- National Teams
England under-16’s made their opponents work hard for their win as Spain prevailed 75-64 in their Second Round encounter at the European Championships, on Wednesday.
Alan Keane’s side were on a high following their impressive win against Greece and put up a fight against Spain as they dropped to a 1-4 record in Group E.
England refused to bow down against the might of Spain and edged the second half battle 39-35 whilst closing to single figures in the closing stages.
Cameron Bett top scored for the second straight game with 14 points while Jacob Iwowo joined him in double figures with 12. Nelson Boachie-Yiadom added another all-round performance with 6 points, 8 rebounds and four assists.
And it was England’s leader who asserted his authority early on with four points and three boards in the opening minute and a half.
Spain made their move with the next ten points to build a lead they would never relinquish, but work hard to keep hold of.
Bett stopped the rot with a score from downtown but Spain finished the quarter with a 7-0 run to lead 19-7 at the end of the first.
Zephi Sharman scored four points in a 6-2 start to the second as England held Spain to just two points in nearly five minutes of play in the period.
Spain responded with an 8-2 run and they controlled the high-scoring end to the half to establish a 40-25 cushion heading into the break.
Iwowo sparked England back into life when play resumed with seven of their opening 11 points to cut the gap to single figures at 44-36.
The gap was further reduced to seven when Bett later netted from 3-point range but Spain regained control with eight unanswered points and they would lead 60-46 by the end of the third.
Still, England were not willing to go down without a fight and Kareem Queeley gave hope of a comeback with a triple to start proceedings in the fourth.
Spain kept their battling opponents to see their lead peak at 16 only for England to hit back with a 7-0 burst capped by a Bett three to make it 60-69 with just under three minutes to go.
Another three, this time from Kayiem Cleary, made it an eight-point game but Spain were able to hold on and complete the victory despite being given a stern test.
The under-16’s now need two victories to retain their Division A status with their next game taking place on Friday – Latvia are their likely opponents.
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