|27 June 2012|
OLYMPIC QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
|Turkey have clinched top spot in their group and now Petra Kulichova's Czech Republic, France and Croatia want to follow their example so they don't have to face a fellow European team in the Quarter-Finals |
Turkey, Croatia and the Czech Republic sealed their places in the Quarter-Finals of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women on Tuesday in Ankara.
The Turks, who are hosting the 12-team event where five places for the London Games are at stake, won for the second day in a row, following up their 65-53 victory over Puerto Rico with a 65-49 Group A triumph over Japan.
If they win their Quarter-Final on Friday, Turkey will advance to the Olympics.
Ceyhun Yıldızoğlu, the Turkey coach, said: "We deserved to win.
"Our concentration throughout the game was at the top level. I congratulate my players."
Turkey's Yasemin Dalgalar said: "This was an important game.
"We wanted to finish as leader of the group and now we have this advantage.
"From the first minute, we played a very good defense and pushed them out of their normal game.
"On Friday, we want to win to go to the Olympics."
Nevriye Yilmaz had 16 points and Esmeral Tuncluer 15 for Turkey against the Far East side.
Turkey have beaten Japan and Puerto Rico but both of those sides can still advance to the Quarter-Finals.
The winner of their showdown on Wednesday stays alive in the tournament.
CZECHS, CROATIA AND FRANCE ALSO WANT TOP SPOT
Argentina's 54-51 victory over New Zealand in Group B allowed the Czechs to punch their ticket to the quarters.
The South Americans and the Czech Republic will meet on Wednesday to determine first place in the group, and that is a vital game because the loser will go up against Turkey while the winner will face either Japan or Puerto Rico.
Croatia didn't play on Tuesday but they, too, had their place in the Quarter-Finals assured when South Korea edged Mozambique, 71-65.
The Croatians and Koreans will meet in a battle for first place in Group C on Wednesday and that is vitally important as the winner will clinch first and likely avoid France, who opened their Group D campaign with a hard-fought 56-47 win over Canada.
Isabelle Yacoubou poured in 15 points for the French.
"We knew it was going to be tough and it was difficult," France center Emmeline Ndongue said.
"It was not a very good game," France guard Edwige Lawson-Wade said.
"It was not in a good rhythm.
"It happens. What is nice is to win without necessarily being on top."
Les Bleues will on Wednesday face Mali, who were blown out 89-23 by the Canadians on Monday.