Referees: Damir Javor (SLO), Elena Chernova (RUS), Petros Christophides (CYP)
Israel Survive Late Romania Rally, Stay Perfect
Israel had to survive a late rally to stay unbeaten in EuroBasket Women qualifying by beating Romania 83-79.
A 7-0 run late on looked to have put Israel over the top, but Romania came storming back before the visitors eventually prevailed to move to 3-0 at the top of Group B.
The score was 72-72 when Ekaterina Abramzon nailed a three-pointer to put Israel back on top. Liron Cohen then split a pair of free throws and another three-pointer from Katia Levitsky made it 79-72 with 2:51 to go.
Gabriela Marginean's lay-up kept up Romania's interest, but Levitsky quickly responded.
But the gap was four, 81-77, when Florina Diacona completed a three-point play from the free-throw line, and Romania then put a scare into Israel when Marginnean nailed a three-poniter to make it 81-79 with 58 seconds left.
An Shay Doron turnover could have proved costly, but Marginean missed her shot.
Israel took it to the other end where Doron drew a foul and hit both free throws to ice the game.
Doron led Israel with 27 points, while Cohen added 18 and Levitsky had 13. Marginean had 30 for Romania and Maria Pascalau added 20 for Romania who had an explosive first half and took a commanding lead, but failed completely to find answers to Israel's better defensive effort in the second part of the game.
Quotes Romania vs. Israel
Romania coach Gheorghe Mandache: "It's hard to accept the loss, after our 21 points advantage in the first half. We've played bad in the second half, it seems that we lost our self-confidence. Still I am pleased because the team looked better than in the first two games. Before the beginning of the Qualifying Round I said this national team of Romania is one for the present but also for the future. We'll play the last three games as well as we can and we hope that the future will be better for our national team."
Israel coach Eli Rabi: "We didn't underestimate Romania. I was afraid that after two victories it's hard to play at the same level. Romania was a tough opponent, but we had to play not only against them but also against ourselves. I'm happy that in the second half my team played our good basketball, the one we had showed the first two games. We were good in offense and in defense too. We're in a good position for the qualification and I hope we will get our ticket to Eurobasket Women, no matter from which position in the standings."