|31 July 2009|
Sonia Ursu was the star on the first day of action in Tallinn as the Romanian produced a sparkling performance in the 77-59 destruction of Israel. The small forward was in explosive form, pouring in a mammoth 28 points while also completing 15 rebounds for a wonderful double-double as she completed her all action display with seven assists and three steals.
Israel were always on the back foot and gave themselves a mountain to climb after a disastrous 29-8 opening period.
Elsewhere in Group B, Latvia dominated against Switzerland as they cruised to a 78-45 win with Sabine Dukate, Agate Geka, Daiga Kuzmane and Guna Lagsdina all reaching double digits. However the star of the show was the smallest player on court, Asnate-Marianna Fomina produced seven assists.
The biggest win of the day came in Group A as Slovak Republic hammered Austria 90-32. It was an incredible effort with the Slovaks outscoring their opponents 55-14 in the middle two periods when the damage was done. Austria buckling under defensive pressure as they threw the ball away 34 times to highlight some of their weaknesses. Noema Bradnanska weighed in with 18 points and no fewer than nine players registered in the score book for Slovak Republic.
Croatia look like the other outstanding team in the group after they also racked up a massive win with a 78-38 success over Ireland who could only muster 3 points in the second period. Maja Pulic setting the tone for the swarming Croatian defence with 8 steals while Ivana Blazevic top scored with 19 points as did Clodagh Scannell with 13 points for the Irish.
Bosnia and Herzegovina continued a day of one sided encounters in Group C as they completed an 80-40 rout of Bulgaria as their opponents were left in shock after a blistering 22-5 opening quarter. Bosnia and Herzegovina were devastating from beyond the arc and Krstina Surlan led the way with a 22 point haul while Nikolina Milic grabbed 17 and Natasa Tomasovic did the work on the glass with 12 rebounds.
In one of the few tighter games, Slovenia came out on top 58-50 against Luxembourg despite trailing by 13 points at the half. In a game of two halves, Luxembourg watched in dismay as their lead evaporated after leaving their offence in the locker room in the half. Slovenia turned up their defence and allowed Luxembourg to score just 7 points across the last two quarters to seal a deserved victory. Rebeka Abramovic led the way with 15 points.
Finally in Group D, there were two more blowouts as England crushed the Ukraine by 68-41 with Christina Gaskin jut missing out on a double-double with 16 points and 9 rebounds while Netherlands cruised to a 72-55 success against Portugal.