U20 WOMEN DIV. B
|Julie Vanloo with her MVP award|
Backcourt star Julie Vanloo was crowned MVP of the U20 European Championship Women Division B, as she added the coveted individual recognition to the gold medal she had already scooped for leading Belgium to first place in Albena.
Vanloo was voted for the accolade after some inspirational and consistent performances for her team from start to finish. She ended up as the leading scorer in the tournament with 20.4 points-per-game, but most impressively, did so with the best field goal percentage.
She was joined in the All Tournament Team by her colleague Hanne Mestdagh, who averaged a sparkling tournament double-double, with an average of 13.8 points and 10.1 rebounds each time she hit the hardwood.
Joining her in the paint and also in the team were Monika Satoranska of Czech Republic and Guna Lagzdina of Latvia. Both players were instrumental in helping their teams join Belgium in gaining promotion to Division A, with both also delivering double-double displays across the competition.
Satoranska finished with a magnificent 13.9 points and 11.1 rebounds-per-game, whilst Lagzdina excelled in a big way on the glass, finishing with double-digit rebound returns during seven of her eight outings which resulted in her being the top rebounder.
The last member of the All-Tournament Team was Romanian star Sonia Ursu, who despite being part of a team who lost all eight games to finish bottom of the pile, still showed her class with some fine all-action displays. She averaged 15.9 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists-per-game.
With all of the promotion spots already confirmed ahead of the last day of action, it was mainly pride on the line. But, Romania blew their chance of finally picking up a first win at the last attempt, when they were defeated 67-59 by Israel. It had looked like Romania might be on course for victory, but they were outscored 22-10 in the last ten minutes, as some sharp perimeter shooting by Sapir Tirosh, who buried five triples, helped get Israel home.
Great Britain could not find a win during their first six games, but just like waiting for London busses, two came along almost at once, as they followed up their first success on Saturday with a 65-61 win against Portugal. However, it was not straightforward, as the Brits blew a 20-point lead in the game before recovering with another strong finish as both Shequila Joseph and Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby reached double-figures in points and boards.
Vanloo cemented her MVP status on the last day by wrapping up her participation at the event with a flourish by sinking 21 points in a 79-52 win against F.Y.R. of Macedonia. The guard was on fire from distance, dropping four triples from just five attempts - the same numbers produced from the perimeter by Lien Delmulle.
Finally and perhaps fittingly, the hosts signed off with an excellent win for the locals in the crowd as they shot down Latvia 74-71 in an entertaining contest. Bulgaria looked to be slipping to a loss buy they finished with the last nine points of the game to take a fine win. Hristina Tyutyundzhieva amassed 15 points and ten rebounds, whilst Borislava Hristova top-scored with 18 points.