Serbia Overwhelm Spain For Bronze

20.07.2008

Five players scored in double figures as Serbia beat Spain 73-46 to win third place at the U20 European Championship for Women.

Jelena Milovanovic led the way for Serbia with 17 points while Sonja Petrovic had 15 points,  Dragana Gobeljic 12 and Smiljana Ivanovic 11. And Iva Roglic chipped in 10 points and three blocked shots.

Serbia grabbed a 10-point lead in the first half despite Petrovic going scoreless for the first 19:38 of the game. The 2007 champions Spain used an 8-0 early third quarter spurt to pull within four points.

But the Serb defense locked down and held Spain without a basket for more than five minutes and surged to a 48-29 advantage with a 16-1 run. The 22-point lead after three period continued to grow in the fourth by as many as 28 points - 63-35.

Jael Freixanet was the only Spain player in double figures with 16 points while Anna Carbo scored just seven.

"Today our offense struggled against their defenSe and we could not hit many shots and they hit all of theirs. We gave our all throughout the tournament and we tried to reach down deep today but we just couldn't make the baskets. Everybody would like gold. But we tried our hardest," commented Carbo after the game.

Serbian coach Jovica Antonic believed the key for the success was his team's quick recovery after the dissapointment against Russia.

"We did a good job coming back from the shock against Russia, preparing very well for this match," he said.

"All the girls played at a high level and the defense was excellent. It was a great result for the Serbia team. Basketball sometimes comes down to one ball, and in the semi-final we left just one ball (Sonja Petrovic's lay-up attempt with six seconds to tie the game) and we lost. But we feel like winners."

In action earlier in the day: Ukraine captured fifth place with an 80-59 win over Latvia with Olena Samburska pouring in 25 points. Turkey held off Lithuania 69-66 to clinch seventh place as Bahar Yapar and Mehtap Gezer came off the bench to score 17 and 14 points, respectively.

Hosts Italy beat Czech Republic 69-67 for ninth place thanks to 17 points from Chiara Consolini. And Montenegro finished off their first ever Division A campaign by beating Belarus 73-67 to clinch 11th place. Snezana Aleksic paced the 2007 Division B champions Montenegro with 37 points, 11 rebounds and four assists as well as three steals.


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