Spain Punish Italy, Win Sixth Straight
Spain grabbed top honours in Group F of the U20 European Championship Men as Xavier Rey and Pau Ribas combined for 45 points in leading Spain to a 89-75 victory over co-hosts Italy.
The undefeated Spaniards used a 28-13 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to blow the game wide open in front of the home Italian crowd in Gorizia.
Rey collected 24 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots and Ribas had 21 points for Spain, who will next face Russia in Saturday's semi-finals.
Sergio Llull added 14 points and Marc Fernandez chipped in 11 for Juan Antonio Orenga's side, which collected their sixth straight victory of the tournament.
Italy, who were undefeated coming into the match, face Group E winners and reigning champions Serbia on Saturday.
Luigi Da Tome scored 22 points and Davide Bruttini added 14, but it was not enough for Pino Sacripanti's team.
Italy built an early 11-point lead - 26-15 - before finishing the first quarter up 26-17. The lead was 35-27 before Spain used a 10-4 run to close the half down just 39-37.
The co-hosts started falling behind and Bruttini's dunk made it 55-53 for Spain with 2:20 to play in the third. But Orenga's troops turned up their defence and led 63-55 going into the fourth quarter.
And they forced Italy into missing 10 of their first 13 shots in the first eight minutes of the fourth period and four turnovers in opening an 80-64 lead.
Spain would eventually push the lead to 17 in the final minute.