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Group:  A | 18.06.2011, 18:00h
Group:  A | 18.06.2011, 18:00h
68-66
12 - 1517 - 1923 - 1716 - 15
12 - 1517 - 1923 - 1716 - 15
Venue: Bydgoszcz (POL) |
Spectators: 200 |
Referees: Miguel Anguel Perez Niz (ESP), Panagiotis Anastopoulos (GRE), Tomasz Trawicki (POL)

GAME REPORT


Russia Prevail In First Day Thriller

Turning Point: With just seven seconds remaining, Romana Vynuchalova looked a certain scorer and about to hand the Slovak Republic a precious and potentially game winning lead until Irina Osipova came up with the play of the game and blocked her shot.

Game Hero: After being left on the bench for the first 17 minutes of the game, Liudmila Sapova breathed new life into Russia after she was belatedly introduced. She showed great energy and determination at both ends of the floor but particularly on defence.

Stats Don't Lie: The Slovak Republic finished the game with a paltry 4 steals and were unable to capitalise on the well publicised issues which Russia have at the point guard spot.


 

They may be notoriously slow starters, but Russia really did leave it late when they tipped off their Group A campaign in Bydgoszcz and eventualy snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against the Slovak Republic.

With just seconds remaining, it had looked as if a shock was about to materialise but Irina Ospiova saved the day with a big defensive play at just the right time to stave off defeat.

Few people had anticipated Slovak Republic pushing Russia so close but to their credit, they battled gallantly and looked the more likely winners for the majority of the game.

That was little consolation for Coach Hejkova who was furious after the final buzzer and wondering how her team had let a glorious opportunity slip through their fingers.

A relieved Coach Sokolovsky meanwhile could barely have felt much better after struggling to find a line-up able to dig his team out of the hole when trailing by as many as ten points during the first half.

The introduction of Liudmila Sapova off the bench was vital and she made an instant impact to help cut the gap to five at the interval.

With Coach Sokolovsky also turning to playmaker Tatiana Popova to solve his point guard problem during the second half, Russia eventually scraped over the line to dodge a an opening day bullet.

 

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Russia vs. Slovak Republic

Slovakia Head Coach Natalia Hejkova:
"I don't ever remember being so angry after a game. I thought we were the better team. But we gave them a gift, like it was their birthday. I'm proud of my team but it was for nothing. Now we have 18 hours to get ready for what will be a critical game."

Russia Forward Olga Arteshina:
"There was a lot of stress but we need to play better. They're a good team . They play hard. They're aggressive. But today we didn't play our best and we almost gave them a chance"

Russia Guard Ilona Korstin:
"There was a lot of stress but we need to play better. They're a good team . They play hard. They're aggressive. But today we didn't play our best and we almost gave them a chance"

Slovakia Forward Erin Lawless:
"I don't think many people expected a whole lot from us because it's almost a new team with a new coach in a new situation. However we went into the game with real confidence and knowing we had to fight. It was an opportunity lost when you take into account how many points we were winning by and I think we just lost our concentration. I still think this defeat builds confidence because we just lost to a great team like Russia but could easily have won the game. We went out there and really gave it our all. We also showed we can truly play hard against anybody."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

41.1%

23/56
FG
M/A

34.4%

22/64

39.6%

19/48
FG2P
M/A

37.0%

17/46

50.0%

4/8
FG3P
M/A

27.8%

5/18

60.0%

18/30
FT
M/A

77.3%

17/22

42

12/30
RT
RO/RD

36

11/25

13

AS

7

15

TO

16

9

ST

4

1

BS

6

25

PF

29

68

Pts

66

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