Russia celebrate after a clinical victory over Spain in the basketball 3x3 final ©Getty Images

Russia underlined their overall dominance at the European Games by securing a golden double in 3x3 basketball tonight, recovering from early deficits to beat Ukraine's women and Spain's men.

In front of an almost full-to-capacity crowd littered with Russian flags, the women's team exchanged baskets with Ukraine over the first seven minutes before Mariia Cherepanov produced the perfect jump shot to give the Russians a four-point led.

She followed that with a block under the basket to steal possession from the next play and, from that point, her team were simply strong.

They withstood everything their opponents threw at them while also scoring more with virtually every attack to eventually prevail 22-17.

"We had to win," said Cherepanova.

"We knew that Russia won a lot of gold medals.

"We wanted to be in this list and give another gold medal to our country."

After securing last year's European Tour final, her team were very much the favourites heading into the competition.

Russia proved too strong for Spain in the women's final before their male counterparts followed suit ©Getty Images
Russia proved too strong for Spain in the women's final before their male counterparts followed suit ©Getty Images

Their male counterparts, however, were less fancied, profiting as a result of Spain's thrilling 19-16 win over world silver medallists Serbia at the semi-final stage.

Many expected the Spanish to continue that momentum in the final, and they duly powered into the lead before the Russian fightback began.

Eight points from Aleksandr Pavlov put them ahead and, like the women's team, they always kept their opponents at arms length in front in an 18-14 victory.

"Our advantage is speed," said Pavlov.

"We are faster.

"They wanted to push us, they couldn’t, and we used our speed."

Serbia did make some amends for their semi-final disappointment by beating Slovenia 21-14 to claim the bronze medal.

Vaga Gimeno Martinez scored eight points in Spain's 19-9 win over Slovenia to claim the final place on the women's podium.

On a cooler and cloudier evening here, the spectacle was another strong advert for the discipline, which has enjoyed a remarkable rise since being pioneered just five years ago at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

With more multi-sport Games participation the aim, it is hoped 3x3 basketball will one day feature on the Olympic programme, possibly as soon as at Tokyo 2020.

Related stories
September 2014: 
Exclusive: 3x3 basketball is the future of our sport, claims FIBA secretary general