Turkey takes on Serbia in Eurobasket Women quarterfinals

Turkey takes on Serbia in Eurobasket Women quarterfinals

Turkey takes on Serbia in Eurobasket Women quarterfinals

Turkish players celebrate after the second round basketball match between France and Turkey at the EuroBasket Women 2015 tournament in Debrecen June 19, 2015. Turkey won the match 56-66. AFP Photo

The Turkish women’s basketball team will on June 24 play Serbia in the quarterfinals of Eurobasket Women 2015, hoping to qualify for the final of the continental event.

Serbia lost its final game in Group F 73-72 against Lithuania on June 22, finishing the group in fourth spot. In the next round it will play Turkey, which finished atop Group E standings thanks to a 59-48 win over the Czechs, who were eliminated with a 3-4 record in the tournament.

Turkish players, who were runners-up in the biennial tournament’s 2011 edition and were knocked out in the semifinals in 2013, are hopeful for a top spot finish this year and looking forward to the Serbia clashing Budapest.

“At this point, of course the main target is winning the trophy,” said point guard Işıl Alben. 

“We will not relax, we are cautious, but why not go for the gold medal this time?”

Another guard, Birsel Vardarlı, highlighted the confidence of the squad members.

“We are talking among ourselves about the possibility of winning the title. It is not an easy task, but we will do our best whoever our opponents will be,” she said.

Speaking after the victory against the Czech Republic, Turkey coach Ekrem Memnun said his side’s game has progressed as the tournament had gone on.

“We did not have a good start to the tournament, but I’m happy with the situation of my team now,” Memnun told Anadolu Agency. “We had a chance to reflect our character of refusing to lose.”

He added that the team came to the tournament with the target of reaching the final.

“Sometimes we play well; sometimes we made easy mistakes. But thanks to our players, we have managed to come this far,” Memnun said.

The coach said the focus for Turkey is now on Serbia.

“The game will also be important for the race to get an Olympic place. There is only one acceptable result for us: Victory. We will do our utmost to win the match,” Memnun said.

In today’s other quarterfinal clash, Lithuania will play Belarus, which beat Turkey in its first match at the tournament. The winner of the match up will either be Turkey or Serbia’s opponent in the semifinals.

The quarterfinals will be completed tomorrow, when Spain plays Montenegro and France takes on Russia.

Defending champion Spain sealed top spot in Group F after signing off in Gyor with a 66-57 triumph against Russia on June 22, extended its winning streak to seven games to stay perfect in the tournament. 

Alba Torrens posted 24 points and five assists for the winning side, while Laura Nicholls contributed 13 rebounds for the victory.