Turkey Suffer Heartbreak Again


Following a 1-point defeat at the hands of Spain on the opening day of the Umcor U18 European Championship in Tenerife, Turkey had their hearts broken again on day two, this time by Russia.

In a thrilling contest between two quality sides, the game burst into life in the final five minutes.

Turkey led 63-60 after two free throws from Gizem Yavuz, but Russia's Olga Petrova suddenly caught fire, nailing two three-pointers to give Russia a three-point lead, 53-56.

A jump shot by 200 cm center Natalia Vieru extended Russia's lead to five, but Turkey responded with a three-pointer by Yasemin Dalgalar.

The contest then went into overdrive as the two teams combined for 15 points in just 2 minutes.

Petrova continued her hot streak, nailing a three-pointer and jumper while Vieru added another 2 points. Turkey answered with two three-pointers of their own and a lay-up and with 2:12 to play, trailed 64-65.

Nerves came into play in the final two minutes as both sides missed easy shots, but it was Turkey who grabbed the initiative when a jump shot by Yavuz put them up by one, 66-65.

Russia called timeout and coach Ravil Cherementiev made what at first seemed to be a bewildering decision, but proved to be inspired. He substituted the red-hot Petrova for Evgeniya Chernova and it was Chernova who then hit a massive three pointer which put Russia back in front, 66-68.

Turkey had one last chance to win, but Yavuz's driving lay-up attempt was contested by two Russian defenders and missed the target.

Vieru top scored for Russia with 16 points, to go along with 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. Petrova finished with 13 points.

Bahar Caglar led Turkey with 19 points, while Dürdane Gümüsay had 18.

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