Sport » Championships
Author`s name Alex Naumov

Russian women beat Spaniards winning EuroBasket 2007

Russian basketball enjoyed its second major victory in under a month as its women's team emerged victorious at EuroBasket 2007 in Italy.

Sunday's match saw a repeat of September's EuroBasket men's final between Russia and Spain, with Russia again gaining the upper hand, winning 74:68.

Russian women can now add the 2007 title to their 2003 victory in Greece. Six members of the present team also played a part in that triumph.

The victory gave Russia a place in next summer's Olympics in Beijing, rian.ru reports.

Ilona Korstin was Russia's top scorer in the final with 18 points.

As Pravda.Ru previously reported Russian men’s team also won European Basketball Championship.

Jon Robert Holden scored with two seconds remaining Sunday to lift Russia over Spain 60-59 in the final of the European Basketball Championship.

Holden stripped Spain centre Pau Gasol with 27 seconds to play then pump-faked before his jump shot bounced high and in for the win. Gasol's jumper at the buzzer rattled out as time expired.

"This was a victory of David over Goliath. We faced the beast and knocked him down and won," Russia coach David Blatt said. "It's a historic event. I'm proud to be the person in charge of this historic journey."

Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko led Russia with 17 points as the Russians won their first European title in 22 years.

"This is the best achievement of my career. To beat the Spanish team in Spain was a very tough challenge," tournament MVP Kirilenko said. "We stayed together as a team and won this game."

Toronto Raptors point guard Jose Calderon led Spain with 15 points. Raptors forward Jorge Garbahose added eight points and six rebounds.

Spain shot a tournament low 29 per cent from the floor (17-of-59) and was outscored 26-10 in the post.

"We're not going to wash our dirty laundry in public," said Spain coach Pepu Hernandez when asked what went wrong. "This is still a very strong team , an exemplary one in fact. For me, it's the best Spanish team in history."

Garbajosa's three-pointer put Spain in front after Russia had led for the first time when the American-born Holden made a layup at 9:02 to make it 51-49.

Source: agencies

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