By Stefan Djordjevic/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Spain trailed by 13 points (36-23) in the third quarter but managed to turn the tables and win 57-53 against Turkey in the FIBA U18 European Championship FInal.
Santiago Aldama led the Spaniards to their fourth U18 EuroBasket gold medal with game-high 23 points while Usman Garuba logged a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Aldama averaged 18.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.9 steals per game, giving him a tournament-high 22.9 efficiency per game, and the award for the Most Valuable Player of the FIBA U18 European Championship.
Turkey will leave with their fourth silver medal as Mustafa Kurtuldum’s 19 and Alperen Sengun’s nine points weren’t enough. The latter also grabbed 11 boards.
Garuba averaged 15.6 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per outing, grabbing six double-doubles in seven games in Volos. Garuba has now played 21 games in FIBA youth events and had 18 double-doubles to his name.
Joining him and Aldama in the All-Star Five were Alperen Sengun of Turkey, Nikolaos Rogkavopoulos of Greece and Ziga Samar of Slovenia.
However, the Turkish side had its share of protests about a crucial referee call at the end of the game. Even Turkish federation president Hedo Turkoglu publicly demonstrated his displeasure.
Slovenia got the bronze medal by beating the hosts, Greece, 81-57 in the third-place game.