It was an efficient day for Russia here at the European Championship for U18 Women in Bratislava. Not only did they manage to qualify for the finals, they also avenged their ony defeat of the tournament against fellow semi-finalist Hungary.
In the preliminary round, Hungary caused the sensation of the championship by beating the Russians, 66:64.
Today, the Hungarians never got a look-in as Russia once again produced the kind of form that make them seem virtually unbeatable.
Russia dealt the knockout blow in the second quarter. Hungary had stayed close in the first, but Russia’s second quarter attack came from the outside. They hit 5 three-pointers in the period, capped by a buzzer-beating long range bomb from Vera Chistova which hit the glass before it dropped through.
While Russia looked fresh and dangerous, Hungary seemed jaded, perhaps effected by their triple overtime marathon against Belarus.
They struggled to get back on defense and their shots were falling short. By halftime, they trailed by 21 points, 43:22.
Hungary tied the 3rd period with Russia 15:15, but any hopes of getting back into the game had long been abandoned.
Ekaterina Savelyeva top scored with 21 points for a Russian team that will go into tomorrow’s final as firm favourites to win a third consecutive gold medal in this category.