The Spanish team, who were so far undefeated in the Men’s U23 European Championships in Lignano Sabbiadoro, were the favourites going into the Final against a German team that had a big win versus Israel in their semi-final.

Spain started strongly as they moved into a 9-2 lead with four minutes gone. A change of line-up from Germany’s Head Coach Peter Richarz provided his team with a little impetus as they pulled it back to three points, but Spain readjusted to give themselves an eight-point advantage at the end of the first.

The second quarter saw Spain quickly increase their lead as Germany found themselves getting into foul difficulty from chasing the game. The Spanish hold on the game was developing which only intensified as they kept Germany scoreless for the last five minutes, winning the period, 22-6, to head into half-time 40-16 up.

Spain won a much more even thirrd quarter, 12-7, but by now the result was not in doubt and winning the 4th quarter 24-11 just confirmed their dominance in this game, and the tournament as a whole finishing the game with a 76-34 victory and claiming the title of European Champions in style.

Spain’s Ignacio Ortega hit a massive double-double of 35 points and 28 rebounds, with Óscar Onrubia scoring 15 points. Bastian Kolb top-scored for Germany with 12 points.

Ortega, “We’ve been working so hard and working for so many years. Working hard as a team and coming here and doing good, and hoping for more, and today we actually got it. We played an incredible tournament and I think we deserve it.”

Following the final, the medal presentation took place and the All-Star Five was announced. It consisted of Israel’s Amit Vigoda (4.5), Germany’s Bastian Kolb (3.0), France’s Manuel Gomez (2.5), Turkey’s Ridvan Aksoy (1.0), and Spain’s Oscar Onrubia (1.5).