SPAIN RECLAIM EURO CROWN

Alba Torrens led Spain to the 2017 EuroBasket Women title with a 71-55 win over France.

La Roja returned to the top of the podium after relinquishing the title they won in 2013 to Serbia in 2015, giving the perfect send-off to their most-capped player, Laia Palau.

With Spain leading 39-30 at the half in Prague, the 2018 World Cup hosts lifted their game another notch in the third quarter, pulling away to a 56-40 lead that would be barely challenged by Les Bleues in the fourth with Sancho Lyttle notching a game-best 19 points and eight rebounds

The gold medal game also marked a final international appearance for French legend Celine Dumerc, who scored a team-best 15 points but had to settle for the runners-up tag for a third consecutive European campaign.

Alba Torrens, the tournament MVP, was joined in the tournament’s All-Star Five by France’s Endene Miyem and 2009 MVP Evanthia Maltsi of Greece, while the future of the game was represented by Emma Meesseman of Belgium and Cecilia Zandalasini of Italy.

Earlier, in the game for third place, Belgium, led by Meesseman, comprehensively defeated Greece 78-45 to claim the first senior podium finish in their nation’s history.

The top four finishing teams will be joined by Turkey and Latvia at next year’s World Cup – the latter two claiming their spots on account of finishing EuroBasket Women 2017 in fifth and sixth place respectively – with the Latvians edging out Italy by a single point following a highly controversial intentional foul in the dying seconds.

Meanwhile Latvia and Serbia will co-host the 2019 Finals, it was confirmed.

 

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