|Olena Samburska and Ukraine did not have much go in their favour during their short-lived stay in France|
By Paul Nilsen
Turning Point: Just as Ukraine were beginning to believe, a three-pointer from the corner by Snezana Aleksic and an ‘and-1' play by the unstoppable Jelena Dubljevic suddenly made it a ten-point game at the end of the third quarter. It gave Ukraine a big hill to climb.
Stats Don't Lie: Ukraine had too many turnovers again with 20, whilst they only went to the free-throw line eight times. In comparison, Montenegro were clinical with a picture perfect 25-of-25 free-throws.
Game Hero: Dubljevic continued her sublime form in Vannes with 29 points and was head and shoulders above any other player on the court.
A dazzling 29-point display by Jelena Dubljevic catapulted Montenegro to a 72-60 Group B success against Ukraine and safely into the second round of EuroBasket Women 2013 in Lille.
There was also a cheer from Slovak Republic, since the result also confirmed their place in the second phase.
Montenegro head coach Miodrag Baletic was content after his team secured their spot, having also responded to defeat to Turkey on day two.
He said, "It was an important victory for us, but especially because of our dedication and smart offensive game."
However, Ukraine head to the airport for a flight home after a third double-digit defeat in as many days - although head coach Vadim Czeczuro refused to criticise his players for failing to pick up a win.
"Today we played against a very strong and experienced team," insisted the play-caller.
"I want to thank my players because they have worked really hard but now was not our time and we have to look forward to the next tournament."
It could have been different for Ukraine had they been able to sustain their first half performance which saw them lead by as many as six in a much improved and controlled performance.
Alina Iagupova finished with 21 points, but yet again Ukraine struggled to impose themselves inside and after leading by one at the break, Montenegro and especially Dubljevic exploited their weakness to the max in the second half.
Ukraine Player Oleksandra Kurasova
"Congratulations to Montenegro and I want to wish them good luck for the next round. Today, we lost the chance to qualify, we should have played all games as we played today, and now I am really disappointed for that."
Montenegro Player Ana Turcinovic
"I am sorry for the Ukrainian team, they have very good players but, on the other hand, I am really happy for being in the next round with two games won. I am so happy for having Jelena Dubljevic on my team; I can learn of her and the rest of my teammates. I am probably a 50% better player today because of her."
Ukraine Head Coach Vadi Czeczuro
"Congratulations to Montenegro, they are a very strong and experienced team. We tried all the game but, as I said, they were stronger. I want also to say thank you to my players, we worked very hard today but it was not our time yet, we will work for the next tournament."
Montenegro Head Coach Miodrag Baletic
"Ukraine has a very good team with very good players. This game was very important for us, and we worked with dedication. We played a smart game on offence. Montenegro is a very small country but we are very proud and feel every loss with a lot of emotion, so I am very happy to win this game and advance."