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Spain crowned FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2023 champs after downing France in OT thriller

Spain have returned to the top of the world as they captured the title at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2023 with a thrilling 73-69 overtime victory against France.

Jordi Rodriguez scored 18 points and Rafael Villar had 17 points including two free throws with 26 seconds left in overtime of a game for the ages between European giants. Spain earned their second U19 crown following 1999, when players like Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Raul Lopez, Felipe Reyes and Carlos Cabezas won the title.

France have now lost back-to-back U19 World Cup Finals after 2021 to United States. And the country is still waiting for their first global youth championship. Melvin Ajinca netted 21 points and Zacharie Perrin took 20 rebounds for the French, whose only two losses in Debrecen came at the hands of Spain.

In the Third-Place Game, Turkey made history by beating United States for the first time in the country’s history with an 84-70 win to finish third and match their greatest achievement in the competition.

Tan Yildizoglu paced Turkey with 20 points and 8 assists while Berke Buyuktuncel collected 19 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals for Turkey, who grabbed third place in 2015 as their only previous podium finish.

Izan Almansa of Spain won the TISSOT MVP award for the tournament. Joining him on the All-Star Five were teammate Jordi Rodriguez, Zacharie Perrin of France, Berke Buyuktuncel of Turkey and USA guard Mark Armstrong.

FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2023 Final Standings

1. Spain2. France3. Turkey4. USA5. Argentina6. Serbia7. Canada8. Japan9. Slovenia10. China11. Brazil12. Korea13. Egypt14. Madagascar15. Lebanon16. Hungary

Credit: AIPS Media

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