To a surprise to absolutely no one, Hungary had their way with Portugal, the clear-cut worst team of the group. The safe margin, combined with the fact that Hungary realistically don’t have to worry about tiebreaker against Portugal meant that Stefan Svitek could give minutes to all 12 of his players. 11 of them scored in that game, with the only player with a 0 in points column being Timea Czank.
Despite going 3-0, Belarus had yet another narrow victory against Israel at home. As is the case with Hungary, Belarus will have to sweat in their return game to the visitors court. The undersized Israeli front line were unable to counter Anastasiya Verameyenka. But we’re not talking about near the basket. The Belorussian big was 5 from 7 behind the arc. The hosts meanwhile had a hard time containing the Israeli speedy backcourt duo of Liron Cohen and Shay Doron, both of whom combined for 12 drawn fouls. Expect Israelis to be more competitive in the return game.
|Hungary – Portugal 80-45
Hungary: Nagy-Bujdoso 18, Quigley 17, Honti 11, Horti 9
Portugal: Freitas 14, Oliveira 6, Nascimento 6
|Belarus – Israel 69-61
Belarus: Verameyenka 20, Troina 15, Tarasava 10
Israel: Cohen 17, Doron 16, Levitsky 12, Zairy 9
Everything that’s not forbidden is fair in sports. So saying that Iva Perovanovic will not be able to play against Poland and then start and play her 35 minutes is perfectly fine. Montenegrins probably don’t care about it one bit, but you can bet they are pissed they allowed an 18 point fourth quarter lead get cut in half by going scoreless for the last 4 and a half minutes while the Poles scored 8 unanswered, their biggest run of the whole game. Outside of Jelena Dubljevic, none of the Montenegro top scorers had a particularly good shooting night. On the Polish side of things Agnieszka Skobel is worth highlighting – besides team leading 16 points on 8 from 12 shooting, she also recorded 6 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 assists.
Serbia, preparing for a game with big implications against Poland cruised past Switzerland at home. Marina Mandic led five Serbian players in double digits with 18 points. This wasn’t a pretty, nor a defensive exhibition – both teams shot near 50% with key for Serbia being a 19 rebound advantage, but then both teams combined for 56 turnovers which is an obscene number.
|Montenegro – Poland 59-50
Montenegro: Murphy 12, Skerovic 11, Aleksic 11, Dubljevic 11
Poland: Skobel 16, Szott 8, Piekarska 7
|Serbia – Switzerland 88-64
Serbia: Mandic 18, Jovanovic 16, Matic 16, M.Dabovic 16, A.Dabovic 11
Switzerland: Twehues 19, Kershaw 13, Kassongo 8, Giroud 8
In the words of Slovenian NT head coach Boris Zrinski they might have played the best half in Slovenian NT history. In the second half they showed they’re still a young, internationally inexperienced squad by losing the half by 12 points. Of all the undefeated teams Slovenia is the most surprising one and it will be an even bigger surprise if they manage to defeat Slovak Republic in a week. Also of note – Tjasa Gortnar has sustained an injury, according to her teammate Teja Oblak.
Sandra Linkeviciene scored nine points, Gintare Petronyte added eight in the fourth quarter as Lithuania broke Slovak Republic’s resistance in the final frame. Linkeviciene finished the game with 21 points, Petronyte – with 17. Up until the final quarter it was a close game with both teams getting their opportunities to lead – lead changed 13 times in first 30 minutes, with the game being tied additional 11 times. Despite being the clear cut favorites of Group C, Lithuanians have had a very tough time against other contenders for a spot in EuroBasket Women 2013.
|Slovenia – Netherlands 68-52
Slovenia: Baric 18, Erkic 12, Pirsic 10, Komplet 9
Netherlands: Halman 16, van den Adel 11, Beld 9
|Lithuania – Slovak Republic 78-64
Lithuania: Linkeviciene 21, Solopova 19, Petronyte 17, Paugaite 10
Slovak Republic: Vynuchalova 13, Kupcikova 11, Lawless 9
After struggling through the first half Sweden found their footing in the second one to claim their second win of the tournament. Jaklin Zlatanova was the only Bulgarian player able to break in the double digits with 18 points. Meanwhile Frida Eldebrink with 19 points led 4 Swedish players in double digits. Bulgarians fell in love with their three pointers – having made first 3 of 5, they missed the subsequent nine. It appears this schedule is very favorable for the Swedes who now have a week to prepare for Germany, EuroBasket Women 2011 participant.
For people tuning in during the middle of third quarter, like yours truly, it was a depressive look of German NT. Being down just 31-41 they scored 8 points in the remainder of the game against Spain in what turned out to be a rout. Spain being one of the deepest teams of the tournament were able to get minutes for 11 players, with only the young and fresh Laura Nicholls getting to play over 30 minutes.
|Bulgaria – Sweden 60-80
Bulgaria: Zlatanova 18, Bachvarova 9, Perostiyska 9 (13 reb)
Sweden: F.Eldebrink 19, Halvarsson 12, Yderstrom 11, E.Eldebrink 11
|Spain – Germany 66-39
Spain: Aguilar 12, Valdemoro 11, Ouvina 8, Palau 8
Germany: Bar 13, Breitreiner 7, Mankertz 6
Young Latvian NT continues to surprise people even in Latvia with another double digit win against their main competitors for a spot in EuroBasket Women 2013 – Greek NT. They came out strong with Zane Tamane starting strong against the undersized Greek frontcourt. Only Greek who the hosts had issues stopping was Zoi Dimitrakou, but she’s no Maltsi – her shooting % were too low for her to be able to carry Greece to a victory.
Italy earned their first victory of the tournament by routing Luxembourg. Thus Italians are going in a pivotal match-up against Greece on Saturday in a much better mood than the Greeks.
|Latvia – Greece 63-46
Latvia: Tamane 18 (12 reb), Jansone 13, Krastina 12
Greece: Dimitrakou 14, Papamichail 11, Sotiriou 10
|Italy – Luxembourg 86-37
Italy: Zanoni 16, Masciadri 14, Santucci 10, Crippa 10, Bagnara 9
Luxembourg: Mossong 13, T.Hetting 11, Orban 4