Group C: Spain Cruise, Latvia Eliminate Turkey

29.07.2007

Three-time defending champions Spain continued to march through the field at the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women with a 68-60 victory over Belgium to remain undefeated.

Leonor Rodriguez led 3-0 Spain with 19 points, nine rebounds and four steals while Cristina Pedrals Barrios added 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and six steals.

Spain got out to a 14-2 advantage but watched Belgium score the next 13 points to snatch the lead. The Spanish depth started to wear on Belgium in the second quarter in opening an 14-point lead.

It was a 23-point Spanish bulge 66-43 with seven minutes left in the game when coach Jose I. Hernandez Fraile called back his troops. Jana Raman buried two three-pointers down the stretch as Belgium made things closer at the end - though the result was never in doubt.

Raman scored 14 points and Miete Celus added 12 for Belgium, who advanced along with Spain to the Qualfying Round with a 1-2 record.

Also into the next round are hosts Latvia, who knocked off Turkey 85-75 to improve to 2-1 with Sabine Niedola collecting 23 points and 22 rebounds and Ilze Gotfrida adding 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Playing in front of their home fans in Valmiera, Latvia pulled ahead 33-17 midway through the second quarter.

But Safiye Simay Karaman scored 11 of her 21 points in an 18-3 Turkey run to pull within 36-35.

The deficit was one point again - 62-61 - early in the fourth quarter and Turkey were still within four points 70-66 with five minutes to play. But Gotfrida scored two baskets in an 8-0 spurt to give Latvia a 78-66 lead with 1:45 remaining and eventually the victory.

Turkey dropped to 0-3 and will play in the Classification Round to determine which two nations get relegated to the Division B.

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