Spain steamroller Serbia
Spain ended all hopes of a Serbia shock as they comfortably saw off one of the tournament’s surprise packages 88-69.
The result was never in doubt from the first quarter onwards, as Spain’s defensive strength was in full effect, holding their Serbian counterparts at bay, scoring the first ten points of the game and as a result, they led 19-7 after ten minutes.
Serbia, from there, were always playing catch up. Spain’s lead reached 20 points by half-time and the result was never in doubt.
Sancho Lyttle was once again in inspiring form by racking up another double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead her side to victory. She also recorded 4 steals in the process.
“Congratulations to Serbia for the great tournament they are playing and good luck for the bronze medal game,” Spain coach Lucas Mondelo said. “Today we had two goals: first of all, to control our turnovers to avoid them running fastbreaks and to control the rebounds. Second, we wanted to play long possessions.
“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.”
Jovana Rad and Dajana Butulija each had 15 points for Serbia.
France seal spot with gritty win over Turkey
Hosts France were made to work hard but eventually saw-off a stubborn Turkey side 57-49.
The game lacked thrills or any real flow, something that these two sides have treated fans to during the tournament. France proved their worth though by overcoming another test, seemingly cruising after the first period, leading 22-11 the hosts looked set to ease their way into Sunday’s showpiece, but Turkey came back, holding France scoreless for 7 minutes in the fourth and trailing by only 2 points.
Sandrine Gruda scored a vital bucket to restore the French pride, and more importantly: confidence.
Emile Gomis led France with Gruda putting in a solid shift with 4 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists.
“It was a great game for us, we learned from yesterday’s game and we came out more aggressive, doing what the coach said,” Gruda said afterwards. “The stronger mentality made the difference today.”
Esmeral Tuncluer led all scorers with 20 points in vain for the Turks.