France lift their first FIBA Europe
U18 Division A title

France are the 2012 FIBA Europe U18 European Champions for Women Division A after beating Russia in the final (65-61). Serbia picked up the bronze medal after a comfortable victory against the Netherlands (59-46).

Spain clinched the last European place for the 2013 U19 World Championship by beating Turkey (71-60) in the match for fifth place.

Olivia Epoupa from France was also voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP) by the coaches.

The 2011 U18 European Champions Belgium ended up in 15th place and will have to play in the Division B championship next year.

You may watch the highlights prepared by FIBA Europe from the final game with some after-match comments from Valeriane Ayayi.

You can move to any of our FIBA Europe U18 reports by clicking on the links below or by scrolling down the page:
France win U18 title for first time
Serbia's good start was too much for the Netherlands
MVP, tournament team, and classification games

 France U18 players the at the FIBA Europe 2012 U18 European Championship final © FIBA Europe

The magic of Olivia Epoupa wins the title for France

The opening minutes of the game were very physical with bodies flying all over the court. France came out second best in the early challenges. Valeriane Ayayi was almost knocked out in the first 45 seconds of the game after she was accidentally elbowed in the face.

Marième Badiane (in picture below) from France was not so lucky after diving in to contest a rebound. She fell awkwardly and rolled her ankle after five minutes. Her game was over.

The basketball in the Last quarter was interesting; France had more of the ball, won more offensive rebounds and should have led by 20 points but the ball just refused to drop.

France's first points came from the charity stripes. Yet it was the Russians who took the early lead (4-2) with points coming from Alexandra Marchenkova and Albina Razheva.

Lucikly for France Olivia Epoupa was in fine form. She scored 2 incredible baskets and was the live wire as France eventually edged the first quarter (14-8).

France continued to play at a high tempo and with 12 minutes played led (21-12).

The Russians struggled to get into the French paint so reverted to perimeter shooting and fast breaks for the remaining of the second quarter.

They also kept France scoreless during the last five minutes leading up to the interval while taking the lead (26-25).

However the play of the second quarter was provided by Epoupa who managed to pick up an offensive rebound by diving for the ball and then catching it in mid air.

Just before hitting the ground and going out of bounds she threw the ball back into the hands of Aby Gaye who scored.

 Marième Badiane © FIBA Europe

The third quarter was a youth basketball festival of youthful exuberance and great basketball. Marchenkova (20 points) was inspiration for Russia and her hook shots caused France all kinds of problems.

In a chaotic quarter in which the game went back and fourth, it was the Russians that went into the final quarter ahead (44-43).

Russia used a lot of energy to keep up with France. However they had no answer to Epoupa who scored 12 points during the final quarter to help France win their first ever U18 title.

The last two minutes of the game were scrappy and the Russians came close to stealing the game. In the end a free throw by Lidija Turcinovic secured the victory with one second to play (65-61).

Epoupa finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists.

Return to FIBA Europe report index at top of page

 Serbian U18 players the at the FIBA Europe 2012 U18 European Championship final © FIBA Europe

Serbia, too strong for the Netherlands

Serbia had a perfect start, leading (16-2) with five minutes played and ended the contest early in the second quarter (30-9).

The Netherlands were short of ideas and tried to shoot their way back into the game. But with just 2-of-12 from beyond the arc they had no chance.

For Serbia Aleksandra Stanacev led the way with 15 points while Natasa Kovacevic added 5 assists to her double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.

This is Serbia's first podium finish since 2007, when they were the champions.

Return to FIBA Europe report index at top of page

liva Epoupa, Aleksandra Stanace, Alexandra Marchenkova, Albina Razheva and Kourtney Treffers © FIBA Europe

Olivia Epoupa picked up her second FIBA Europe MVP award. In 2010 she was the winner during the U16 competition. She was joined in the all tournament team by Aleksandra Stanace from Serbia, Russian players Alexandra Marchenkova and Albina Razheva while Kourtney Treffers from the Netherlands completed the line-up.

Romania were awarded the fair play prize.

In the rest of the day's action Spain secured 5th place with a win against Turkey (71-60) and a place at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship for women. Pelin Bilgic led the way with 16 points.

Croatia claimed 7th place with a comfortable win over Italy (72-49).

In the other classification games the Slovak Republic won the 9th place game against Sweden (70-55) while Greece had to settle for 11th after beating Slovenia (58-55).

The Czech Republic made it six wins out of six in the relegation group with a (64-60) win against Belgium while Poland defeated hosts Romania (76-36).

Poland, Belgium and Romania will be replaced by Belarus, England and Portugal next year.

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Video and picture credits :
FIBA Europe

Date created: 06 August 2012

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Miskolc U18 Logo

U18 Division A

Final Round

05 August 2012 France are champions for the first time

04 August 2012 Netherland,Russia and Serbia join France in the semi-final

03 August 2012 Netherland,Russia and Serbia join France in the semi-final

Qualifying Round

03 August 2012 France are ready for the big match

01 August 2012 Quarter-final pairing set - Romania in real danger

31 July 2012 The Netherlands and Spain pass, while Greece is out

30 July 2012 France and Turkey qualify for quarter-final

Preliminary Round

28 July 2012 First phase comes to an end - Hosts Romania eliminated

27 July 2012 Belgium, Czech Republic and Poland eliminated from qualifying round

26 July 2012 France, Sweden and Turkey all win in overtime - Belgium start badly

Strumica U18 Logo

U18 Division B

Final Round

05 August 2012 Belarus win title, Portugal promoted

04 August 2012 Promotion for Belarus and England

Qualifying Round

02 August 2012 The semi-final pairing set

01 August 2012 Belarus and Portugal remain unbeaten

Preliminary Round

30 July 2012 First round comes to an end

29 July 2012 Denmark punch ticket for quarter-final

28 July 2012 Four teams book ticket for qualifying round on day 3

27 July 2012 Bulgaria, Germany and Lithuania remain unbeaten

26 July 2012 Good start by the favourites