U16 FIBA Europe European Champions:
Russia Division A champion for the first time

2010 FIBA Europe U16 European Champions - Russia  © FIBA Europe

Russia are the FIBA Europe U16 champions since 1997. They scored the first 10 points of the game and never looked back as they defeated Croatia (71-53) with 11 players getting on the score sheet.

Anna Shchetina and Andrijana Cvitkovic © FIBA EuropeAnna Shchetina (left-white) had the honour of leading the team's scoring with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Croatia's hopes in the final disappeared when top scorer Andrijana Cvitkovic (left-red) with 17 points fouled out of the game.

France picked up their third successive U16 European Championship bronze medal after beating Serbia (50-44) in a closely fought match.

France pulled away late in the final quarter by scoring 9-of-12 free throws.

Valériane Ayayi and Olivia Epoupa led the French attack with 11 points each while Natasa Kovacevic from Serbia was the top scorer of the match with 13 points.

The final day of the 2010 FIBA Europe Championship in Kozani and Ptolemaida was a short programme with just six matches.

Isabella Slim, Inez van Hulsen and Laura Cornelius © FIBA EuropeSpain defeated Turkey in the match for 5th place (45-39).

The Netherlands finished the tournament in the way they started with a victory. In the Benelux derby they came out on top (65-56) to claim 7th place.

Kourtney Treffers picked up her 7th double-double of the tournament in leading her side to victory.The classification matches for the 9th to 11th place was played on the semi-final day (day 8).

Sweden won the Nordic derby against Finland (64-62) in overtime to take 11th place while the Czech Republic beat the hosts, Greece (78-52) to finish 9th.

Lithuania finally notched up a victory by beating Italy (62-58) while the relegation group came to an end with Belarus beating Poland (55-50).

You can read highlights of the FIBA Europe basketball news from the final and third place action by clicking on the links below or by scrolling down the page:

1. Russia take title in Greece

2. France win bronze at the free-throw line

3. Olivia Epoupa is MVP

Look back on the news from the semi-finals - day 8

Russia 71-53 Croatia (final)
France 50-44 Serbia (bronze medal game)
Spain 45-39 Turkey (5th place match)
Netherlands 65-56 Belgium (7th place match)

13th - 16 place classification games:

Italy 58-62 Lithuania
Belarus 55-50 Poland

Russia's blitz start paid off

Russia did not waste any time in getting started in this match. Anna Shchetina opened the scoring and drew a foul to make it a 3-point play.

Alexandra Marchenkova © FIBA EuropePolina Sych followed this up with a trey and then Alexandra Marchenkova (left) opened her account.

So with less than two minutes played Russia led (9-0).

Russia added 1 more point before Antonija Chiabov scored the first points for Croatia with just under four minutes played (2-10).

Croatia then went on the rampage with fast breaks and outscored Russia (13-6) to make it a 3-point game with two minutes to play in the first quarter.

Russia who have spent most of the tournament scoring in the paint fired in their 4th three-pointer of the quarter by Zhanna Byazrova to regain control once more as they stayed in front going into the second quarter (25-17).

The second quarter was evenly contested with neither side able to control the game for long.

Natalia Grishkevich © FIBA EuropeRussia continued to have success from beyond with treys coming from Olga Novikova and Natalia Grishkevich (left) as they stretched their lead going into the interval (38-28).

Russia made the mistake of playing the same as Croatia at the start of the third quarter, leaving them open for long shots.

Lana Packovski and Anja Majstorovic connected from the land of many for Croatia.

These actions forced Elena Shulzhenko, the coach from Russia, to call for a time-out with just over two minutes played in the quarter (43-36).

Russia slowly regained control of the game once more with Marchenkova doing most of the work as Russia went into the final quarter with a larger lead (56-44).

As Russia did not depend on any player for the scoring, they cruised while Croatia huffed and puffed.

Andrijana Cvitkovic © FIBA EuropeCroatia on the other hand were dependent on Andrijana Cvitkovic (right). The moment she fouled out with four minutes to play, Croatia' challenge ended (50-64).

The Russian coach turned her bench with 11 of her players getting on the score sheet of the Fiba Europe Championship final to win (71-53).

Shchetina, Marchenkova, Gladkova and Grishkevich all finished in double digits with 15, 13, 12 and 10 points respectively.

This is the first time since the creation of Division A that Russia have won a final in this age group.

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France U16 wins bronze again 2010 © FIBA Europe

Free throws help France win the bronze medal

Valériane Ayayi © FIBA EuropeValériane Ayayi's (pictured) turn-around hook shot has become a well known move in this tournament. Yet Serbia allowed her the space and time to score with this move off the first attack in the game.

The teams played cautiously for the first six minutes (7-7) while playing strong defensively.

Aleksandra Stanacev was the only player who managed to score after a two-minute barren spell. The spectators had to wait until the last 30 seconds of the first quarter for more scores.

First it was Marijana Corto from Serbia. This shot was quickly followed by a baseline trey by Lidija Turcinovic from France.

Natasa Kovacevic finished the scoring in the first quarter by splitting a pair of free throws as Serbia edged the first quarter (12-10).

Olivia Epoupa who had opened her account from the free-throw line in the second quarter was the driving force as France went on a 10-0 run for the first significant lead of the contest (22-14) with 15 minutes played.

Serbia changed defensive systems which stopped France from scoring for a while.

Epoupa once again found a way through for France which resulted in the game opening up and both sides trading baskets for the rest of the quarter.

France went into the locker room ahead (28-19).

Sanja Mandic's quick turn of pace caused France problems early in the third quarter and led to her scoring on a couple of occasions.

France managed to maintain the advantage with counter attacks despite being on the back foot.

Kovacevic started to conduct the plays for Serbia and her team continued to chip away at the French lead.

Kovacevic was left open just beyond the arc 45° to the basket and calmly hit the trey for the last score of the quarter (34-39).

The tension got to both teams at the start of the final quarter as they missed shot after shot. They turned the ball over time and time again.

Valériane Ayayi © FIBA EuropeAfter three minutes of missing Kristina Topuzovic finally scored a basket for Serbia to make it a 3-point game (36-39).

France were not able to score from open play and did all their scoring from the free-throw line: Ayayi made 2 while Axelle Koundouno (right) split a pair.

Again it was Kovacevic who completed the Serbian comeback to tie the game (42-42) with just over four minutes to play.

The French coach switched to a high-court pressing system which put a stop to the Serbian attack.

Epoupa restored the French lead with a free throw before a trey by Awa Sissoko knocked the wind out of the Serbian team (46-42) with three minutes to play.

France finished the game making several trips to the free-throw line (50-42) to secure the fifth bronze medal in the age group for France and the third consecutive FIBA Europe bronze medal.

In the end Mandic scored a consolation basket for the last points of the game for Serbia (44-50).

For France Ayayi and Epoupa led the scoring with 11 points.

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Top Award to Olivia Epoupa

Olivia Epoupa - MVP © FIBA EuropeOlivia Epoupa is the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the U16 European Championship Women in Ptolemaida and Kozani.

She learned her trade at Paris Basket 18 (PB18) before heading off to the CFBB. This is her second U16 championship. Earlier in the summer Epoupa also played for France in the U17 FIBA World Championship Women.

She led France in all categories except for block shots.

Kourtney Treffers, Anna Shchetina, Lana Packovski, Olivia Epoupa and Natasa Kovacevic © FIBA EuropeShe is joined in the all-tournament team by Lana Packovski from Croatia, Natasa Kovacevic from Serbia, Kourtney Treffers from the Netherlands and Anna Shchetina from Russia.

The Netherlands also won the fair-play award.

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FIBA Europe U16 European Championship Women picture credits:

FIBA Europe
Date created: 22 August 2010

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