U18 FIBA Europe European champions:

Italy U18 with winners trophy at the 2010 U18 FIBA Europe European Championship Women Division A © womensbasketball-in-france.comItaly have won the 2010 edition of the FIBA Europe U18 European Championship Women Division A after beating Spain (66-61) in the final.

The Italians kept the turnover count down and despite not having control of the rebounds ran out winners thanks to some great defending and an inspired Beatrice Carta who led the way with 17 points.

France have ended the FIBA Europe tournament with a bronze medal after beating Slovenia (66-43).

Héléna Akmouche led a balanced scoring French team with 13 points. Slovenia had no answer for the physical nature of the French game and without Tjasa Gortnar had no inside presence.

Nika Baric MVP at the 2010 U18 FIBA Europe European Championship Women Division A © womensbasketball-in-france.comRussia are going to the U19 FIBA World Championship Women in Chile after holding off Lithuania (78-64) in the match for fifth place.

Yulia Stepanova and Svetlana Efimova scored 19 points each Russia while Santa Okockyte finished with 18 points for Lithuania.

Nika Baric (right) from Slovenia picked up the MVP award. She has won MVP awards from her last four European Championships.

She was joined in the all tournament team by Queralt Casas and Laura Gil from Spain, Martina Kissová from the Slovak Republic and Gaia Gorini from the champions Italy.

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. Italy in Gold

2. France too strong for Slovenia

3. Medal Ceremony Video

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

Spain 61-66 Italy
Slovenia 43-66 France
Lithuania 64-78 Russia
Ukraine 78-58 Sweden
Slovak Republic 65-63 Turkey
Poland 71-70 Serbia
Belgium 61-62 Hungary
Czech Republic 85-58 Latvia

Italy remain perfect to win FIBA Europe U18 European Crown

We are the champions at the 2010 U18 FIBA Europe European Championship Women Division A © womensbasketball-in-france.comThe opening of the game started tense with very little offensive action during the first five minutes as both coaches tried to gain the advantage on defense (6-6).

Queralt Casas and Francesca Dotto exchanged free-throws (8-8). Then the flood gates opened with the lead changing on every score as they traded basket for basket until the end of the first quarter.

Chiara Zanin scored the last points of the first quarter for Italy to have the lead (17-15).

 Spain playing Italy in the final of the U18 FIBA Europe European Championship Women Division A final © womensbasketball-in-france.comA trey by Beatrice Carta was the only score in open play that Italy were able to score during the first six minutes of the second quarter.

Spain managed to close down Italy aggressively while going on a 12-1 run to open the first lead of any significance (29-21) with just over four minutes to the break.

Carta was the driving force of the Italian team and ended the barren spell with a spin move in the paint. She also split a pair of free-throws.

Spain were suddenly on the back foot with Italy finishing the half with a 7-0 run concluded by Carta to square the game (31-31) at the interval.

Spain's dominance on the boards was negated by the high number of turnovers during the first half. So Miguel Martinez Mendez changed his players' tactical approach for the second half.

While Carta continued to cause Spain problems Laura Gil and Elena Diaz regained their offensive touch to keep the teams level (35-35).

Italy quickly made some adjustments and forced Spain into throwing the ball away.

Carta and Nene Diene took full advantage as Italy went 7 points clear (46-39). They held that advantage going into the final quarter (50-43).

Spain U18 at the 2010 U18 FIBA Europe European Championship Women Division A medal ceremony © womensbasketball-in-france.comSpain's troubles with Carta continued. But a trey by Elisabet Vivas and 2 points by Gil (48-52) forced Giovanni Lucchesi, the head coach from Italy, to call for a time-out with seven minutes left to play.

Marina Delgado scored for Spain to make it a 2-point game (50-52) with six minutes left to play.

Italy reacted almost immediately with 2 points from their center Lucia Morsiani and a trey from the top of the arc by Dotto.

Irene Cigliani was called for a foul on Delgado, who was awarded 3 free-throws. She calmly hit all three (53-57).

This was as close as Spain would get catching Italy because Morsiani and Dotto were on target again with back to back scores.

We are the champions at the 2010 U18 FIBA Europe European Championship Women Division A © womensbasketball-in-france.comItaly controlled the last two minutes of the game and went on to win (66-61) for their first U18 FIBA Europe title since 1994.

Carta was the leading scorer with 17 points for Italy with Gaia Gorini the only other player in double digits with 10 points.

Despite Spain dominated in the battle of the boards, the 28 turnovers did not help them in staying undefeated in this year's U18 championship edition.

In vain Delgado and Diaz led the attack with 14 and 12 points each.

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France take the Bronze medal

The round of observation was the handshake just before the tip-off.

Lucie Barba © FIBA EuropeFrance scored on their first attack with Lucie Barba spinning in the paint and hooking a shot. Slovenia responded almost immediately with Nika Baric going on a trademark run and drive to the basket.

France always scored first and Slovenia replied as they cancelled each other out (8-8) with five minutes played.

Baric put Slovenia in front for the first time with a (2+1). But France regained the lead with 6 points from Christelle Diallo (15-13).

In the second quarter France decided to put the pressure on Baric and Sabrine Bouzenna was given the task of guarding her.

Diallo scored the only points during the first two minutes as both teams neutralised each other.

Neither team was able to hit anything from the perimeter and yet France stretched their lead with points from Margaux Galliou-Loko and Barba (21-13).

Rebeka Abramovic © womensbasketball-in-france.comRebeka Abramovic ended the baren spell for Slovenia as she concluded a fast break with a cut to the basket.

France made sure that Baric was not seeing the ball and it was Abramovic who hit the first trey of the game.

However France hit back with a three-pointer by Bouzenna (28-18) almost intermediately with three minutes left to play before the break.

Baric finally got the better of her markers and drew a foul to get to the free-throw line. She split the pair and on the next attack scored her 10th point of the game.

The last couple of minutes were hectic with both teams throwing caution to wind. Diallo put in her 10th point for France as the intensity rose.

Tina Jakovina hit her first points of the game from the land of many for Slovenia with 30 seconds remaining. However Bouzenna replied in kind for the last points of the first half for France (35-24).

Nika Baric watching from the floor © womensbasketball-in-france.comFrance stepped up defensively after the break and stopped Slovenia from getting close to the basket.

Back to back treys by Galliou-Loko and Mélanie Devaux sent France on their way as they dominated the third quarter.

Baric (right) was not having it her way and the coach decided to give her a break.

France went into the final quarter leading (52-34).

Baric returned at the start of the final quarter. But it was her team-mate Jakovina who opened the scoring with a shot from behind the arc.

France were not troubled by Slovenia and went 20 points clear with seven minutes left to play with a three-pointer by Maissa Radjati.

France U18 win bronze medal at the 2010 U18 FIBA Europe European Championship Women Division A © womensbasketball-in-france.comSlovenia were soundly beaten in the rebound battle and it was clear that they had nothing more to offer in this game.

Slovenia finished the game with the players from the bench.

The game played itself out with France winning (66-43).

Héléna Akmouche led a balanced French attack with 13 points while Barba and Diallo had 10 points each. For Slovenia Jakovina was the top scorer with 13 points while Baric scored 11 points.

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Medal Ceremony

All the champions at the 2010 U18 FIBA Europe European Championship Women Division A © womensbasketball-in-france.com

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FIBA Europe U18 European Championship Women picture credits:
FIBA Europe
Date created: 08 August 2010

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