Ukraine Progress At Expense Of Portugal

18 August 2012

14. Lyudmyla Naumenko (Ukraine)
Lyudmyla Naumenko had a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds for Ukraine

A stunning final quarter and another outstanding contribution by Alina Iagupova helped Ukraine overcome short-handed Portugal by 64-47 to move into the Second Round of the U20 European Championship Women in Debrecen.

It was rough justice on Portugal who once again, could only rely on six players because of illness tearing through their roster.

Eugenio Rodrigues and his coaching staff deserve huge plaudits, along with the players, for their incredible efforts which once again kept them in the game until the later stages before fatigue finally got the better of them.

It was a 17-5 fourth quarter which eventually killed-off their hopes of an unlikely win having actually held a slender one-shot lead at half-time.

The unmistakable figure of Iagupova was of course the other main reason for Portugal remaining winless. She finished with a stellar 29 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, making the big plays in the second half.

Crucially, she had the support of Lyudmyla Naumenko who also finished with a double-double as the superior depth and rotation of Ukraine took its' toll.

As brave as their efforts were, Portugal must now try to ensure they get healthy and try to prevent an immediate return to Division B for next summer.


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