Belarus Leave It Late Against Italy

By David Hein
Maryia Filonchyk nailed a three-pointer with 24 seconds left and Maryia Papova blocked a game-winning attempt with two ticks to play as Belarus beat Italy 61-60 at the U20 European Championship for Women.

Katsiaryna Kashlei scored 15 points and Filonchyk collected 13 points and 13 rebounds to keep Belarus alive for the quarter-finals with a 1-3 record in the qualifying round Group F.

Italy dropped to 0-4 despite 14 points and 12 rebounds from Gilda Cerri while Laura Spreafico had 10 points and Federica Tognalini added nine points and 10 rebounds.

This was a close game throughout as a 5-0 run gave Belarus a 9-5 lead early on - which was also the biggest of the quarter, which ended with Belarus ahead 11-9.

The second quarter saw five lead changes and six ties with Italy up 26-25 at the break.

The Italians pushed the lead to 36-31 with a 7-2 surge early in the third. But Belarus went on a 21-6 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to open a 10-point lead.

Italy woke up just in time with a 15-3 run to grab a two-point advantage on Elena Bestagno's three-pointer, setting up Filonchyk's and Papova's heroics.

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