Spain take U16 Youth International Basketball title in Naples



 2009 U16 European Champions Division A - Spain ©  Ciamillo-Castoria

Spain have defended their youth international basketball U16 European Championship title by defeating Belgium (57-53) in overtime. This is their 5th title in six years.

France picked up another medal this summer after beating Russia (75-46) in the bronze medal game.

An 11-0 run early in the first period put France in control for the rest of the game. Margaux Galliou led the French attack with 17 points while Esther Niamke and Claire Stievenard added 16 points each.

The Naples U16 youth international basketball festival ended in disappointment for the hosts, Italy, as they were beaten (50-71) in the match for fifth place against Turkey.

This defeat, just like that of the senior Italian team at EuroBasket Women 2009 means no world championships for Italy in 2010.

You can read in more detail our match summaries by selecting the link below or scrolling down the page.

Belgium 53-57 Spain

France 75-46 Russia

Turkey 71-50 Italy

In the matches for minor places Greece finished 7th after beating the Czech Republic (59-54).

Finland ended the tournament on a high to finish 9th after beating Poland (76-63). Serbia had to settle for 11th place after winning against Lithuania (50-47).


 All tournament team ©  Ciamillo-Castoria

Emma Meesseman is MVP
 Emma Meesseman MVP Naples 2009 ©  Ciamillo-Castoria

The choice for most valuable player (MVP) at youth international basketball events in Europe is made by the participating coaches.

Emma Meesseman (right) from Belgium won the award. She averaged 14.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. She achieved 7 double-doubles and led the block shots category with 3.4 per game.

However this is just statistics because she is also a great team player. She works hard to bring other players into the game. Meesseman did her work inside but did not forget about feeding the ball out for outside players.

The other members of the all-tournament team are: Olcay Cakir (Turkey), Julie Vanloo (Belgium), Andrea Vilaró and Ksenia Tikhonenko (Russia).

The fair play prize was awarded to Ann Schyvens from Belgium.



Spain do it again in U16 youth international basketball to win gold

Spain won the FIBA Europe U16 European Championship Women Division A for the fifth time in overtime (57-53) against Belgium.

Spain also won the European title in 1999 before the creation of the divisions in youth international basketball in Europe. Hence this is Spain's sixth title.

 Andrea Vilaró on her way to Gold ©  Ciamillo-CastoriaAndrea Vilaró (right) led the Spanish team with 17 points and 11 rebounds. She was the only player from Spain in double digits. However Carla Rodriguez who scored 8 points spent most of her time on the court keeping Meesseman out of scoring range.

For Belgium Julie Vanloo finished with 17 points. She also dished out 3 assists.

Her team-mate Emma Meesseman finished with a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds. She also added 2 more blocks to her account.

Heleen Adams was the only other player in double digits with 10 points for Belgium.

Belgium got off to a flying start with Julie Vanloo scoring with less than 15 seconds played. But then that was it as the tension of the occasion took over.

Emma Meesseman opened her account for Belgium from the free-throw line for her team to lead (3-0) early on.

Andrea Vilaró got Spain on the scoreboard with just over two minutes played as the game started to warm up.

In a slow-tempo quarter Belgium managed to keep the lead despite a trey from Vilaró (10-9) with five minutes played.

Scoring became more difficult for the rest of the quarter and the two teams finished level (12-12).

Belgium got back into their rhythm at the start of the second period and went on a 5-0 run to regain the advantage (17-12).

Spain switched defensive systems and put a stop on Meesseman. However they then had to deal with Vanloo.

Vanloo hit a trey for Belgium for her side to stay in front (22-16) with three minutes left to play in this quarter.

However this was the last time that Belgium scored before the interval and Spain started to take over.

Vilaró was very active for Spain and hit her second trey of the game which was the catalyst they needed.

Spain became more offensive minded and went into the interval leading (24-22) thanks to a three-pointer from Yurena Diaz.

Spain scored first after the break. But their 10-0 run was ended by Vanloo and her trademark drive to the basket.

Spain are known for hunting in packs. So when things did not work for one player, another one would take over.

It was the turn of Carla Rodriguez to step up for Spain offensively. She scored 6 straight points as Spain opened the first significant lead of the game (32-24).

Belgium needed to look for other scoring options and Antonia Delaere came off the bench and scored immediately.

This was soon followed with Heleen Adams hooking in a shot from beyond the arc. Belgium were back in the game.

Delaere was to score for Belgium again. Yet Spain held onto the lead and went into the fourth period leading (36-31).

Vanloo got the final quarter off to an electrifying start with a drive to the basket to bring Belgium to within 3 points of Spain (33-36) with less than 10 seconds on the game clock.

Spain's response was immediate with Diaz connecting from her favourite spot just beyond the arc at an angle of 45 degrees from the basket for her second three-pointer of the game.

The fireworks stopped. Both teams went back to defending and only 4 points were scored in the following three minutes. All points came from Spain (42-33).

 Emma Meesseman  ©  Ciamillo-CastoriaMeesseman (left) who had not done anything offensively since her first quarter efforts finally found her way to the basket to score (35-42) with five minutes to play in regulation time.

Belgium had to take risks and it finally paid off with Vanloo scoring and Adams hitting a trey. Belgium's deficit was reduced to 4 points as the game went into money-time.

Vanloo is a young player who is not afraid to shoot. She was not put off when her three-point attempt missed the target. She simply tried again 20 seconds later and scored.

This cut the Spanish lead to a single point with 66 seconds left in regulation time (44-43).

As it is normal at this point in the game even at U16 youth international basketball level the game turned into a free-throw competition. Both sides comitted fouls in order to stop the clock.

Spain went first and scored 1-of-2. Belgium were next up and also went 1-for-2 from the charity stripes.

Vanloo was called for an intentional foul on Vilaró with 30 seconds left to play.

As a result Vilaró was sent to the free-throw line where she also split the pair. The Belgium head coach, Daniel Goethals, called for a time-out.

Spain had the chance to finish the game but Diaz' attempt missed the target which gave Belgium one last chance.

Vanloo gave the impression that she was going to go all the way to the basket. She then passed the ball to Adams, who then hit a floater in the paint off the glass to tie the match and force overtime (46-46).

Overtime was just classical youth international basketball with the pendulum swinging both ways.

Belgium did lead briefly when Rodriguez fouled out stopping Meesseman. However Spain’s deeper bench made the difference as they held on to win (57-53).

Youth International Basketball Box Scores.




France finish with the bronze medal

 It's bronze again for France and they are happy ©  Ciamillo-Castoria

This is the fifth medal for France in this summer's youth international basketball continental tournaments.

The U20 Women won gold, while the U18 and U20 Men and U18 Women took silver.

France lost to Russia in the Qualification Round but made no mistake this time around.

The free-throwing which has been generally poor for France in this tournament was excellent at the start of the match. It proved to be the key element during the first period as France went on a 11-O run that set up the final victory.

 Margaux Galliou battling for Bronze ©  Ciamillo-CastoriaFor France Margaux Galliou (right in white) was the leading scorer with 17 points and second in rebounding with 10 rebounds.

Esther Niamke had a good game with 16 points, including 4 assists and 4 steals.

Claire Stievenard also scored 16 points for France while Jodie Cornelie finished up with 12 rebounds but just 1 point.

For Russia Ksenia Tikhonenko was the main player with 16 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block.

Game Report:

France completely dominated the first period to lead (25-13) going into the second quarter.

 Margaux Galliou battling for Bronze ©  Ciamillo-CastoriaNiamke (left) and Galliou did most of the scoring for France as they combined for 18 points and shot 6-of-7 from the free-throw line.

France took control of the game with an 11-0 burst that opened up a lead of 12 points (17-5) with four minutes played in the first period.

Darya Namok from Russia came up with some individual exploits that included a trey as Russia finished the first quarter stronger.

The second period was an even affair with both sides having their moments as they traded basket for basket for ten minutes.

However Russia were not able to bring down the deficit and France led (44-29) at the half-time break.

Russia went to sleep in the third period and allowed France a free run at the start with Niamke and Stievenard doing all the scoring. France stretched their lead (51-32) with just over three minutes played.

 Ksenia Tikhonenko ©  Ciamillo-CastoriaThe pace slowed down and France started to lose focus as they missed a lot of shots. It also appeared that Russia had already abdicated. So France went into the final period leading (58-36).

Both teams just played out the final quarter. All the same Ksenia Tikhonenko (right) from Russia was still motivated and was all over the court. But this was not enough to stop France.

Stievenard and Laure Mercier added a couple of three-pointers before the youngest member of the French team Olivia Epoupa brought the game to an end with a steal and lay-up.

France's victory (75-46) meant that they had won the bronze medal for the second year in a row.

Youth International Basketball Box Scores.



Turkey qualify for U17 World Championships

 Turkey are fifth and qualify for U17 World Championship ©  Ciamillo-Castoria

Pelin Bilgic led the Turkish attack with 17 points and Ayse Cora added 16 points.

However it was the performance of Özge Kavurmacioglu who scored 15 points and captured 23 rebounds that secured the victory.

Italy only managed 9 offensive rebounds during the game as Kavurmacioglu kept them at bay with a personal total of 15 defensive boards.

Italy had the better start to lead (11-6) after five minutes of play.

Turkey slowly got into their stride and regained the lead by the end of the quarter (19-18).

Turkey went to work defensively at the start of the second quarter by restricting the hosts to 3 points while they opened up a 10-point advantage (31-21).

Italy were not able to get an offensive run going and Turkey went into the interval leading (35-26).

Italy looked tired as they came out in the second half and continued to struggle. Yet a 7-1 run late in the quarter got the fans cheering.

However Italy spoilt the good work by leaving Kavurmacioglu open beyond the arc.

She did not waste the opportunity to hit the trey and take Turkey in the final period leading (51-37).

Italy did not have the energy to mount an offensive attack during the last quarter and slowly conceded the game.

Turkey scored 8 unanswered points to complete an 11-0 run to lead (58-37). The game ended as a contest with just over 5 1/2 minutes left to play.

Turkey went on to win (71-50) and will be in France next year for the FIBA U17 World Championship for Women.

For Italy Sara Bocchetti scored 11 points. But the youth international basketball season for them has come to an end without a place in the World Championship.

Youth International Basketball Box Scores.


Belgium and Spain will play in the final

Quadruple overtime for France

Smiles for Greece and disappointment for Finland,Poland and Serbia

Plenty of drama on day 5 with only Lithuania losing out

France win against the Czech Republic in a defensive game

First phase comes to an end

France have no pity for Poland

France open with a victory against Lithuania

Return to "What's New" page from youth international basketball news from Naples

Return to the Youth International Basketball Index page

Youth International Basketball Picture credits:

Ciamillo-Castoria
FIBA Europe

Date created: 09 August 2009


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