Recapping FIBA U16 European Championships – Division A

France-Spain in another fight for Gold:

The French and Spaniards have become very familiar with each other in Gold-medal games at the U16 European Championships. In their 4th meeting for the crown, the pair tied Italy and Russia/USSR for the most frequent championship matchup in tournament history.

Entering the game, France held a 2-1 matchup advantage and narrowly extended it with a 67-63 win. The outcome was an exact repeat of last year’s battle between these teams, with France again winning narrowly by a score of 65-61. Outside of this duo’s initial meeting, with Spain winning by 9, the winner has an average margin of victory of just 3.67 points.

Wing Aihnoa Risacher and center Lilyana Fontcha each put up 15 points, along with the latter’s 13 rebounds, to lead the way for France. With both teams struggling badly from the perimeter, the difference was made at the free throw line. Wing Justine Loubens and guard Kiara Leno combined for 19 attempts at the line matching Spain’s entire team. The duo had yet to receive strong minutes or explode in the scoring column until the championship – stepping up when it mattered most.

Italy thwarts Finland’s chance at first Division A medal:

Last second drama saw Italy claim the bronze medal over Finland. Nicole Ogun’s putback layup with 8.8 seconds left pulled the Finns within a single point of the Italians, 59-58, prompting what would have been an obvious fouling scenario on the next defensive possession. However, a 5-second violation following the Italian’s timeout opened the door for Finland to completely flip the game’s momentum and walk away with a win.

Following a missed putback attempt at the other end of the floor, again by Ogun, the Finns held hope on one last ditch attempt to pull out the victory. However, Italy’s Georgia Gorina had other plans perfectly deflecting the inbounds pass and securing the ball as time expired. The win produced the Italian’s 4th medal at the U16 European Championships in the last 7 tournaments. Guard Francesca Baldassarre scored 17 points on 4-9 shooting from 3 helped Italy deny Finland their 1st Division A medal in tournament history.

EYBL Stars get taste of international play:

The EYBL, Philly Rise specifically, crashed the party in Turkey. 6’4” C Olivia Vukosa [Christ the King (NY)] and 5’11” G Jada Lynch [St. Rose (NJ)], both class of 2026, suited up for Croatia and Belgium respectively.

Vukosa was a massive presence for the Croatians, not only leading the team in scoring and rebounding but the entire tournament as well. Her attentiveness led to high-level activity on both ends of the floor and also the team’s leader in blocks. Additionally leading the tournament in free throws made and attempted, Vukosa’s skillset and frame were difficult for opposing teams to contend with.

Her EYBL teammate Lynch was equally as important to the Belgians. Also leading her team in points and assists, as well as 3rd in rebounds, the guard was a crucial playmaker and cog for sustaining offensive momentum. Her physicality led to mismatches in the backcourt and generating more efficient scoring opportunities.

Adidas Eurocamp selections prove themselves again:

The inaugural edition of the girl’s Adidas Eurocamp proved to be a successful conglomeration of global talent within the 2024-2027 classes. The event tested athletes repeatedly and brought out the best in each of their skillsets through competition. The positive results have continued to show themselves nearly two months later in FIBA tournaments.

During this year’s edition of the U16 European Championships, players participating in the camp have performed particularly well. A number of players within Division A repeatedly produced in the top-5 of multiple statistical categories for their respective countries:

Name (Country)PtsRebAstStlBlk
Jovana Popovic (SRB)1stT-31st1st3rd
Lana Brenjo (SRB)4th1st3rd
Lena Bilic (CRO)2nd3rd1st1st2nd
Beatrice Cere (ITA)5th2nd4thT-4
Hassan Isabel (ITA)3rd1st2nd2nd1st
Carolina Silva (POR)1st1stT-31st1st

Top Bigs:

🇭🇷Olivia Vukosa, ‘26

🇫🇷Lilyana Fontcha, ‘25

🇸🇮Tjasa Turnsek, ’25

Top Wings:

🇭🇷Lena Bilic, ’25

🇫🇷Aihnoa Risacher, ’25

🇸🇮Maja Uranker, ’25

Top Guards:

🇭🇷Hana Arnautovic, ’25

🇷🇸Jovana Popovic, ’25

🇮🇱Lee Teichman, ‘25

🇪🇸Gina Garcia, ’25

** Full player evaluations are available for the event via @SBProspects Scouting Service

Promoted Teams: Germany, Montenegro and Sweden

Relegated Teams: Czech Republic, Portugal and Turkey

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