Turning Point: Right in the middle of the third quarter, when Italy was starting to come back, Laura Quevedo made two three-pointers to assure a 22-point lead. Italy continued fighting, but Spain was just too far away.
Game Hero: 15-year-old Angela Salvadores scored 20 points on a near-perfect shooting performance, making four of six two-pointers and three of five three-pointers.
Stats Don't Lie: Italy led in the match for only 47 seconds. Spain took the lead with 2:27 minutes into the game and never looked back.
|Spain captured their eighth gold medal in the history of the U16 European Championship Women.|
Spain put a spell on a fully-crowed Generali Arena, conquering the U16 European Championship Women title, after defeating Italy in the Final, 70-49.
The Spaniards were off to a great start, as the team made four of their seven three-point attempts in the first quarter to establish a 13-point lead, 23-10.
Cecilia Zandalasini found no space in the Spanish defensive, as Evaristo Perez called Laia Clavero and, later, Itsaso Conde to stop the Italian leader.
As for the Italian point guards, they faced big problems to surpass the pressure executed by Laia Flores and Elena Capella.
Spain's Angela Salvadores showed her shooting abilities during the second quarter and Italy changed their defence from man-to-man to zone.
Coach Roberto Riccardi was expecting to surprise Spain with his team's defensive options, but the Spaniards kept scoring, finding their way to the basket and hitting their three-pointers.
Italy avoided turnovers, but their shooting percentage was dangerously lowering.
At half time, Spain led by 20 points, 40-20.
Zandalasini proved why she was chosen Tournament MVP during the third quarter.
In the first minutes, she scored both from outside and inside, fed her teammates with assists, stole the ball, carrying her team to what would have been a dreamy comeback.
But Laura Quevedo brought an end to the Italian hopes with two three-pointers, with 5:33 to play in the third quarter.
Italy changed their defence once again, to a 1-3-1 zone that was expected to stop the Spanish outside shot, while Spain changed from zone to individual defence, with Laia Clavero, again, trying to stop Zandalasini, who finished the tournament's best play with a coast-to-coast reverse lay-up.
Spain had more options and was able to find ways to score.
Besides Salvadores, Laia Flores' 18 points and Laura Quevedo's 12 were key to keep the Italian defence in continuous danger.
In the Italian team, Zandalasini did it all, finishing with 19 points, 12 rebounds and two assists.
Alessia Cabrini's 10 points for Italy and Nogaye Lo Sylla's eight points and eight rebounds for Spain were also remarkable.
Spain clinched their eight U16 European Championship Women title, while Italy grabbed their sixth silver medal in the history of the tournament.