A monstrous double-double of 30 points and 12 rebounds by center Nikola Mirotic guided Spain to a hard fought 69-66 victory against France to secure top spot in Group F at the U20 European Championship Men 2010.
Having opened up their tournament with a shock loss to Germany without the services of the injured Mirotic and having lost their previous game against Russia on his return, Spain have still managed to come out as the best team in Makarska.
This performance by Mirotic will certainly act as a big warning for the other teams with their eyes on the podium ahead of the action Zadar although head coach Juan Antonio Orenga is just pleased to see his team having recovered after their bad start in the tournament.
"It was tough game since the French have the best defence at this Championship. We really had to make a big effort and this must continue now," said Orenga.
"We had a bad start but a good finish and we are happy to finish first in our group."
It was certainly a successful return to the court for Spain having lost their previous game against Russia although they allowed some big leads during the game to evaporate having led by 15 points in the early stages at 26-11.
To their credit, France finally shifted up the gears offensively after struggling in their previous two games and with their defence as impressive as ever, they were able to push Spain right to the buzzer.
They still trailed 56-45 in the final quarter but scored 11 straight points to tie the game up with five minutes left. France then sneaked into the lead with 90 seconds remaining but Spain made their foul shots down the stretch to take victory.
Andrew Albicy had 15 points, 8 assists and 4 steals for France who will now face Ukraine in the quarter-finals.