U20 Women Quarter-Finals
|Vanessa Blé had a solid double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds as Spain overcame togh Ukrainians|
Spain passed their toughest test yet to reach the semi-finals of the U20 European Championship Women but only just as they finished the game on a 12-0 run to see off a determined Ukraine team 67-57.
Spain steamrollered their way through the preliminary and qualifying rounds in Zrenjanin to establish themselves as tournament favourites, but their first assignment in Novi Sad proved much tougher as Ukraine led most of the game despite star guard Alina Iagupova picking up four fouls in the first quarter alone.
Iagupova stayed in the game, but after she eventually fouled out with 4:04 to go, Spain capitalised with a late surge that carried them clear.
It closed out a second half in which they outscored Ukraine 45-28 to dig themselves out of a hole.
Iagupova's fourth foul came with 49.6 seconds left in the first quarter, but Yevheniy Filozof never showed any inclination to take her out of the game.
It appeared the right call as she scored 10 points, collected six rebounds and dished out five assists as Ukraine kept Spain at bay.
They led by as many as eight, 38-30, in the second quarter, and were up 55-49 early in the fourth after a three-pointer from Olga Maznichenko.
But Spain reeled off three quick baskets to tie it at 55-55 with 4:13 to go and the game changed moments later when Iagupova was called for a charge on Tanja Perez.
Olesia Malashenko would put Ukraine back on top, 57-55, with 3:36 to go, but it was the last basket they would score as Queralt Casas' three began a 12-0 run that killed off Ukraine.
Casas led Spain with 14 points while Leonor Rodriguez and Vanessa Ble had 12 each and Laura Gil added 11.
Malashenko scored 17 points for Ukraine while Krystana Matsko had 12 and Maznichenko 11.