|Daria Kolosovskaia played all 40 minutes for Russia to pick up 17 points, including a clutch three down the stretch|
Spain will relinquish their U18 European Championship Women crown after they were beaten 65-59 in a gripping semi-final clash against a joyous Russia in Matosinhos.
Turning Point: While Russia made a couple of dagger three-pointers in the last 90 seconds, it was arguably the triple of Kseniia Levchenko which brought the game level at 49 that gave them the belief to win. It was most significant because at the time, the playmaker was shooting an eye-watering 25% and the shot-clock was ticking down - but she made it.
Game Heroes: Daria Kolosovskaia claimed an efficient 17 points, hit a big shot and grabbed four steals. Meanwhile Tatiana Sema had a wonderful 10 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three blocks.
Stats Don't Lie: Spain shot 31.8% from inside the perimeter and only 13.6% outside it which wasn't good enough in a semi-final.
In a highly-charged opening salvo by both teams, Russia found their range early from outside as a couple of triples put the Russians 12-8 ahead as Spain had to be content with a succession of mid-range shots.
Salvadores made an exquisite reverse lay-up and put her team in the lead, but Russia accumulated the next nine points, including an ‘and-1' play by Zhosselina Maiga as they moved 21-13 in front.
With Spain scoreless for almost five minutes, Salvadores stopped the rot for Spain with an ‘and-1' play of her own and it initiated seven unanswered points, with more joy as the dangerous Maiga hit the bench after a third foul.
Spain then turned screw at both ends of court with plenty to offer for the highlights reel after some brilliant passing and ball movement as they scored the last nine points of the half to lead 32-28.
With Maiga back from foul trouble, Russia tied the contest but Spain were soon back on top and 44-39 ahead going into the last quarter with Salvadores and Teresa Cazorla both converting from the perimeter.
It was soon locked up at 49 after the big three from the wing by Levchenko and in crunch time, Russia made some monstrous plays to seal the deal.
Tatiana Sema produced a huge block and after Maiga scored inside, Anastasia Kuplinova and Daria Kolosovskaia both rained down triples to see Russia home and spark triumphant scenes on the final buzzer.