Turkish women punch quarterfinals ticket at European championship
CİHAN PhotoThe Turkish women’s national basketball team has beaten the Czech Republic in its last group game at Eurobasket 2015, booking a spot in tomorrow’s quarterfinal clash.
Nevriye Yılmaz had a game-high 23 points as Turkey secured first place in Group E on June 21 with a 59-48 win over the Czechs, who were eliminated with a 3-4 record in the tournament.
After leading 26-25 at half-time, the Turks blitzed clear with a 10-0 run at the start of the third quarter while holding the Czechs scoreless for over seven minutes. There was to be no way back, even when a late rally cut the gap to 51-46 with 2:54 left. After eight consecutive points from Turkey the door was closed.
With the result, the Czech Republic failed to make the last eight for only the second time in the last seven editions of the tournament.
Turkey will play the team on June 24 to finish fourth in Group F in the quarterfinals. The final games of the group were to be played later yesterday.
Turkey coach Ekrem Memnun said his side’s game has progressed as the tournament progressed.
“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 reusing to lose.”
Memnun said the team came to the tournament with the target of a place in the final.
“We played well occasionally, and sometimes we made easy mistakes, but thanks to our players, we have managed to come this far,” he added.
The coach said the next target for Turkey is the opponent in the quarterfinal.
“The game will also be important for the race to get an Olympic berth,” Memnun said. “Hence there is only one acceptable result for us, and it is victory. We will do our utmost to win the match.”
Also in Group E, France beat Belarus 64-58 to claim second place. Belarus finished the group third.
The result meant that Montenegro, despite losing 63-76 to Greece, earned a quarters berth finishing fourth, while Greece was eliminated.
The Greeks needed a 15-point victory to dump Montenegro out of the competition and came within a whisker of completing that scenario with a heroic effort, before falling just short in a 76-63 victory.
“We had a chance to win and qualify without any problem and I’m disappointed with how we prepared in the first half,” bemoaned Montenegro center Angelica Robinson.
“We started too slow and had too many turnovers. We didn’t have the same mentality as before,” she said.