By Yarone Arbel
Nothing is sweeter than a gold medal, but what is almost as sweet as that, is escaping from elimination.
Israel and Turkey will go head-to-head, even nail-to-nail, to survive in EuroBasket 2007.
After both teams suffered two losses in the first two days, they have only one option left.
|Nevriye Yilmaz will be back in the lineup against Israel after resting on Tuesday.|
Turkey will hope to get back in action the experienced Esmeral Tuncluer and Nevriye Yilmaz who rested yesterday due to small injuries, but should play today.
Israel is carrying some fatigue from playing so many games, but will scratch any energy drop for their most important game in the tournament, after missing a win last night against Latvia in the last seconds.
Last Time Out: Israel put up a big fight against Latvia but lost 77-73 in the last minutes. Turkey saw Czech Republic smash them with an 86-62 win.
Head to Head: The two teams played in the same group for the EuroBasket qualifications. Turkey beat Israel 87-76 in the game in Turkey but suffered their only loss in this stage, by the exact same margin 91-80 in the re-match.
Key Match Up: Yilmaz will try to play a key part for Turkey but will have to pass by Israel's Katya Abramzon. The 20-year-old forward is surprising so far with her ability, and should play a key part in stopping the superstar of Turkey, who will try to lead her team to the team.
X-Factor: Shai Doron was suppose to be one of the leading players on the Israeli roster, but so far has failed to bring her true ability to the court. With Doron staying on zero points against Latvia Israel still managed to be close for a win, but they can't afford another bad game from her in their win-or-die game. Doron in her real shape will make the difference for Israel.
Statistics: Turkey arrived here as a team with very good outside shooting, at least in previous competition. Here they are ranked last in three point percentage with only 16.7% and one before last in three points made with only 2.5. If they continue to struggle like that tonight as well, Israel will have a much easier job.
What It Means: Simple and clean – the winner of this match will finish third in the group and enjoy three more games in the qualifying round of EuroBasket. The loser will go home disappointed.