by Paul Nilsen
Gulsah Duman has revealed there won't be any more roller-coaster rides for Turkey after her four triples helped book a spot in the quarter finals with a comfortable 61-45 success over Finland.
After a very up and down tournament Turkey now wait to hear who they will face in the quarter finals with the sharp shooter explaining victory against Spain last night provided the inspiration for success against the Finns.
"We made a new start against Spain and showed that also today against Finland."
"We lost to Spain by four points recently and that is what we used as motivation to not only get the victory against Spain yesterday but also for winning more games in the tournament."
"It is true we have not been consistent but I think that we now know that if we lose any games from this point, it will be because of the other team not because we have not played well."
"I was happy to makes some shots today but that is down to my team-mates. They worked very hard to always get me the ball in the right places on the court at the right times."
Finland scored the first five points of the game but soon Turkey got started and they scored six unanswered points to tie the game at 8-8. Turkey kept moving the ball well and got some really nice backdoor looks for some easy lay-ups.
This meant with his team trailing 13-9, Coach Jokela called a well needed time-out as he looked to improve his defence to make sure that trend did not continue.
Offensively there was little wrong with Asta Sillanpaa coming off the bench to complete a wonderful ‘And-1' play. Approaching the baseline under the basket she looked to have ran out of room but somehow got he ball up off the glass after being hit had.
That got Finland to within one point but a third triple in the quarter from Gulsah Duman kept Turkey in front at 18-14. Duman then almost repeated the trick on the buzzer but rimmed out but her team were still four points in front at 20-16 heading into the second.
|Emmi Leino helped her team with 9 pts from the bench, but could not avoid the heavy loss|
A triple from Emmi Leino then handed Finland a real boost in the opening minutes of the second quarter 22-19 but Turkey kept scoring with a nice mix of offences and another Jokela time out saw his side 29-23 behind and in need of a lift on defence.
He didn't get it and a beautiful left handed drive and lay-up by Turkey point guard Olcay Cakir opened the gap to ten points at 33-23. With the game entering the last minute of the half it looked as though Finland had cut the deficit heading into the break.
Meral Bedretdin sunk a rare three-pointer only for Pinar Caliskan to spot up down the other end of the floor to produce the same result and send Turkey into the second half 36-26 in front and looking good for a place in the quarter-finals.
That optimism evaporated quickly early in he second as Finland ate into the lead efficiently and within four minutes they had trimmed the lead of Turkey to 42-39
Turkey then threatened to ease way again but a beautiful baseline cut from Evita Iiskola from an assist by Annika Holopainen kept Finland in touch albeit only briefly.
Successive lay-ups and then another big triple by Duman put the game very much back in the hands of Turkey at 52-41 with 13 minutes remaining in the contest and the deficit was still 11 heading into the last quarter.
It was a final period that proved a step too far for Finland who have played some great games in Naples but looked jaded.
They failed to score for 9 minutes until two free throws from Juvonen spared their embarrassment and any humiliation as their quarter final hopes ended.
Despite their disappointment, Coach Harri Jokela was in philosophical mood after the game, reflecting on what might have been.
"I thought my smaller players actually played pretty well but our big players looked like perhaps they had run out of gasoline a little."
"We gave up far too many easy baskets inside and I am disappointed we did not reach the last eight but it has been a great learning experience for us."