The Eurobasket Women 2013 champions Spain will have to settle for bronze this year as they defeated Belarus 74-58 in the third place game in Budapest on Sunday afternoon.
FIBA Europe Women’s Player of the Year for 2014, Alba Torrens was outstanding for the Spanish as she posted 25 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Yelena Leuchenka and Volha Ziuzkova both led Belarus with 13 points, the former pulling down 15 rebounds.
Spain though needed Torrens’ influence as Belarus got off to a better start, thoroughly deserving their 18-12 lead after the first quarter.
But Spain recovered from their sluggish beginning and took control from the second quarter onwards as Torrens and Marta Xargay steered Spain to a podium finish.
Both Spain and Belarus will compete at next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women at a venue yet to be determined.
Highlights to follow..
TURKEY PIP RUSSIA TO LAST OLYMPIC QUALIFYING SPOT
Turkey defeated Russia 68-66 in overtime to finish Eurobasket Women 2015 in fifth place, but more importantly, claim the final Olympic qualification spot.
It looked like Turkey’s hopes were fading when they were trailing 66-63 inside the last minute in overtime and with the shot clock having ticked down to just two seconds.
But Olcay Cakir stepped up and hit a three-pointer to tie the game up. It was the only bench points Turkey got all night and paved the way for Isil Alben to then make the game-winning play as she scored at the hoop to send her team-mates into raptures.
Lara Sanders led all scorers with 28 points for Turkey as their dreams of playing in Brazil next year stay strong.
The 16-year-old prodigy, Maria Vadeeva led Russia with 19 points and 10 rebounds but after finishing in fourth place at the London Olympics in 2012, the Russians will not be taking any part in Rio, next year.
Photos: FIBA Europe