France play Spain in another youth international basketball competition final

 France Celebrate qualifying for final © Wojciech Fiourski- FIBA Europe

When it comes to U20 youth international basketball, France have one of the best records in this competition and won a medal at very edition since 2002.

The 1989 generation from Spain have won European titles at U16 and U18 level. They are looking to end their youth international basketball career with the title.

France beat Latvia (73-58) while Spain eliminated Russia (67-55) to qualify for the final.

You can read our reports from the two semi-finals by clicking on the links or scrolling down the page:

France 72-58 Latvia

Spain 67-55 Russia

French youth international basketball investment is looking good

France have invested a lot in youth international basketball. The U20 women's team came back with six medals in this category.

Alain Jardel was appointed as head coach early in the year and spent four months watching players in the various leagues in France before announcing his 19-player training roster.

Despite injuries to certain players he has been able to select a squad of 12 players that have been very competitive and complementary.

In the semi-final match against Latvia, France did not waste time in getting on the score sheet.

Mélanie Plust pushed Elina Babkina into fouling her to open her account from the free-throw line.

Latvia committed too many fouls early and France led by 10 points (16-4) after only four minutes of play.

With Latvia struggling France stretched their lead (26-8) by the end of the first period.

France slowed down offensively during the second quarter as Latvia picked up.

Alain Jardel continued to turn his bench as he went into the interval ahead (38-22).

 DorianeTahane © Wojciech Fiourski- FIBA Europe France gave the impression of cruising as they went 25 points clear (56-31) with five minutes remaining in the third period.

Latvia started to take risks. With Babkina scoring regularly they reduced their deficit to 13 points by the end of the third period (44-57).

Latvia continued to bring the score down. With seven minutes to play France led (60-50).

Plust and Doriane Tahane (left) stepped up offensively for France. They put an end to the Latvian comeback with 6 quick points.

Latvia were unable to stop Plust (24 points) as France went on to win (72-58).

Youth International Basketball Box Scores Box Scores.

Spain are going for a grand slam with Abalde, Nicolls and Torrens

 Tamara Abalde, Laura Nicolls and Alba Torrens ready to play for U20 © Wojciech Fiourski- FIBA Europe Tamara Abalde, Laura Nicolls and Alba Torrens are three players from the 1989 Spanish youth basketball international programme that have won everything for Spain.

They also played for the senior team in the 2008 Olympic games and were also members of the 2009 EuroBasket Women bronze medallist roster.

The three players have been the centre of their progress to the final.

Torrens scored 9 points for Spain as they lead (25-15) at the end of the first quarter against Russia.

Russia were handicapped early with Daria Ezhova picking up three fouls and fell further behind by the interval (26-41).

Abalde and Torrens scored the first 4 points of the third period as Spain continued to control the mathch.

Russia have players such as Nadezda Grishaeva, Aleksandr Kovalev and Natalia Vieru and Russia scored 7 quick points that forced the Spanish head coach to call for a time-out.

Spain regained control and went on a 9-0 run but then suffered a 9-0 reversal as the pendulum changed directions.

Spain went into the final period leading (56-42) thanks to a last score by Nicolls.

The final quarter was rather technical as both coaches were forced to turn there bench due to foul problems too key players.

In the end Spain experience saw them hold of Russia and qualify for the final (67-55).

Youth International Basketball Box Scores Box Scores.

France ready for quarter-final

France win again

France start with a win

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Basketball picture credits:

Wojciech Fiourski - FIBA Europe

Date created: 17 July 2009

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