Finland 97 Spain 99 (Double OT)
Although not much was expected of the first game in the classification round, the few spectators who made it for the 8:45 start were treated to a double-overtime thriller. Spain eventually overcame Finland by a narrow 2-point margin, the game nearly heading into a third extra period.
Finland played well in the first half and seemed like they would wrap up the game in the latter periods without many problems. They held a 6 point lead after 20 minutes - solid defence and Heta Korpivaara‘s (22 points & 13 rebounds) work inside really gave them the upper hand.
The Spaniards weren’t finished however. Point guard Paula Palomares was fired up and hit two shots straight off returning from the locker room. Once again she was the Spanish player to watch (25 points and 6 rebounds) and led her teammates in an attack against the Finns who suddenly looked completely disorganised.
|Eva Vilarrubla (#10, ESP)|
By the end of the third period Spain were back and had tied the score 55-55. With 3 minutes to go in the 4th they had taken a 7 point lead, but Palomares picked up her 5th foul and with her on the bench the Finns pressed. Within 3 minutes they had turned the game around once again and at the end of regular time had again tied the score: 74-74.
Spain started well in the first extra period, but the Finnish defence stifled their offence. A last free-throw from Finland’s Diane Pounds took the game to a second overtime. This time the Spaniards, even without Palomares, were able to take control and overcame the Finnish defence to finally take the win.
Belgium 64 Italy 58
Italy came very very close to taking their first win in this championship however they threw away an 8-point lead in the 4th quarter as Belgium forced their way back for the victory and avoid playing the early game tomorrow morning.
Belgium started the better of the two sides but Italy had a great second quarter, outscoring their opponents 9-19 to lead 28-31 at the half. Eva Giauro led all scorers after 20 minutes with 13 points, her 197cm frame unstoppable inside.
Belgium will play Spain tomorrow for 9th place, whereas Italy will face Finland in the early morning in the 11th– 12th place game.