GROUP FAfter an amazing victory over Belgium yesterday, Spain posted yet another classy comeback in their Qualifying Round game against the Czech Republic. They won 50-44 to continue their run toward the Quarter-Final Round of the U16 European Championship Women.
The Czech Republic, who yet have to taste victory in the Qualifying Round, were in front for most of the contest but Spain rallied in the end to secure victory.
The Spanish started the game cold. They only made three of their 16 field goal attempts in the opening quarter. The Czech team did not shoot much better but played with a lot of energy. Tereza Vyoralova scored eight points to give the Czechs a lift over Spain in the first quarter (15-9).
The Czechs maintained their advantage. Spain's Heach Coach Evaristo Pérez took a timeout with his team down 13-21 in the second period. But the move did not immediately improve the situation for Spain as the Czechs increased their lead to double digits (25-15). Late in the quarter Spain finally found their range and went on a 6-0 run. It was not sufficient to turn around the game yet as the Czechs worked hard on the glass. In a game with low shooting percentages this was the key that gave them a 28-21 halftime lead.
After the break Spain improved from the field and tightened their defense. They finally tied the game and captured the lead after Elena De Alfredo sank a jumpshot (31-33). The Czechs only scored six points in the third quarter but still led the game (34-33) after Karolina Severova hit a three pointer off the glass.
It did not take too long till the continuously improving Spanish team reclaimed the lead. They outscored the Czech Republic 11-5 to start the final quarter and change the momentum of the game.
In the closing minutes they held on to a slight advantage and earned themselves the vital win. For the Czechs the heartbreaking loss means that they cannot reach the Quarter-Final Round any more.