by Paul Nilsen
There were three blowouts in Tallinn as the Qualifying round got underway but there was one nail-biting classic as Portugal edged out Denmark 59-56.
The victorious team were up by eleven points at the half but allowed Denmark back into the game with a poor second half.
However despite a double-double for Mathilde Gilling of 14 points and 12 rebounds, Denmark ran out of time. Led by 24 points from Joana Jesus and 14 points from Jessica Almeida, Portugal scraped through.
Maxine Essenstam was in fine form for Netherlands as her team dominated from tip to buzzer to demolish Bosnia & Herzegovina 83-49. The center produced a stellar display of 22 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists as her team ripped their opponents apart in ruthless fashion. It was a great team performance by Netherlands with eleven separate players making the score sheet.
Slovak Republic crushed Romania as they tipped off their Qualifying Round in style with a convincing 84-58 success. The margin of victory could have been even greater had Romania not rallied in the last ten minutes since at one point midway through the third period they were as many as 44 points adrift. Sabina Oroszova starred with 22 points and 9 rebounds while Sonia Ursu once again showed why she has been on of the best players on the court in Tallin by firing 30 points and pulling down 10 boards for Romania.
Further double-doubles by Croatian pair Ana-Marija Begic and Ivana Blazevic helped their team stroll to a comfortable 64-42 win over Latvia as they dominated from tip to buzzer. The Latvians had no answer to the duo with Begic adding three blocks to her tally of 16 points and 13 rebounds while Blazevic claimed 15 points and 10 boards.