Anete Steinberga's two free throws with 3.5 seconds secured Latvia the bronze medal at the U20 European Championship for Women with a 53-49 victory over France, who failed to win a medal for the first time at a U20 women's event.
Steinberga scored 14 points, Sabine Niedola had 12 points and nine rebounds and Ieva Krastina hit all seven of her points in the final 12 minutes, helping Latvia to their third U20 women's bronze medal following 2005 and 2009.
Spain overcame a hostile crowd and playing the final five minutes without their coach to come back and beat hosts Latvia 56-52 to reach the final of the U20 European Championship for Women where they will play Russia for the gold medal.
Marta Xargay had 13 points, Amaya Gastaminza collected 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks and Leonor Rodriguez hit for 12 points including a big three-pointer later in the victory, which saw coach Lucas Mondelo get sent to the dressing room for a second technical foul.
Latvian women's basketball club Liepajas metalurgs usually draw a maximum of about 100 fans at the Liepajas Olimpiskais Centrs facility, but upwards of 3,000 spectators have come out for Latvia's games there at the U20 European Championship for Women.
One reason is locals wanting to see the Latvian national team. A bigger reason however may be to see possibly the farewell tour of Liepaja native Sabine Niedola.
Anete Klintsone hit a crucial three-pointer in the final minute as Latvia held off Turkey 64-57 to set up a semi-final showdown with Spain at the U20 European Championship for Women.
Klintsone had 17 points, five rebounds and four assists while Sabine Niedola collected 12 points and nine rebounds in Latvia's victory in Liepaja. Kristine Vitola added 13 points and Liene Priede chipped in 10 points.
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