Spain Bags Bronze with a 77-68 Triumph over Belarus

The Spaniards will go home with smiles on their faces as they bagged the bronze medal when they cruised past Belarus, 77-68, in the third-place match of the 2010 FIBA World Basketball Championship in Czech Republic.

After missing their semifinals clash against USA because of a back injury, WNBA star Sancho Lyttle played with a vengeance as the Atlanta Dream forward scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, leading Spain to its first ever medal finish.

"I thank God that I recovered and I was able to help my team today having missed the Semi-Finals,” Lyttle said. “It has been a great experience to play at the World Championship and achieve our aim and win bronze makes it all the more pleasing.”

Alba Torrens also had an impressive night with her 19 points, while Amaya Valdemoro capped off her all-tournament brilliance with 16 points and five rebounds for Spain, which were hardly challenge right from the first period.

The Spaniards started the game like a house on fire, as Torrens and Lytlle combined for 21 points, helping their team pull away early, 28-15, at the end of the first period.

However, Belarus proved that they will not go down without a fight as they slowly chipped in on Spain’s lead behind the nine-point performance of Anastasiya Verameyenka, which trimmed the Spaniards’ lead to seven points, 41-34, at the half.

After finishing the first half with lackluster offense, the Spaniards once again leaned on Lyttle’s heft, while Valdemoro took charge, helping Spain protect a nine-point lead, 62-53, at the end of the third period.

Belarus made some last ditch comeback attempt down the stretch, but Spain quickly shut the door for them to take home the bronze medal in this year’s worlds.

Verameyenka finished the game with 20 points and five rebounds, while Yelena Lauchanka added 14 points and six rebounds for Belarus, which finished fourth despite having a 4-5 record.

Belarus finished fourth in their group after two rounds, but they shocked the world by defeating Russia in the quarterfinals.


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