Turkey advances in EuroBasket, will face Montenegro
DHA PhotoThe Turkish women’s national basketball team has advanced to the second group round of the 2015 European Championships and will take on Montenegro on June 17 in its first match of the new group.
Turkey head coach Ekrem Memnun believes his team learned a valuable lesson after earning a place among the 12 nations that have safely progressed to the next phase, although his team almost imploded against Italy before eventually prevailing 50-44 in Group B on June 15.
“It was a strange game,” Memnun told the event’s official website. “We dominated for two-and-a half quarters, but then we tried to protect the score instead of playing. We panicked and couldn’t execute on offence and nearly lost the game. We will learn a lot from this game.”
Forward Bahar Çağlar agreed.
“We started off the game very well both in offence and defense. It was an important game for us, although things didn’t go well for us in the second half and we panicked, but now we move to the second round,” Çağlar said.
Lara Sanders helped Turkey to shutout Italy with some big defensive plays after coming away with 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Turkey will be joined in Debrecen by Belarus, which toppled Greece 82-57 in another convincing display as it won the group. Tatsiana Likhtarovich led the way with 18 points, with Greece still progressing despite the defeat.
Group A was won by France that is also yet to taste defeat as it saw off Montenegro 79-67 as Sandrine Gruda grabbed 25 points and eight rebounds.
Czech Republic also punched its ticket after beating co-host Romania 82-71 as Alena Hanusova continued her breakout year with a terrific game-high 24 points.
Meanwhile, there were dramatic scenes in Group C as injury-struck Croatia went through to Gyor after Iva Borovic and Iva Sliskovic combined for 40 points to beat Great Britain 76-70.
That left Croatia needing the Russians to beat Serbia in the very last game in Szombathely and they duly obliged with a dominant 77-53 triumph. Veteran center Irina Osipova managed to dish up an astonishing 13 assists to go with her 10 rebounds for a superb double-double.
It also meant that Russia avenged its historic first loss to Latvia a day earlier, as the victory eliminated the neighboring country from the competition.
Group D had already been decided ahead of the final day of the first round and the action concluded in Sopron with Spain sliding to a narrow 64-60 defeat against Sweden but still progressing.
Meanwhile, Hungary signed off with an 86-74 win against Slovak Republic as Anna Vajda, Tijana Krivacevic and Alexandria Quigley all scored more than 20 points. However, the damage had already been done in the previous three outings and the co-host won’t be continuing in the competition.