Budapest, June 28, 2015: (EuroBasket Women) – Serbia have made history by defeating France 76-68 to win their maiden EuroBasket Women title and earn direct qualification to the 2016 Rio Olympics in front of over 5,000 fans in Budapest, Hungary.
Ana Dabovic, the tournament MVP presented by Tissot, had a game-high 25 points, and her All-Star Five teammate Sonja Petrovic collected 22, as Serbia consigned France to the same spot they stood on the podium in the 2013 edition.
It was a quiet start to the game for Dabovic who only managed 4 points in the first half as her team held a slender 33-32 lead after 20 minutes. However, in the second half, the shooting guard, who finished the tournament averaging 14.8 points, exploded for 21 points to assure the historic night in Serbian basketball.
“I really don’t know what to say other than I am so happy for my country and the little girls back home that have been watching us,” expressed Dabovic following the game.
“I hope it will motivate them to play basketball and to have idols to look up to. We have a lot of love and respect for each other in the team and a good atmosphere and we have really enjoyed it.”
There was some minor consolation for the French duo of Sandrine Gruda and Celine Dumerc who joined Dabovic and Petrovic on the All-Star Five team, presented by Tissot, which was completed by Spain’s Alba Torrens.
Torrens shone for Spain in the bronze medal clash with a game-high 25 points as they recovered from their loss to France in the semi-finals on Friday, sweeping by Belarus 74-58.
2017 AWARDED TO CZECH REPUBLIC
Earlier on Sunday, the FIBA Europe Board, during its extraordinary session in Budapest, awarded the 2017 edition of EuroBasket Women to Czech Republic, who previously hosted the event in 1995.
Czech Republic and Serbia were the two bidding Federations for the 2017 event.
FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel thanked both candidacies which described as “outstanding.”
EuroBasket Women 2017 will revert to a 16-team format and a shorter competition format. It will be played in June 2017 with the exact dates to be confirmed.
The Board has also expressed its satisfaction with this year’s tournament in Hungary in Romania, the level of the basketball played and the excellent work done by the organisers.
The Board also discussed in detail other issues, including the remodelling of the club competitions. Details on this project and other Board decisions will be communicated on Monday. —- Photo: FIBA/Castoria Rebay
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