Sonja Petrovic (SRB) - MVP of the EC U18 2006 (Photo: FIBA)
Spain wins European Championship U18 - July 30, 2006
It took them
almost 10 days, but Spain finally found top gear at the final of Umcor U18
European Championship Women on Sunday.
Spain stuttered through preliminary round play and were less than their best in
the quarter-final round and semi finals.
But none of that mattered in Sunday's final, when Spain beat the previously
undefeated Serbia & Montenegro 78-74 to win the gold medal.
This Spanish team knows a thing or two about winning. Champions at the U16 level
in 2004 and 2005, Spain put on their best display by far in the final against
Serbia & Montenegro. Tamara
Abalde (188-F-89) was outstanding for the Spanish and tallied a game high 23
points, while Anna Carbo added 17. Laura Herrera and Alba Torrens weighed in
with 14 and 12 respectively
Spain have had an atrocious tournament from the free throw line and were
averaging just 56% going into Sunday's final. Crucially, they shot 16/18 against
Serbia & Montenegro.
Serbia & Montenegro had led from the front in each of their seven wins before
Sunday's final. However, Spain refused to let their opponents dictate the game.
In an intriguing opening 30 minutes Spain were almost always in front, but never
by more than 5 or 6 points.
Maja Miljkovic and Sonja Petrovic were inspirational for Serbia & Montenegro in
the first half. Miljkovic scored 14 points, while tournament MVP Petrovic had
Petrovic was actually forced to sit out the first five minutes of the third
quarter with foul trouble, but it didn't stop Serbia & Montenegro from
establishing a seven-point lead, 41-48.
But Spain slowly came back and local girl Herrera was instrumental. She picked
up 3 fouls in the first half, but returned in the third to give her side seven
points as Spain took a 64-59 lead at the 30-minute mark.
Spain led from the front in the final period, and while Serbia & Montenegro
rarely trailed, the effort of trying to come back proved too great.
Serbia & Montenegro had four chances to take the lead in the final quarter, but
were each time unable to go in front, including two blown free throws from
With time winding down, it was the Spanish who took the initiative.
Torrens, on the bench with four fouls, returned to the game and made a driving
lay-up to give Spain a 2-point lead and then Carbo grabbed an offensive rebound
and putback to put her side in front, 76-72.
Miljkovic converted a tough lay-up to cut the score, but Abdale nailed her final
shot of the game to give Spain a 78-74 lead with 58 seconds to go.
After a missed three by Snezana Aleksic, Laura Herrera commited an offensive
foul to give Serbia & Montenegro an outside chance, but Ana Dabovic was called
for hooking on a drive to the basket, giving possession back to Spain and the
opportunity to run out the clock.
Spain held Petrovic scoreless in the second half, while center Milovanovic
scored just one point. Miljkovic finished with 23 points, but was just 4/11 from
the free throw line.
Courtesy of FIBA
Russia - Sweden 55-65
Spain - Turkey 65-64
Turkey - Russia 66-68
Sweden - Spain 49-48
Turkey - Sweden 47-54
Russia - Spain
Italy beats Ukraine in the final of EC U18 Division B - July 30, 2006
Games July 30, 2006: Final: Italy - Ukraine
Sottana (177-G-88) 23 - T.Bovykina 19) 3rd Place Game: Croatia - Latvia
66-51 (D.Balic 13 - D.Lazdeniece 14) 5th Place Game: Estonia - Bosnia and Herzegovina
55-49 (K.Rausberg 26 - D.Svitlica 16) 7th Place Game: Romania - Israel
72-74 (C.Pop 31 - E.Avny 15)
Classification Games for 5th-8th Places
Estonia - Romania
71-61 (Pirgit Puu 23 - Ramona Tarta 17) Israel - Bosnia and Herzegovina
55-80 (Yael Ahronov 21 - Milica Deura 19)
Classification Round for 9th-14th Places Group G F.Y.R. of Macedonia - Portugal 55-76 (H.Musa 16 - N.Tavares
27) Iceland - Ireland 63-71 (M.Erlingsdottir 22 - S.O'Connor
18) Finland - England 67-62 (H.Salomaa 17 - L.Thomas-Johnson
Quarterfinal Round Group E
Ukraine - Estonia 72-69
Italy - Israel 65-39
Israel - Ukraine 49-59
Estonia - Italy 49-53
Estonia - Israel 74-62
Italy - Ukraine 79-60 Group F
Latvia - Bosnia and Herzegovina 63-61
Romania - Croatia 50-63
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Romania 80-51
Croatia - Latvia 58-70
Romania - Latvia 72-70
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Croatia 60-67
Preliminary Round Group A
England - Ireland 53-57
Italy - Romania 77-62
Romania - England 66-62
Ireland - Italy 52-66
Ireland - Romania 63-71
Italy - England 60-41 Group B
Latvia - F.Y.R. of Macedonia 75-43
Iceland - Ukraine 69-82
F.Y.R. of Macedonia - Iceland 57-78
Ukraine - Latvia 52-66
Ukraine - F.Y.R. of Macedonia 100-65
Latvia - Iceland 64-57 Group C
Estonia - Portugal 72-58
Portugal - Bosnia and Herzegovina 61-56
Bosnia and Herzegovina - Estonia 63-58 Group D
Croatia - Finland 90-69
Finland - Israel 55-67
Israel - Croatia 61-76
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