Spain in the final of the Under-17 World Cup

Spain’s under-17 basketball team succeeded this Saturday in the Hungarian city of Debrecen to qualify for the final of the Women’s World Cup of the category by beating, in the semi-finals, France by 66-59 after having overcome deficits which reached fourteen points.

Led by a successful Iyana Martín (20 points) and by an Awa Fam who hit the double-double (12 points and nine rebounds) the training team Cristina Cantero was able to recover from her bad start and he grew as the minutes went by until he culminated the comeback in a great final quarter in which he was superior to his rival.

The French struck first, with a 9-0 in the first three minutes which forced the Spanish boss to stop the game to put things in order. Their players started producing on offense, even though their shooting percentages weren’t good and the adornment, which didn’t slow downwent to the first break nine (11-20) thanks to points from Ramouna Vitta, Inés Salahy and Dominique Malonga.

After the break, the Spaniards continued to feel uneasy, although at least their best hat-trick success allowed them to get closer to the scoreboard and start believing in their chances. From 15-26, it went to 21-26 after two hits from the perimeter of Blau Tor and Iyana Martín which forced the French coach, Vincent Bourdeauto ask for a time out to avoid greater evils.

The break was reached with France dominating 26-33, but with greater equality thanks to Spain putting more speed into their game. After crossing the locker room, the players coached by Cristina Cantero came out with the clearest ideas. Over the minutes, the gaps were reduced and a new growth spurt from the Spaniards allowed them to reach the last ten minutes alive (43-48, min 30).

Spain continued to rush their options and improve their performance on both sides of the pitch going into the final quarter which evened the score. Two free throws from Awa Fam Thiam tied the semi-final at 51 points with six minutes remaining..

Awa Fam herself continued to cause damage in the paint and, after finishing a 12-3 run, the Spaniards went up four and went for the win. Although Malonga returned the lead to the French, it was a mirage as Spain no longer missed out on the ticket to the final and secured the World Cup medal.. In the match for gold, the winner of the semi-final between Canada and the United States awaits him this Sunday.

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