EUROBASKET WOMEN 2015
|Shay Doron was again an essential cog in Israel's victory|
Israel have remained undefeated in the EuroBasket Women 2015 1st Qualifcation Round group stage despite a gallant effort from Portugal who in the end conceded a 56-59 defeat.
With their semi-final berth confirmed a day earlier, there was still the matter of maintaining momentum for the host nation of Group D as they came up against an opponent who refused to lie down.
With the lead creeping out to nine points (45-36) late in the third quarter, it looked as if the wind had been blown out of Portugal's sails.
But on the back of some inspired shooting from youngster Maria Correia and veteran Vera Correia, Portugal stuck around, coming within a point on a Vera Correia lay-up with 47 seconds to play.
However, Michal Epstein showed her years of experience, retaining a cool demeanor to make a pair of free-throws with eight seconds to play, forcing Portugal to go outside in an attempt to tie the game up.
That scenario never ended up eventuating as Vera Correia turned the ball over as the game came to an end.
Epstein ended with 14 points whilst Katia Levitsky had 12 and Shay Doron 10. Slightly missing out on a double-double with nine points and 10 assists was Liron Cohen.
Best of the Portuguese with 17 points was Maria Correia.