Spain Into Semi-Finals


Spain qualified for the semi-finals of the U18 European Championships with an 86-80 victory at the expense of Russia on Thursday.

The victory ensured Spain progressed second from Group F behind hosts Serbia & Montenegro who beat Israel 76-68.

Russia were competitive throughout and only allowed themselves to be beaten in the final quarter with the teams level at 61-61 at the end of third.

Jose Angel Antelo (Spain)
Jose Angel Antelo
Spain took the first period 23-20 but Russia edged ahead at the halfway mark by taking the second 22-18.

The Spanish took the third 20-19 to level the scores but the final quarter proved decisive with Spain taking it 25-19.

Jose Angel Antelo continued his marvellous tournament with a points haul of 26 and 14 rebounds.

The youngster from Santiago de Compostela included two three-pointers and six free throws in his personal haul and had excellent support from Albert Teruel (19), Xavier Rey Sanuy (18) and Sergio Llull (13).

Russia's top scorer was Yaroslav Korolev with 18 while Pavel Sergeev (14), Artur Urazmanov (14), Nikita Stepanenkov (11) and Anatoly Kashirov (10) all posted double digit hauls.

Spain coach Luis Guil said: "We beat very powerful opponents today. We managed to stop Korolev and Zavourev.

"My boys showed character, mental strength and a good playing style."

Disappointed Russia head coach Igor Korolev said: "Our key players got into foul problems very quickly and that left us making calculations which stopped us playing at our best - that is the main reason for our defeat."

Milenko Tepic (Serbia & Mont.)
Milenko Tepic
France signed off with an 83-58 win over Latvia who finish bottom of Group E.

France coach Richard Billant said: "This game wasn´t important for the final standings, but very important psychologically. After two defeats in a row, my players morale was very low.

"Our objective now must be to finish fifth."

For Serbia & Montenegro it was Nikola Dragovic and Milenko Tepic who starred with hauls of 19 and 18 points respectively while Vladimir Stimac poured in eight points and hauled down 13 rebounds against Israel.

Turkey beat Italy 85-69 with Cenk Akyol continuing to dazzle with a points haul of 23 and two rebounds.

Akyol has been outstanding in Belgrade and on Wednesday was called up into the Turkish senior squad for EuroBasket later this summer.


22.07.2005 - From Cindy Garcia-Bennett, PA International

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