FIBA tournament final
Russia and Croatia fight for the title


 Russia U16 ready to play © FIBA EuropeRussia are back in a FIBA Europe U16 European Championship final for the first time since 2001 after beating France (66-59) in a dramatic final quarter in Kozani, Greece.

Croatia qualified for the first time in their history for a final in this age group by beating Serbia (64-51) in the second semi-final. They had won a bronze medal in 2001.

There was no luck from teams from the Benelux in the classification games for fifth place. The Netherlands were unable to reproduce their day one heroics and fell to Spain (36-52) while Belgium were beaten by Turkey (45-62).

The Netherlands and Belgium will meet for 7th place while Turkey and Spain will play for fifth place.

Italy and Poland have secured their Division A status for next season by securing the top two places in the relegation group.

Lithuania are the only team not to win a game in this championship so far.

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


Russia beat France for the second time

Croatia in the final

Look back on the news from the quarter-finals - day 7

All the results:

Russia 66-59 France
Croatia 64-51 Serbia

Belgium 45-62 Turkey
Netherlands 36-52 Spain
Sweden 64-62 Finland
Czech Republic 78-52 Greece

Italy 64-46 Belarus
Lithuania 51-58 Poland



Russia beat France again

 Anna Shchetina © FIBA EuropeThe Russian coach Elena Shulzhenko appeared to have the perfect game plan during the first 20 minutes of the game as her side controlled the boards. She made her team keep turnovers low with Russia outscoring France (29-18).

They had also restricted Olivia Epoupa to 6 points.

The Russians stuck to their game plan during the third quarter. They continued to work in the paint with Anna Shchetina (right) and Alexandra Marchenkova doing most of the scoring to stretch their lead (47-34).

Jérome Fournier, the French coach, spoke with Epoupa and Valeriane Ayayi before the start of the final quarter. He must have asked them to step up.

Epoupa went into overdrive, drawing fouls, scoring, stealing, rebounding and dishing out assists as well as blocking as she brought France back into the game.

Ayayi was also on fire and scored 8 points.

France worked hard to be back on level terms with 90 seconds to play on the back of a lay-up by Epoupa (59-59).

Then the Russian coaching staff decided to put a stop on Epoupa who was closely marked for the rest of the game.

 Olga Novikova © FIBA EuropeOlga Novikova (right) was giving the main task of hustling Epoupa. She did a good job of getting the ball off her on two occasions.

In the meantime Shchetina and Marchenkova had put Russia back in the driving seat with a couple of free throws each (63-59).

Novikova won her last duel with Epoupa. She was rewarded with a couple of free throws which she successfully hit. With only 9 seconds to play any chance of France coming back was gone.

Shchetina led the Russian attack with 19 points. She also collected 15 rebounds and had 5 blocks while Marchenkova scored 13 points.

Novikova and Julia Gladkova scored 10 points each.

For France Epoupa and Ayayi scored 19 and 16 points each.

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Croatia qualify for U16 final in Kozani, Greece © FIBA Europe

FIBA Europe basketball history for Croatia

Ana-Marija Begic and Ruzica Dzankic scored 12 points apiece and also pulled down 10 rebounds each in Croatia's victory against Serbia (64-51).

Croatia did the damage during the first quarter with an 8-0 run that gave them a 10-point advantage by the end of the first quarter (18-8).

Neither side was able to make any headway during a defensive second quarter which allowed Croatia to keep the lead going into the locker room (29-20).

A blitz start at the beginning of the third quarter by Croatia put them in control for good as they extended their lead to (37-20) with less than three minutes played.

The gap grew to 20 points before Natasa Kovacevic from Serbia started to hit shots from beyond the arc.

Serbia still trailed by 14 points going into the final quarter and had no luck in bringing the score down any further. With just under five minutes left to play (40-57) they more or less conceded defeat.

The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the game as both coaches played the game out.

Kovacevic finished with a game high 18 points for Serbia.

In 2001 Croatia was knocked out in the semi-final against Russia (63-93) before going on to win bronze in beating the Czech Republic.

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U16 European Championship Women picture credits:

FIBA Europe

Date created: 21 August 2010


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