Spain are back again in another FIBA tournament final

Players from Spain U18 celebrating in Poprad © FIBA Europe

Since 2004 Spain have missed just one final at the FIBA Europe U18 European Championships. They finished fifth in 2008 but qualified for the 2009 World Championship in Thailand.

Spain had to wait until the second half of the match to break the resistance of Slovenia to gain their place in the final (77-46).

Players and staff from Italy U18 celebrating in Poprad © womensbasketball-in-france.comItaly have the best defensive record in this competition and for the second time in this championship overcame France.

This time overtime was not required (55-50).

Russia made up an early 12-point deficit to beat Sweden (64-58) while Lithuania got past Ukraine (73-67).

Russia and Lithuania will face each other on Sunday in the match for the last qualifying place for the 2011 FIBA World Championship.

Hungary and Latvia are already relegated from Division A. They had to play each other in round 5 of the relegation Group. Hungary beat Latvia (76-61). Belgium were playing with no pressure and beat the Czech Republic (89-91).

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:

Spain in the final yet again

Italy deny France a place in the final

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

All the results

Spain 77-46 Slovenia
France 50-55 Italy

Russia 64-58 Sweden
Ukraine 67-73 Lithuania

Hungary 76-61 Latvia
Belgium 89-71 Czech Republic

Spain had to wait until the second half

There was no repeat of the team's selection by Slovenia for the second meeting of these nations in this tournament.

Only Tjasa Gortnar was missing from the Slovenian line-up.

Spain scored the first 5 points of the game, while Slovenia had to wait almost three minutes to get on the scoreboard.

Marta Claret © womensbasketball-in-france.comNika Baric then took on Spain single-handedly with her team's first 8 points. However it was her team-mate Tina Jakovina that put Slovenia in front for the first time with a trey (11-9).

Marta Claret (left) and Queralt Casas restored the lead for Spain briefly.

Baric, with her 11th point of the quarter, a shot from beyond the arc, put Slovenia back in front (14-13) with three minutes to play.

Baric picked up her 3rd foul and had to return to the bench. Casas and Inmaculada Zanoguera scored the last points of the first quarter for Spain to lead (16-14).

Slovenia played their hearts out without Baric on the court and regained the advantage for a short while.

Elisabet Vivas © womensbasketball-in-france.comSpain had no choice but to play quickly which suited Elisabet Vivas (right)

Baric returned for Slovenia and scored 8 quick points as she matched the Spanish team basket for basket.

While Spain was watching Baric, her team-mate Jakovina fired in her second trey of the game before Baric tied the game (30-30) with 90 seconds left to play. She added the free-throw to put her side in front for the last time.

The Spanish coach Miguel Martinez Mendez was not happy with his players and told them that they needed to defend.

Slovenia failed to score for the rest of the first half while Vivas and Casas scored for Spain to go into the locker room leading (35-31).

Spain stepped up defensively after the break and did not allow Baric any chance to wave her magic. Hence they stretched their lead (45-36) with just under five minutes to play in the quarter.

Inmaculada Zanoguera © womensbasketball-in-france.comSpain stepped up another gear and with Elena Diaz hitting back to back treys for Slovenia's game to come to an end.

Vivas hit a another three-pointer (54-38) and shortly after Baric was withdrawn from the game for good.

Spain had it easy for the remaining of the game and went on to win (77-46).

Claret and Vivas led the scoring with 14 points each while Casas and Zanoguera (left) contributed 12 and 10 points each.

Baric finished the game with 24 points.

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Italy remain perfect at the expense of France

Eléonore Grossemy © womensbasketball-in-france.comDuring the first ten minutes France were in perfect control. Eléonore Grossemy (left) opened the scoring from the land of many and led throughout with good perimeter shooting and excellent counter-attacking basketball.

Mélanie Devaux concluded the scoring for France as her side won the first quarter (22-16).

Italy put a stop to the free play of France during the second quarter.

Lucia Morsiani scored the first points of the quarter from the free-throw line for Italy with almost three minutes played.

The only points for France during the first four minutes were a three-pointer by Margaux Galliou-Loko.

Grossemy scored the last points for France in the quarter for her team to lead by 10 points (27-17) with just over five minutes to play.

Italy's defense kept France out while Francesca Dotto kick-started an Italian offensive that enabled them to score the last 7 points of the first half (24-27).

France struggled all through the third quarter and allowed Italy to score 13 uncontested points (32-41).

Nene Diene continued to cause problems for France as Italy went into the final quarter ahead (44-36).

Then Devaux single-handedly brought France back into the game with 7 points to bring the teams level (48-48) with just under five minutes to play.

Francesca Dotto and Melanie Devaux  © womensbasketball-in-france.comBeatrice Carta ended the French revival with 2 points in the paint. Lucia Morsiani then did well to draw a foul and get to the free-throw line.

She split the pair (51-48).

France managed to break through the Italian defense just once during the last three minutes and managed two 24-second violations as they failed in making up the deficit.

France left themselves open and Gaia Gorini and Dotto (right) scored for Italy as they secured the win (55-50).

Dotto led a balanced Italian scoring with 14 points. Gorini and Morsiani added 11 and 10 points.

For France Devaux was the leading scorer with 10 points.

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FIBA Europe U18 European Championship Women picture credits:
FIBA Europe
Date created: 07 August 2010

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