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Russia defeat Spain to win European Basketball Championship
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09:52, September 17, 2007

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Russia won the European Basketball Championship in Madrid on Sunday, beating defending champions Spain 60-59 in the final of the tournament.

The game had been balanced throughout and Russia, which had lost to Spain in the second round of the competition, only won in the final seconds.

Spain had a blazing start, leading 15-4 in the first five minutes, thanks to Calderon's impeccable shooting from the three point line and Pau Gasol's dominance in the rebound.

Spain was 22-10 at the end of the first period.

But Russia fought back making every possession count. Russia focused on its defense gradually wearing down Spain, reducing Spain's triple-points shots to three in the second period.

By the start of the fourth period, the teams were just three points apart, after three periods with the same pattern: Spain scoring at the start of each period and Russia fighting back with goals towards the end.

The last quarter was a continuous tit-for-tat of goals in each team's basket, taking the score to 59-58 in the final minute.

Russia's Holden scored the winning two-point basket with just two seconds to time.

Spain's Gasol stood out in the match: scoring 14 points and capturing 13 of Spain's 14 rebounds. Spain's great weakness was ironically the easier two-point goals: the team scored only seven baskets from 30 shots.

Source: Xinhua

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