Spain Champions, Land Golden Sweep

25.08.2013

U18 WOMEN

10. Leticia Romero (Spain)
Leticia Romero was the standout player in the final, deservedly earning Tournament MVP honours

Turning Point: Ahead by a slender one point at 43-42 early in the fourth quarter Spain exploded with a 9-0 run which included a super ‘and-1' play by the outstanding Leticia Romero. The same player then sunk a go-ahead triple to give her team a 52-42 lead and the springboard for victory.

Game Heroes: Romero was sensational and the playmaker finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Maria Arrojo also produced the goods with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Stats Don't Lie: Few would have predicted Spain doing such a great job on the boards, but they won the battle on the glass 45-37. France also failed to break the 30% mark for floor shooting and failed to score 50 points for the only time in the tournament, which highlighted the hard work of the Spanish defence.

Spain sealed a stunning and historical golden summer after they climbed to the top of the podium at the U18 European Championship Women after seeing off neighbours France 60-46 in Vukovar.

Lifting their first title at the event since 2009, Victor Lapena and his players completed a spectacular clean sweep of gold medals at all four European women's events this summer.

With EuroBasket Women and both the U16 and U20 Championships safely in the trophy cabinet, a remarkable quadruple always looked a distinct possibility due to their good form, but they were pushed hard by Les Bleues.

Having fallen behind 18-8 after the first quarter, it looked as if one-way traffic might continue, but France showed why they went into the game undefeated by displaying great resilience.

They found some offensive rhythm and they were in raptures when Clementine Morateur converted from long-range to put them ahead 23-21.

Both teams then slugged it out in an engrossing couple of middle quarters and it was only during the last 10 minutes that Spain managed to finally crack a resolute and tough French nut - with the terrific Romero always at the heart of the action.

Morateur finished with 17 points and five rebounds for the silver medallists.

 


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