Finland Edge Hosts, Latvia Rebound

13 July 2012

Finland edged hosts Estonia 49-47 on the second day of the U16 European Championship Division B in Tallinn.

Looking to bounce back from their opening day setback to Portugal, the Baltic side outscored Finland 12-5 over the final 3:50 of the contest, trimming the deficit to two on a jump shot with just six seconds remaining from Kadri Ann Lass.

Estonia fouled Tuuli Menna, who had a game-high 16 points, and the 1.83m forward missed both free-throws.

Elli Koskinen grabbed the vital offensive rebound to keep the ball in Finland's hands and they held on for victory.

The 1.93m center Koskinen had 12 rebounds and three blocked shots to go with her four points as the Finns improved to 2-0 in Group A.

Portugal prevailed 70-48 over Ukraine with Simone Costa once again pouring in the points.

She had 23 and is now averaging 19 in the tournament.

Francisca Meinedo caught fire from long range for the Portuguese, nailing four of six attempts.

She is now seven of 10 for a scalding 70 per cent from behind the three-point line in the tournament.


The day's only game in Group B saw Lithuania win for the second time in a row.

The Baltic side claimed an 85-71 victory over Israel.

Dalia Belickaite had 25 points, 10 rebounds and six steals for Lithuania.

Ramune Kumpiene, the Lithuania coach, said: "The first half was hard until we got our defense working.

"When we got our defense working, then the offense started working as well."

Asked for his thoughts on the game, Israel's assistant coach Limor Mizrachi said: "We had a very good start. We were focused and our three-pointers were good as well.

"But we stopped playing in the fourth quarter. They beat us in that quarter, 24-8, which decided the game."

In Group C, Poland romped to an 86-51 victory over Luxembourg and Bulgaria beat Romania, 74-63.

Monika Radomska had 15 points for the Poles while Karolina Pobozy had 15 rebounds to go with her 13 points for Poland as they claimed their second victory in a row.

Mia Pauly finished with eight points for Luxembourg, who dropped to 1-1.

In Bulgaria's win, Borislava Hristova had 35 points.

Bulgaria coach Tzanko Tzankov was relieved to get a victory.

"It was an important game for both teams to continue the tournament," he said.

"We had our most important player injured from the game with Poland, but managed to control the game.

"In the last two to three minutes, we lost concentration, but with the free throws we earned, we managed to win."

The Romania coach, Veronica Gavrila, said: "It was an important game for qualification.

"Our number eight, Paula Lenart, is an important player for us.

"She committed three fouls in the first three minutes and we could only use her in the last quarter and we don't have an equal player to replace her.

"It was the moment our game broke down.

"The second problem was Bulgaria's number seven, Borislava Hristova, who scored 35 points.

"We made several changes, but couldn't find a suitable player to contain her.

"We managed to make a comeback in the last five minutes and close the gap to four points, but it was too late."


Slovenia, meanwhile, are off and running in Group D.

Teo Hojc's side won for the second game in a row, beating Belarus, 69-50.

Maja Jakobcic had 15 points and Zala Lesek 13 along with 11 boards for the winners.

Viyaleta Kuiliak ended the contest with 12 points and 12 rebounds for Belarus.

Latvia, beaten 64-60 on the opening day by Slovenia, improved to 1-1 with an 83-21 victory against Norway.

Kitija Laksa had 15 points for Latvia, who took command from the off, outscoring Norway 14-5 in the first quarter.


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