2012 U16 Women's European Championship
July 12-22 U16 Euro championship will be held in Miskolc, Hungary.
Official site here .
Obviously difficult to preview, the most active teams have been Spain (last weekend winner of Nice tournament), France, Belgium, Russia, Serbia.
Italy played exhibition games with Slovenia tying 1-1 and will have her star Cecilia Zandalasini back from last year's bronze team.
Most notable wins of Day1: Belgium over Turkey 72-46 and Italy over Spain 67-48.
Both Belgium and Turkey have some good players back from last year's U16 Fiba Euro, but Belgian girls won easier than expected.
Half-surprise looks the clear win of Italy in the big match with Spain. It was still an open game with less than 2' to go, 55-48 for the Italian girls, who finished with 12 unanswered points in the final moments. Cecilia Zandalasini with 12pts+11reb, Martina Kacerik 16pts and Marzia Tagliamento 15 for the winners, Angela Salvadores with 16 for Spain.
Yesterday's win of Italy over 2011 U16 Euro champion Spain is logically reported in enthusiastic terms.
While it's true that now Italian team becomes the #1 favorite, it must be underlined that none of the 2011 U16 Spanish champions are back this year (they all were born 1995 and will probably represent the block of the U17 team) while 4 Italian girls are returning (Kacerik, Tagliamento, Vitari and Zandalasini). And this year's Spanish selection only has Angela Salvadores at really top international level.
Summary of yesterday's games here .
The eight teams to quarters have bee defined, today the big clash Belgium-Russia (both unbeaten) and France-Italy to know the groups leaders.
Belgium-France, Spain-Hungary, Russia-Czech Rep, Italy-Slovak Rep.
Russia defeating Belgium is the only unbeaten team. Italy trailed with France at the intermission, but in the 2nd half had an incredible 39-15, finishing 1st in its group. Zandalasini again at with top performance.
Favorite for the medals are imo Russia and Italy.
Italy-Spain will be the final, a repeat of the opening game, won by Italian girls.
Trailing most of the game with undefeated Russia, Spain showed huge character in the last Q, while Russian team completely lost its usual efficiency, with a lot of errors both in scoring and ball handling.
Italy again led by its young stars Zandalasini (a MVP candidate), Tagliamento and Kacerik resisted to Belgium's strong comeback in Q4 and deservedly earned the win.
Like last year, Spain is again playing for the gold, but compared to 2011 this year's team is imo at lower level and Italians are now favorite to take the gold.
This was suposedly a weaker spanish generation than the previous and yet another gold medal thanks to their great competitiveness.
Zandalasini was still the best player on the floor, this girl looks like something serious.
True, but Spain's growth in the last games has been outstanding, yesterday it was already clear watching the last Q vs Russia. And today, Italian team probably was too overconfident, having already defeated Spanish girls and was punished.
Originally Posted by mbenga
Salvadores and Zandalasini are to me the tournament MVPs.
Finally a good placement for Russia (after the 2011 disappointment) even though they were supposed to reach the final, while Belgium 4th and France 5th reflect their performance throughout the tournament.
Last point: Netherlands, that was 2-1 in the prelim, after losing for injury its center and top scorer/rebounder Emese Hof didn't win a single game finishing 2-6 and 12th overall.
Edit P.S: Zandalasini earned a well deserved MVP award.
Last edited by carlo; 07-22-2012 at 09:35 PM.