March 5, 2021

Spain imposes itself on Turkey and adds its European quarter – La Provincia

The Spanish under-18 men's team of basketball he won his fourth European championship title in the category on Sunday win in the final with much suffering to that of Turkey 57-53.

Santiago Aldama, with 23 points and 21 valuation, was the best of Javier Zamora's team at the Nea Ionia Hall in Volos (Greece). Usman Garuba contributed to the victory with 11 goals, 14 rebounds and 17 efficiency credits.

Spain was not at its level of previous days, but he knew how to react in the last quarter, to get the gold medal.

For the Spanish team it was a great tournament, in which all their confrontations were added by victories, up to seven, including the complicated Greece, host of the tournament, in the semifinals, although in the final the Spanish team had a hard time coming into play.

But it arrived on time, because the best was the last quarter, where he went back to add the fourth title of men's basketball in the U18 category. The last, the conquered in Krakow (Poland) in 2011.

It was not a good start for those of Javi Zamora. In attack it was not right before the Turkish pressure, with five losses, and in defense, Turkey took advantage of the rapid cons and the success of Mustapha Kurtuldum, six points in the first quarter.

Only the triples, two of two attempts, something that would later turn very against, prevented the Turks from leaving on the scoreboard, 7-13, in the absence of 2.15 by the end of the period.

The least bad was the result, only three below (13-16), after the nerves and the initial mistake. The problem came when the second one didn't start well either.

The pressure in defense did not take effect, they left eight (15-23), after two minutes. In attack little worked, although neither the Ottoman team left on the scoreboard.

They were minutes in which neither one nor the other knew how to show all the game they own. The nerves turned the game into a street race, with errors distributed, both in the pass and in the rebound and in the shot, although always with Turkey leading the scoring, until 23-31 of the break.

Javi Zamora had to read the statistics to his players in the locker room, in particular, 23.5% of success in the shot (8 of 34), with the 2 triples started from a total of 15 attempts.

But the talk didn't help much either, because Spain again had another desperate start. An initial 0-5 put the Turkish national team with 23-36, after 2.30 played in the third quarter. All the sins of the first part had continuity in the second, with the only difference that Turkey began to believe it.

The leaders of the Spanish team -Aldama and Garuba- did not finish working, and neither did any other player take a step forward. Who did try was the coach, Javi Zamora, who sent the bench to an irregular Garuba and put defense in the area. He went down to four (34-38) in the absence of four to finish the third period.

Garuba returned to the track and Aldama – 11 points in the room – was toned. Spain recovered from the defense, got one (42-43), in the absence of the last quarter. Then it was a matter of starting a period well, the fourth, the decisive one, and Aldama started it with a triple, which put Spain ahead (45-43). The tension was increasing, there was no one to put a basket, 52-50, with two left.

Those last two minutes were best played by Spain, which was placed with five up (55-50) in the absence of 39 seconds. A triple from Kurtuldum, finished with 19 points, put the Turks in the match, but Oier Ardanza, with four points, in the last seconds, allowed his team to win the title.

Spain joins this title to those achieved in 1998, 2004 and 2011.

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