Author: Graham Tower
Published: 12:48 29/06/2013
Two European giants square up in the final of EuroBasket Women 2013 in Ochies, watch France v Spain live stream at 7.00pm BST on Sunday 30th June.
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The hosts avenged their 2011 semi-final defeat when out-pointing Turkey 57-49 on Wednesday to set up the chance to regain the title against Spain. France are looking to win EuroBasket Women for the third time having taken gold in 2001 and 2009. Since Russia’s shock exit in the first Group stage, the hosts have been favourites to win the tournament but have been made to fight every step on the way to the final.
Rank outsiders Sweden almost provided an upset in the quarter finals when leading 77-74 with two minutes remaining but FIBA Europe Player of the Year Celine Dumerc stepped up to hit three huge triples to swing the game the way of the hosts who eventually won 87-83. In the semi final, France let slip a nine point lead in the fourth quarter as Turkey closed to within two points. Sandra Gruda had an off night with her shooting but rimmed an ugly basket to help the favourties regain composure in crunch time after going seven minutes without a score.
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Spain qualified from Group E with a 5/0 record and cruised to the final with barely a concern. Alba Torrens finished with 29 points as Spain swept aside Czech Republic 75-58 in the quarter-finals before another emphatic victory, 88-69 against Serbia in the semis. Sancho Lyttle was her usual phenomenal presence when claiming her customary double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. The former WNBA All-Star is the leading player in the tournament with an average of 18.3 points per game.
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