Spain Better Serbia In 2007 Finals Rematch


Spain got a measure of revenge by beating the defending champions Serbia 76-64 in the U18 European Championship for Women.

Serbia had crushed Spain 72-48 in last year's final to take the crown but they weren't able to repeat the feat as Spain's early run in the second half proved the turning point of this Group F clash.

The Spaniards opened the third quarter with nine unanswered points to turn a 34-25 half-time deficit into a 34-31 lead and they then stayed in front the rest of the way.

Leonor Rodriguez had a team-high 17 points and got all the help she needed from Marta Xargay (13 points, nine rebounds, three assists) and Vega Gimeno (10 points 11 rebounds) as Carlos Colinas's girls sent the reigning champions to their second defeat of the tournament.

Spain took a 13-9 lead on Xargay's three-pointer but Jovana Popovic then helped Serbia reel off 14 unanswered points to lead 22-13 in the early stages of the second period.

Rodriguez and Gimeno got last year's runners-up off to a quick start in the third quarter and passed on the baton to Isabel Perez and Marta Tudanca as Spain took a 55-45 lead heading into the final frame.

Sara Krnjic and Popovic did their best to cut the deficit to five, 65-60, midway through the fourth quarter, but that is as close as they got. Reserve Christina Ouvina provided a late spark to put seal the win for Spain.

Popovic finished with a game-high 20 points and Krnjic had 14 points and 17 rebounds for Serbia, who were hampered by foul trouble for Tina Jovanovic.


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