After a strong middle part of the game it looked like Isreal will go home with a win and complicate everything in Group A that much more, but it wasn’t to be. Hosts Ukrainians finished the game with a 16-5 run to claim a narrow 3 point win. Israelis still hold a tiebreaker against Ukraine, but they’re in no position to think about using it. Not depending on the outcome of their game against Belarus, Ukraine’s campaign will go down to the final game against Hungary in round 10.
Group leaders Belarus are one win away from a place in EuroBasket Women 2013 after a win at home against Portugal. Tatsiana Likhtarovich led the winners with 13 points, while Sofia da Silva had 15 for Portugal.
|Ukraine – Israel 71-68
Ukraine: Zarytska 14, Tsekova 13, Kurasova 13, Alyoshkina 10
Israel: Doron 23, Cohen 11, Zairy 8
|Belarus – Portugal 63-41
Belarus: Likhtarovich 13, Verameyenka 12, Anufryienka 10
Portugal: Da Silva 16, Brandao 8, Lopes 7
Having lost their first 5 games and all chances to qualify, Estonia didn’t give up. They had possibly their best game of the tournament so far, in a narrow loss to Poland. Estonia managed to get in front several times in the third quarter only to admit at the end of the game that Poland has a stronger team. Next seven days will be critical for the Polish to determine if they’ll qualify – they’ll host Montenegro and will visit Serbia.
Montenegro can punch their ticket on Saturday with a win at Poland after they routed Switzerland. Jelena Dubljevic led her team with “only” 14 points which is well under her competition average so far. Switzerland meanwhile still have a microscopic, one in a million chance for a top two place.
|Estonia – Poland 58-65
Estonia: Anderson 15, Kast 14, Nikolai 8
Poland: Piekarska 16, Walich 12, Skobel 10, Pietrzak 9
|Montenegro – Switzerland 69-39
Montenegro: Dubljevic 14, Perovanovic 12, Skerovic 10
Switzerland: Twehues 15, Giroud 9, Kassongo 6
Slovenians might want to analyze their training regimen, because it appears they have lost their third player to an ACL injury on Wednesday when Teja Oblak went down in a lot of pain after what looked like her knee gave out after she planted her leg running on a fast break. Afterwards she was in a lot of pain and it took some time before they got her off the court. Despite losing their second best scorer Slovenia held on for the remainder of the first half against Lithuania. After halftime Slovenians came out morally unready and suffered a harsh defeat at the hands of merciless Lithuanians. Lithuania can clinch a spot on Saturday with a win against Slovak Republic.
Belgium also had a strong first half against Slovak Republic, but the young, inexperienced squad were unable to sustain that level throughout the game as Slovaks came out strong in the third quarter to win it 23-9 and take lead they would never give back. Slovaks now are preparing for their game against Lithuania, which although seems important in terms of standings will not be as decisive as their game against Slovenia.
|Lithuania – Slovenia 65-46
Lithuania: Linkeviciene 18, Petronyte 16 (11 reb), Solopova 12, Sulciute 9
Slovenia: Trebec 13, Erkic 12, Pirsic 9
|Belgium – Slovak Republic 54-63
Belgium: Mayombo 11, Strubbe 8, Meesseman 7, Celus 7
Slovak Republic: Vynuchalova 14, Jalcova 13, Tetemondova 12
Germany stayed alive after a win at Romania. Anne Breitreiner led 4 German players in double digits as they eliminated Romania from contention. Romanian leader Gabriella Marginean meanwhile is showing she can do on the NT what she did with Arras last season, which is to score. She should get a nice gig for the next season, based on the last season and this summer. German chances of advancing are minuscule, they need to either win Spain by 28 points or hope that the winless Bulgaria will defeat Sweden.
I think we know can officially announce that Sweden have arrived in European women’s basketball elite (elite=top 12 teams). After defeating unprepared Spain at home they did the same at Spain, despite Spaniards receiving reinforcements in the shape of Sancho Lyttle. Lyttle obviously wasn’t at full strength as she went 3 from 10 for 9 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Spain as a team lost the battle on the boards by 10, thanks in large to 12 rebounds by Louice Halvarsson. Both Sweden and Spain can qualify with wins on Saturday.
|Romania – Germany 64-75
Romania: Marginean 20, Cutas 9, Parau 7, Stoenescu 7
Germany: Breitreiner 18, Bar 14, Austmann 13, Greunke 10
|Spain – Sweden 73-79
Bulgaria: Valdemoro 19, Palau 12, Aguilar 10, Lyttle 9
Spain: Eldebrink 18, Andersson 14, Halvarsson 15 (12 reb)
Finland lost to Greece for the second time. Now even if the Finns win out, they will need Greece to lose one or even two of their last three games to have a chance. Greece are continuing to play on the edge of a cliff, to have realistic chances they need a win on Saturday. While the Greeks still had issues limiting Taru Tuukkanen, outside of Tiina Sten, she didn’t have nearly enough support to carry Finland to a win.
Latvian head coach admitted that they weren’t preparing for Luxembourg and their focus is on Saturday’s game against Greece, so main thing against Luxembourg was to win as easily and with less possible resources. So they did, but the win was the second narrowest among any team defeating Luxembourg.
|Finland – Greece 52-66
Finland: Tuukkanen 19 (10 reb), Sten 15, Korpivaara 6, Sten 6
Greece: Dimitrakou 15, Chatzinikolaou 11, Papamichail 10
|Latvia – Luxembourg 70-44
Latvia: Jansone 16, Niedola 15 (11 reb),
Luxembourg: Steinberga 16, Karklina 12, Krastina 9
*e means the teams are eliminated for EuroBasket Women 2013 contention