The penultimate day of action started with the game for 9th and 10th place in the men’s competition between France and Switzerland. A close first quarter saw the French lead by just one point, 21-20. They increased their lead at the end of the second quarter by another seven points, 41-33. France looked in control of the game with a sixteen-point advantage midway through the third, but the never say die attitude of Switzerland saw them make a comeback, but not quite enough to gain victory, as they lost by six points, 79-73. Resulting in France finishing in 9th and Switzerland in 10th place.
In the battle of the bottom two, although both teams were already relegated to European Championship B Division, there was pride at stake and it showed on the court. It was Lithuania who edged it and got their first win of the tournament defeating Sweden, 82 -77, to avenge their loss to them in the pool stages and consign the Swedes to 12th place in the rankings, with Lithuania 11th.
Spain men secured 5th for the second consecutive Europeans after conquering Poland 85-70, in the 5th/6th playoff. Poland let an early lead slip and a dominant third and fourth quarter (26-14 and 30-22) ensured the victory for the host team Spain.
The 7th/8th playoff game between Israel and Italy gave the winner the final qualification spot at the World Championships in Hamburg next year. It was a low scoring game in the first half as the teams seemed to struggle with the significance of the game. Israel took a one point advantage into the half-time break 23-22. It remained close throughout the third quarter and with ten minutes to go, Israel remained one point ahead. A nine-point unanswered run from Italy took them in to the lead and through their extensive defensive pressure, Israel struggled to create good scoring opportunities. In a tense final five minutes it was Italy who secured the win and the final qualification spot, 59-53.
The final game of the day was between hosts Spain women and Turkey women, with the last qualifying place for the World Championships at stake. Spain women made sure it was going to be a positive end to the tournament for them, with a strong first half, 40-11. They carried on with the same vengeance in the second half with a confident display, finishing with a resounding, 94-29 win.
For more results, statistics and full schedule please visit http://competitions.iwbf-europe.org