Sweden Clinch Bronze

30.07.2006

Sweden capped a stunning 10 days at the Umcor U18 European Championship Women with a 62-57 win against Czech Republic to win the bronze medal.

"Our goal was to stay in the A group and not go back to the B group," said point guard Frida Eldebrink on her side's aspirations going into the competition.

The Eldebrink sisters celebrating
Frida Eldebrink celebrates a remarkable Swedish performance in Tenerife
Instead, Sweden began the tournament with an upset win against Russia and followed that up with wins against Spain and Turkey to qualify to the last eight.

Although Sweden didn't make the final, a bronze medal was a just result for a team that proved to be the surprise of the tournament.

The Eldebrink twins once again carried the team on their shoulders against the Czechs.

Elin had 16 of her 18 points in the first half, and Frida scored 10 of her 20 in a clutch fourth quarter display.

In a tight contest, Czech Republic led for 30 minutes, but were never able to establish a major lead.

Sweden were always within striking distance and when Elin Eldebrink hit a a jumper to open the fourth quarter, the scores were tied at 47-47.

Katerina Bartonova replied for Czech Republic, but a three-point play from Frida Grahn gave Sweden their first lead of the game, 50-49.

The lead then changed hands four times, with Frida Eldebrink hitting two huge three-pointers, the second of which tied up the score at 56-56.

With 1:18 to go, Louice Halvarsson put Sweden up by two points and then the Eldebrinks provided the final dagger.

Elin rebounded a missed Bartonova three and found an open Frida for her third three of the quarter to give Sweden a 61-56 lead with just 42 seconds to go.

"I just threw it away and I don't know, I didn't really think about it," said Frida of her game winning shot.

Bartonova then missed another three, and fittingly, it was Frida Elebrink who iced the game, and the bronze medal, for Sweden from the free throw line. 


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