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.
Evaristo Perez is new to the EuroBasket, but he’s looked like a veteran campaigner in leading the Spanish to a gold medal game showdown against Russia.
Spain's coach spoke to Cindy Garcia-Bennett after his team’s semi-final triumph over Belarus.
Spain’s women have finally broken their final four jinx and reached the gold medal game after semi-final defeats at the three previous EuroBaskets.
If they are to win a EuroBasket title for the first time since 1993, they will have to do something the men couldn’t do three weeks ago in Madrid and that is beat Russia.
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