender two-point lead at the end of the frame.
Neither team was was giving an inch in the second quarter as the lead switched hands on 10 occasions. When the half arrived Croatia's lead was at one.
Croatian starting forward Leon Tomic had his game cut short early in third quarter, receiving a cut to his face that required medical attention. With Tomic off, Spain made their first major break of the game, building a nine-point lead.
But after sitting on the bench for the entire opening half, Antonio Vrankovic had a productive five minutes to end the third quarter, scoring seven points to put his team back in touch with the Spanish.
But when Spain broke away for a second time midway through the final frame, Croatia could not come back again.
Moving into a starting role after spending most of the tournament acting as Spain's sixth man, Marc Garcia once more topped Spanish scoring with 21 points. Carlos Martinez ended with 13 and Marc Bauza added 10 off the bench.
Arapovic topped all scoring with 24 points.