Serbia Champions of Europe

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Serbia Champions of Europe

Serbia is the new European Champion as they recovered from Spain 2013. They beat France in Budapest in a very impressive performance. Ana Dabovic, MVP of the tournament, scored 25 points (8/12), helped by Sonja Petrovic (22 points 9/15). With 47.3% French defense struggled all game long.  Céline Dumerc (13 points) and her team took the lead in the first quarter because of steals and some huge blocks from Sandrine Gruda, Serbian dominated the game. They defended with full court pressure and perfectly slowed the French attack, Diandra Tchatchouang was the only effective player (15 points) but with three fouls in the second quarter she was reduced to the bench. At the end of the first, France lead 22-15 with a 7-0 from run led by Olivia Epoupa.

Several times France could not get a shot off before the 24 second clock expired. Their perfect zone defense and a constant double teaming on the point guards from Serbia was too effective. Offesively, Dabovic used screens and open space to create easy one on one opportunities with smaller defenders resulting in easy jump shots and layups. Petrovic was also on fire behind the line and Serbian came back and took the lead at halftime 32-33 after a 8-0 run.

In the third, Sandrine Gruda and Céline Dumerc attacked with more aggressively but Serbian were too good offensively, they were on fire for few minutes and took the lead 38-45. Tchatchouang came back on the court and her three point play closed the gap to 49-53 at the end of the quarter.

France started the last quarter extremely well but after a big foul from Epoupa, Serbian increased their lead and took control of the game. Isa Yacoubou, the French center was very impressive inside as she pulled down several offensive rebounds and scored some key free throws fueling their comeback to 57-59. However, Dabovic and Petrovic answered with some key one on one plays and with a big time 3-point basket to take the biggest lead of the game 59-67. Dumerc and Tchatchouang tried to bring the French squad back Ana Dabovic seal the game as the French finally gave up. The final score was 76-68.

Serbia won a well deserved gold medal, France finished second place and Spain third. Ana Dabovic was the MVP of the tournament. The All Tournament Team was: Alba Torrens (Spain), Sandrine Gruda (France), Ana Dabovic (Serbia), Sonja Petrovic (Serbia) and Céline Dumerc (France).

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