A sparkling double-double of 20 points and 15 rebounds by Nikola Mirotic propelled Spain to a thrilling 86-79 win over Croatia as they secured themselves a podium finish by beating the hosts to third spot in a pulsating overtime game at the U20 European Championship Men 2010 in Zadar.
With the contest drifting listlessly towards a comfortable win for Spain who held a double-figure lead after three-quarters, Croatia finally exploded into life and launched a final quarter perimeter onslaught which almost cost Spain dearly.
There was a real sense of deja vu at the U20 European Championship Men 2010 in Zadar after France claimed a terrific 86-83 win over Spain in a superbly entertaining encounter to set up a repeat of last years tournament final against Greece.
In an absorbing and compelling contest from tip to buzzer, France were impressive defensively as usual and had many important contributors offensively, though none were more influential than team leader Andrew Albicy or Paul Lacombe who emerged as the hero in the late stages.
Spain showcased their strength in depth and defensive capabilities at the U20 European Championship Men 2010 in Croatia after Joan Sastre exploded for 19 points off the bench to help seal a comfortable 64-50 success against Montenegro and set up a semi-final clash with France.
The Spanish team locked down Montenegro in the paint and also made life tough for their shooters in the second half as they put the defensive squeeze on to eventually coast to an comfortable victory.
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.
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