Spain are through to Sunday’s EuroBasket Women final after demolishing Serbia 88-69 on Friday in their semi-final. They’ll face France who held off Turkey 57-49.
The Spanish, led by 22 points from Sancho Lyttle, were never troubled from the initial stages after opening with a 10-0 run against the Serbs
And, having led 48-28 at half-time, they went as much as 69-42 clear in the third as the Serbs’ surprise run came to an end.
“We had two goals,” said Spain coach Lucas Mondelo. “First of all, to control our turnovers to avoid them running fastbreaks and to control the rebounds. Second, we wanted to play long possesions.
“Both goals are accomplished and I am very happy because we are in the final; it is unexpected. We have to enjoy this game and tomorrow we will be focused on the final.”
The French had a tougher path and they had only themselves to blame after squandering a 14-point cushion in the second period.
Turkey, very gradually, closed the gap to 51-49 with two minutes left when Esmeral Tuncleur – who grabbed a game-high 20 points – drained a three at the end of a 9-0 burst.
But Les Bleues, roared on by a capacity crowd, did just enough to keep home title hopes alive by hitting the next six points to set up a clash of the tournament’s two unbeaten sides.
“We won against a really good team,” said France coach Pierre Vincent. “We were very well playing pick and roll, we could control their inside game, and we made an almost perfect defence in the first quarter. Now we are in the final and we want to win, we have to do our maximum and be patient, strong and play together.”
Earlier, Belarus secured a berth at next year’s world championships with a 69-48 win over Sweden.
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