Great Britain women cruised to their sixth consecutive bronze medal, as they comfortably defeated France 68-37 in the opening game of finals day at the European Championships in Tenerife. Led by the strong shooting combination of Helen Freeman (27 points) and Amy Conroy (18 points), Great Britain stormed to an early lead which they maintained throughout the game to see the secure their tenth European Bronze medal.
The second game of the day was the men’s battle for bronze, with Germany meeting The Netherlands. It was a tense game with nothing between the two teams throughout the game, each side taking slender advantages that neither could turn in to a large enough lead to feel comfortable. It was the Germans who were clinical from the free-throw line in the final stages of the game to win 61-56 and take home the bronze
It was Germany versus The Netherlands again in the next game of the day, but this time for the title of Women’s European Champions. With such a prize at stake, the first half was very even as they both won a quarter 15-8 making it all square at the half-time break. The Netherlands came out with vengeance to start the second half winning the third quarter 19-8, to lead by 11 going into the last ten minutes. Although the German women rallied in the final quarter, the deficit was too much for them to break down and it was The Netherlands who, after the heartbreak of losing in the Gold medal match in 2015, were crowned European Champions, winning 56-46.
The final game of the tournament was a familiar match-up as Turkey took on Great Britain for the third time in a row in the Men’s European Championships final. Turkey came out firing and took an early ten-point lead. Great Britain changed their tactics and put the press on which Turkey struggled to get out of, allowing GB to come back into the game to cut it to a two-point ball game. Both teams got in early foul trouble, but it proved costlier for Great Britain as Turkey converted from the line to take the advantage into half time, 36-24. A high scoring third quarter was edged by Great Britain, but Turkey still took a 9-point lead in to the last quarter, 58-49. In an exhilarating final ten minutes, Great Britain made an outstanding comeback bringing the game back to just one point, but again Turkey’s captain Ozgur Gurbulak hit two huge three point shots to put the game out of reach and it was third time lucky for Turkey, who claimed the Gold medal, 76-69.
For full results and scores please visit http://competitions.iwbf-europe.org/index.php