Turkey still in race for semis


Emel Güler scored two baskets in the final 14 seconds as Turkey remained alive for the semi-finals of the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women with a thrilling 62-59 victory over Belgium.

Güler had 12 points and 14 rebounds and Olcay Cakir collected 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists and five steals in improving Turkey's record to 2-2 in the Qualifying Round Group E.

Betül Kalfali added 11 points for Firat Okul's team, which is even with Sweden at 2-2 but behind Belgium for the second semi-final spot from the group.

Belgium, who dropped to 3-1, were paced by 24 points and 12 rebounds by Emma Meesseman while Anne-Sophie De Bondt chipped in 10 points for Etienne Louvrier's team.

Belgium jumped ahead with the first nine points of the game only to have Turkey pull within 12-11 on Cakir's three-point play. And the Belgians led just 17-16 after one period. Özge Kavurmacioglu scored four points and Kalfali knocked down a three-ball as Turkey took their first lead 23-17. Meesseman then sparked an 11-2 answer and the game would be knotted at 33-33 at the break.

Emma Meesseman (Belgium)
Emma Meesseman (Belgium)

Meesseman hit eight more points in a 12-2 surge to take a 45-38 advantage. And Belgium still led 48-42 after three periods. De Bondt's basket gave Louvrier's team a 52-44 cushion with seven minutes left. But Kavurmacioglu and Kalfali brought Turkey to within 55-54. Okul's Turks grabbed the lead 58-57 on Cakir's foul shots with 1:50 to play only to see Meesseman push Belgium back ahead 59-58 with a minute to play. Belgian guard Julie Vanloo had a tough final two minutes with four missed shots - including back-to-back three-pointers - and a turnover. But Güler won the game for Turkey, putting back Pelin Gülbag's miss with 14 seconds left and then making it a three-point game with four seconds left. And Meesseman turned the ball over so Belgium could not attempt to even the game.


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