There is a sense of Déjà vu in the air as Spain and Italy lock horns in the title game of the U18 European Championship Women 2010 in Poprad, Slovakia.
These teams are for their biggest part the same two groups who met in the U16 Championship in Katowice, Poland in 2008. Spain won that game, 71-59 and the trophy.
|Queralt Casas certainly remembers well the U16 final two years ago|
But two years in life and especially in basketball can certainly make a lot of difference and both opponents are aware of that.
"Then it was then and now it is a something else," added her wisdom Italy's Nene Diene adding that there certainly is an added motivation in the Azzure to avenge that result.
By the numbers
Here is some numbers to add some background to today's big game:
Both teams have reached the final undefeated. Italy saw off Slovenia two times in the tournament, while Italy had to twice overcome the resistance of France...
Spain have finished on the podium in four of the five U18 European Championships since the tournaments became an annual event in 2004. It was indeed in Slovakia (Nitra) in 2008 when Spain failed to make the semi-finals.
It was 16 years ago in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria when Italy last won a medal (a gold) in the U18 age group. That team featured a certain Francesca Zara...
Debora Carangelo led Italy in the Katowice final two years ago with 17 points. Carangelo was injured in Italy's first game in Poprad and has not played since.
In the Katowice final Spain guard Queralt Casas came off the bench in that game to lead all scorers with 25 points. These days Casas is a starting five member and she is a defender on special missions and an all-rounder and could prove the catalyst in a game with no favourites.
Both teams score an average of exactly 67 points per game... Spain hold a slight advantage in rebounding with an average of 42 per game against Italy's 39... The two teams have almost identical averages for assists, turnovers and steals two!