Turkey win again, must wait for semis

14 August 2008
Emel Güler collected 21 points and nine rebounds as Turkey knocked off Czech Republic 79-57 but must wait to find out if they will reach the semi-finals of the Termosteps U16 European Championship.

The win moves Turkey to 3-2 in the Qualifying Round Group E but Firat Okul's team needed Sweden to lose against Lithuania later to make the final four.

Turkey would have been eliminated with a loss with Belgium going through.

Pelin Gülbag (Turkey, left), Karolína Elhotová (Czech Republic)
Pelin Gülbag (Turkey, left) scored 11 points

But Ayse Cora had 14 points, Pelin Gülbag added 11 points and seven assists and Özge Kavurmacioglu chipped in nine points and 13 rebounds off the bench.

The Czech Republic dropped to 1-4 in the group despite 21 points from Karolína Elhotová and 11 by Renata Pudláková.

With the Belgian players in the stands cheering them on, the Czech Republic jumped ahead 7-4. Güler hit back-to-back baskets and Gülbag knocked down a triple to push Turkey ahead 13-11. And Kavurmacioglu came off the bench to help Okul's team lead 18-15 after one period. The advantage grew to 25-18 on Betül Kalfali's three-pointer. The Czechs knotted the game at 26-26 and Klára Ovsíková's triple gave them a 31-30 lead. But the Turkish defense held the Czech offense scoreless for nearly three minutes and Cora scored eight straight points including two triples in Turkey's 12-0 surge to close the half ahead 42-31.

The first half had a scary moment when Turkish forward Rana Derin temporarily passed out on the sidelines after an apparant elbow to the head with about seven minutes left. She was stretchered out of the gym to local hospital.

Güler scored three baskets to keep the Czechs at bay though Elhotová's triple made it 48-38. But Özlem Öztürk's long ball sparked a 12-4 spurt as Turkey opened their biggest lead of the game to that point at 60-42. And Okul's girls were ahead 66-49 after three periods. Richard Fousek's Czechs offered little resistance in the fourth, watching Turkey blow the game wide open with a 13-3 run.

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