Turkey seeks second hoops win
LONDON - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s players celebrate victory against Angola after their women’s Group A basketball match at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Basketball Arena. Turkey will play Czech Republic today in a game that might kill or boost the country’s chances of advancing.
The Turkish women’s basketball team will take on the Czech Republic in the London Olympics today, two days after beating Angola 72-50 in its opening game.
In the country’s first-ever women’s basketball game in the Olympics, Emine Tuğba Palazoğlu led Turkey with 13 points in the Group A matchup. Bahar Çağlar made each of her five shots and added 11 points in the victory, while Şaziye İvegin and Quanitra Hollingsworth each chipped in 10 for Turkey, which opened the game with the first 13 points and never trailed.
Nacissela Mauricio led Angola with 11 points.
Çağlar scored four during Turkey’s opening 13-0 run and it was 21-8 after the opening quarter. Angola trailed by 10 at halftime, 35-25, but Turkey opened the second half with the first seven points and led by as many as 24 down the stretch.
The Czech Republic, which also won qualification through the 2012 World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women held in Ankara in June, lost 66-57 to China in its opening game in London.
Turkish player İvegin said they were happy to win the country’s first Olympic basketball game. “If we want to have the advantage for further stages, we must win our games in the group,” she said. “I think that our most important game will be against the Czech Republic.”
Palazoğlu said Angola had a very physical and athletic team. “We knew how they would have wanted to play; we played in our own style and won.”
While the women basketballers enjoy the victory, the Turkish women’s volleyball team was quite bitter after a hard-fought loss against defending champion Brazil in their opening game in five sets; 25-18, 23-25, 25-19, 25-27 and 15-12.
In its second game today, Turkey takes on another title candidate, China, hoping to clinch its first victory.
Sheila Castro led Brazil with 19 points, followed by Jaqueline Carvalho and Thaisa Menezes with 13 and 12 respectively. Fernanda Rodrigues and Fabiana Claudino each notched 10 points. Turkey’s Neslihan Darnel topped the defeated side with 18 points while Gözde Sonsırma and Neriman Özsoy each collected 15. Brazil totaled 15 blocks to 11 by their opponents and also held a slight advantage in the aces category of 9-5 in the match that lasted 2 hours and 9 minutes.
“We knew it was going to be like that, it’s the Olympics and every game is like a final,” Fabiana, who plays for the Turkish club Fenerbahçe and is appearing at her third successive games, told Reuters. “It was a great match and I think we played well. I never really thought we would lose. But we were anxious.”