The last game in Group B saw Spain edge France 61-57 in the OMNITEL U18 European Championship held at the at the Siemens Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania on Thursday night.
With this win Spain is tied with Latvia for the first spot in the group with 1-0 before meeting Sweden tomorrow, while France dropped to 0-1 in hope to register a debut win against Latvia in Day 2.
|Francisco Guerra and Spain came away with a narrow win in a hard faught game|
France suffered from a terrible shooting day making only 1 three pointer in 14 attempts, while Spain wasn't too far in front with only 20% from the arc.
Spain saw two players top their scoring sheet in Alejandro Barrera and Joan Tomas making 15 points each.
Mathis Keita was the only player on the French side to reach double-digits with 11.
A close battle for 40 minutes was decided by a joint of big plays by the Spanish team in the closing minute. A drive to the rim followed by a steal kept the lead on Spain's side until the buzzer.
France struggled to score from the start and was down 11-1 after 5:20 minutes. Keita hit what turned to be his team's first and last three pointer of the night, enough to cut some of the lead, but enter the 2nd quarter behind 17-12.
The following period saw Spain having trouble in scoring, and France took advantage to complete 9 points in a row and take a 4 point gap, 17-21.
Livio Jean-Charles scored from close range, and caused trouble on the defensive end, but soon Spain took over once more, and finished the first half with an 8-0 run, to hold a 32-27 lead.
Keita tried to take over France's game and managed to create another lead for his team, but a three pointer by Tomas kept Spain alert.
Barrera hit another one from long range to to tie the score at 48-48 inside the last 7 minutes of the night, but Jaime Fernandez and Barrera made the lead swing from side to side.
Barrera from distance and Tomas with a lay up made it 59-55 before Jean-Charles gave France one more hope, but a big assist by Fernandez to Pere Oriola and a steal by Barrera sealed the hopes of France and bestow Spain a key win in the preliminary round.