Turkey Champions!

07.08.2005

Playing in front of 2,300 spectators at the Municipal Pavilon in Leon, Spain, Turkey completed their second victory over France in the Termosteps U16 European Championship Men to claim the gold medal.

The final proved to be just as close as the first match-up between the two sides, in which Turkey overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to edge the contest, 67-66.

It was a similar story just 4 days later, as France's lead stretched to double figures in the third period, but within 2 minutes of the final quarter, the scores were tied 47-47.

However, this time the difference proved to be Turkey's Gökper Gen.

The 185 cm guard did not play at all during Turkey's semi-final win over Spain, but produced an inspirational 60 seconds in the final to lead his side to glory.

It was Gen's three-point shot with 2:54 to play which gave Turkey a small lead, 53-56.

France reduced the lead back to 1 point with a Christophe Leonard jump shot, but Gen responded magnificently on the next play, nailing another trey to put Turkey up by 4 points, 55-59.

With just under 30 seconds remaining, France were still within reach, but it was Gen who snuffed out their final chance.

He came up with a steal from a poor pass by Romain Schaal and went the length of the court for a lay-up which sealed the win for Turkey, 55-61.

Gen finished with 15 points, 8 of which came in the last minute. Can Özcan added 13 points and 7 rebounds.

Antoine Diot led France with 15 points.


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