Semi-Finalists Decided

20.07.2012

U16 WOMEN DIVISION B

Bulgaria hit Finland with a decisive scoring spree midway through the first half and won 70-55 on Quarter-Finals day at the U16 European Championship Women Division B in Tallinn.

Latvia, Lithuania and Portugal also won their Quarter-Final clashes.

In Tallinn, teams are not only going for medals, but promotion.

The sides that win the Semi-Finals will clinch their spots in Division A for next year, as well as the bronze-medalists.

 

BULGARIA FIRST TO BEAT FINLAND

In the first clash on Friday against the unbeaten Finns, promotion-chasing Bulgaria trailed 19-17 when Borislava Hristova made a lay-up for the final points of the opening quarter to tie the contest.

That basket sparked a 17-0 run that Finland never recovered from.

In the decisive spell, Hristova poured in nine of her game-high 17 points while Iva Georgieva hit a couple of three-balls.

Maria Kamburova finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulgarians.

"It was a very important game for the team," Bulgaria coach Tzanko Tzankov said.

"We wanted to prove that last year's top four spot was no coincidence.

"We won against Finland, who hadn't lost a single game so far.

"We did the same thing last year with Portugal in the Quarter-Finals.

"I hope this year we can gain access to Division A, which is the target we set ourselves before the tournament and I think this team really deserves it."

Finland got 16 points from Olivia Moskari and 14 from Emilia Helle.

Also for Finland, Tuuli Menna had 11 points and nine rebounds.

Next up for Bulgaria is Latvia in the Semi-Finals.

 

LATVIA WIN ON LATE THREE-POINTER

That's because Beate Markane drilled a game-winning three-pointer for the Latvians with eight seconds remaining in a 54-52 victory.

Vita Gorobets had a game-high 23 points in defeat.

Lithuania and Portugal will meet in the other Semi-Final.

The Lithuanians scored the last three points of the game at the free-throw line and edged Poland, 71-68.

After Laura Juskaite split a pair at the charity stripe with 14 seconds left to put the Baltic side on top, 69-68, Aleksandra Mysinska turned the ball over for the Poles.

Poland fouled Agne Cerneckyte and the Lithuanian sank both attempts for a three-point lead.

Karolina Olszewska's potential game-tying three-ball with four seconds to go was off target for Poland.

Daugile Sarauskaite led the Lithuania offense with 20 points and Patrycja Klatt had 17 in defeat.

Lithuania captain Dalia Belickaite said: "We were ready to fight from the start.

"Although Poland won their group in the second round, we wanted to win against them.

"In the beginning, we fell behind a little, but we didn't give up and kept on fighting.

"It was one of those games that was truly a team effort.

"Our coach says that the one who lets loose first, wins the game.

"We were fourth in our group in the second round, we had nothing to lose and gave our everything to win this game."

 

PORTUGAL CRUISE TO SEMI-FINALS

Meanwhile, the Portuguese took no prisoners in their 58-45 Quarter-Final triumph over Slovenia.

Ana Neves' team outscored the Slovenians 25-3 in the first quarter and stretched the advantage to 35-10 by half-time.

They took their foot off the pedal in the second half and still won by 13.

Maria Kostourkova had a game to remember for Portugal, scoring 25 points and corralling 17 rebounds.

Despite the great start, Neves was never comfortable.

"It was a difficult game," she said.

"I told the players to enjoy the game and I think that's what they did.

"We had a good first half, which dictated the result.

"At half-time, Slovenia came for us and they closed the gap, which I expected them to do.

"We resisted and in the end, I think we deserved the win."

As for Slovenia, coach Teo Hojc said: "I must admit, we are a bit disappointed with the result, but if I'm even more honest, Portugal was the better team today.

"They dominated us physically. They're technically better, they have a great coach and they were tactically prepared for the game.

"And that's probably why we opened the game badly.

"You have to keep in mind that we have a young group of girls, who can break under the pressure or play above their abilities because of it.

"Today, I guess we didn't manage the pressure well."

In Classification Round games, Estonia defeated Romania, 70-68, Israel saw off Belarus, 80-48, and Luxembourg scraped a 67-65 win against Denmark.


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