U20 WOMEN DIV. B
|Andzelika Mitrasinovik sealed a last-minute win for FYR of Macedonia, who remain in the hunt to qualify for Division A for next year |
Czech Republic kept the battle for first place at the U20 European Championship Women Division B very much alive with a hard-fought 58-51 win over Portugal in Albena on Wednesday.
The Czechs went into the game with one loss already to their name and needed a win to realistically stay in contention for top-spot, whilst Portugal were still unbeaten.
Only three points separated the teams at the half, but the Czechs made their intentions clear in the third quarter, extending the lead to seven points heading into the final frame.
They kept Portugal at arm's length throughout the final 10 minutes, although the Portuguese came as close as five points after two Jessica Almeida free-throws with 17 seconds to play.
It proved too little too late as the Czechs escaped with the win, behind the contribution of Monika Satoranska, who had 16 points to go with her 12 rebounds.
Almeida led Portugal with 15 points.
FYR of Macedonia kept their hopes of promotion to Division A alive by handing hosts Bulgaria a 64-60 defeat.
Bulgaria produced a good third quarter to lead 50-43 after 30 minutes, but FYR of Macedonia dug deep and entered the final stanza firing on all cylinders.
An 8-0 run to begin the last quarter tied things up and Bulgaria were unable to swing the momentum back in their favour as a Lefterija Temelkova lay-up and a free-throw by Andzelika Mitrasinovik sealed the win in the last minute.
Four players scored in double figures for FYR of Macedonia with Mitrasinovik pouring in 20.
Belgium and Latvia had little problems with Israel and Romania respectively as both cruised to easy wins.
Earlier in the day, Belgium locked up Israel and rolled over them 61-39.
Belgium raced out to a 41-15 half-time lead and although Israel managed to win the third quarter, the win was never in doubt.
All players scored for Belgium, who had their top-performer in Lien Delmulle who pulled down 11 rebounds to go with her four points.
Latvia held a 51-28 advantage at the half over Romania and piled on the misery for their opponents after play resumed.
100 points looked in reach for Latvia, but they took the foot off the gas in the final frame for a dominant 93-55 win.
Guna Lagzdina was impressive for the Baltic outfit with 13 points to go with a game-high 16 rebounds.
Sonia Ursu had 15 points for Romania in defeat.