Turkey Win Sends Sweden To Classification Round

01 August 2009

by Paul Nilsen

Sweden coach Benny Johansson admitted his teams poor shooting had resigned them to the Classification round after they suffered a third straight tournament loss, this time going down 48-40 to Turkey.

The play-caller spoke candidly after the game and was lookin forward to a days rest before trying to survive relegation in the pending dogfight that will take place in the Classification round.

"We could not repeat the good results of previous years because we are not as good as some of the teams of the past but we are learning all of the time."

"This game with Turkey was better and at least we looked like winning the game but our shooting was terrible again and we have to make some shots."

"At this kind of level of competition we are really struggling to make them and must improve."

"We now have a day of rest and know that we were in a very good group, one with teams that can be in the last stages of this competition so we are not too disappointed. The spirit in the team is still very good."

After Turkish coach Firat Okul identified the need for his team to get their offence going, he can hardly have been happy with his teams first quarter performance against a side that had been blown out in their first two encounters.

Turkey managed just five points in the first ten minutes continually turning the ball over and missing outside shots while Sweden hardly did any better although after their start to the tournament, they could be forgiven for finding just 9 points in the period.

At least Sweden mixed it up better than previously by not relying too much on center Amanda Zahui in the early stages, sharing what little opportunities and scoring that came their way around the team.

The Turkish drought continued into the second quarter while Sweden added another five points to move 14-5 ahead. It was looking seriously worrying for the Turkish team until better ball movement got the ball to Ozge Kavurmacioglu in he corner who dropped a three-pointer for the first Turkish score in over ten minutes.

It was only temporary respite as Mikeala Gustafsson handed Sweden a ten point lead at 18-8 but as in previous games, Turkey found the strength to come back in blistering fashion.

They scored the last 12 points of the quarter to change the entire complexion of the game and send Sweden to the locker room with that familiar feeling of deflation.

The last two baskets of the second period certainly representing the potential of Turkey in the tournament as Ayesa Cora made a great fake and drove to the basket before Olcay Cakir pulled off a similar move only to dish up a great assist for Yasemin Koc.

Sweden pulled themselves together during he interval and eased their way back into front at 27-23 before Turkey pulled level at 29-29 and in truth, there was little to separate both teams in the third with both offences looking far more slick than in the first half.

Predictably it was Turkey that finally found the strength to break Sweden and by midway through the fourth, they moved 42-38 ahead. Sweden were then sunk completely as Turkey scored six of the last eight point in the game, mainly from the line, to move to the Qualifying round.

Turkey could also perhaps be labelled as dark horses to grab a medal if they can manage to finally start a game strongly - something that so far has eluded them in the first three games.

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