by Yarone Arbel
Spain completed a perfect Qualifying Round with a 76-52 win over Poland in Group C of the U16 European Championship held at Osnovna Skola Jugoslavija in Bar, Montenegro on Saturday afternoon.
With this win Spain hold a 3-0 record behind three wins, all of them by 24 points or more, while Poland continue their instability with another big loss and down with a 1-2 record.
Spain obviously won the group while Bulgaria finished second with a 2-1 record and Poland third with the opposite figures. The last team in Group C is Latvia that will seek their debut win in the Classification Round starting Monday.
Albert Homs was the top player of Spain in the win with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Josep Perez added 11 with five assists.
Jan Grzelinski was the best scorer of Poland with 12 and Daniel Szymkiewicz finished with 11 points, four assists and four steals.
Poland were in the game for the entire first half, before the Spanish squad took over and held their rivals at only 19 points in the second half.
Grzelinski scored half of the points of his team when they took an 11-12 lead midway in the first quarter, while Edgar Vicedo stepped up for his side with eight first quarter points to make it a 21-17 score at the first buzzer.
Homs scored from the arc and Agusti Sans added another bucket, good for a 26-17 Spanish lead, but Szymkiewicz kept his team in the game with points and assists and didn't allow Spain to run too far.
Nikodem Sirijatowicz hit a three pointer, off another pass by Szymkiewicz to set the half court score on 36-33 and leave the door wide open for the Polish team before the second half, yet Spain had different plans.
A short wait after the return from the break and the Spanish blitz started with two long shots in less than a minute to ignite a big 17-2 run and climb to a 53-35 lead halfway in the third quarter.
The Polish tried to find solutions on the arc but hit four three pointers in the entire game out of 29 attempts, and couldn't find any better solutions.
Homs scored seven in a row to push the gap above the 20 point barrier and give his team their third big win in a row.