Russia captured their second continental championship and booked a spot in the 2008 Olympics by holding off Spain 74-68 in Sunday's final of the 2007 EuroBasket Women, but not before they nearly blew a 21-point lead.
Ilona Korstin led the way for Russia with 18 points while Tatiana Shchegoleva chipped in 14 points off the bench including the decisive lay-up with 13 seconds remaining after Spain had missed a chance to trim the margin to two points 10 seconds earlier.
Spain didn’t capture gold but Amaya Valdemoro was rewarded for her terrific tournament and amazing performance in the final with the EuroBasket Women’s Most Valuable Player award.
Valdemoro had 26 points and eight rebounds as Spain battled back from a 20-point deficit at half-time to trail 69-65.
France power forward Sandrine Gruda was honoured with the 2006 FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year Award before the tip-off of Sunday's 2007 EuroBasket Women gold medal match between Russia and Spain.
The Cannes native, who just turned 20 in June, has already twice been named MVP of the French league while also helping Valenciennes to the 2006 Final Four of the Women EuroLeague. Gruda also competed for France at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Brazil, averaging 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds.