Game Of The Day: Latvia vs Serbia

17 June 2013

EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013

Dajana Butulija (Serbia)
Dajana Butulija and Serbia have less than 24 hours to overcome their heavy defeat to France in order to remain alive in EuroBasket Women

By Joe Hewison

It is ‘win or go home' for Serbia and Latvia on day three of EuroBasket Women after both sides tasted defeat in their first two games.

Last Time Out: Latvia really struggled to contain Great Britain in the paint and on the boards leading to a 69-56 reverse while Serbia couldn't get close to the hosts France, eventually falling 76-32.

Key Match-Up: Latvia's Liene Jansone has not had much help in holding the opposition frontcourt in the opening two games while also shouldering much of the load on offence. She has performed admirably in such a demanding role and it will be interesting to see who prevails in the tussle with her Serbian opposite number Jelena Milovanovic, who fills a similar role on both ends of the floor.

Key Stat: Serbia were heavily punished for their 19 turnovers against France, as this is where 28 of the hosts' points came from and they also struggled to control the ball against Great Britain, turning it over 20 times. Latvia committed 15 turnovers in their opening clash with France but just ten times against Great Britain. If this pattern repeats itself it could provide Latvia with some crucial easy baskets.

X-Factor: Three-point shooting. The way Latvia have spread the floor for much of their opening two games suggests they would like to take more shots from long-range. They attempted 20 against Great Britain, making only five, but you live and die by the three and day three could be the day they come to life. Serbia had the exact same record from long-range in their game against Great Britain. Therefore, it is fair to suggest that the side that finds its range in this contest will be the one that advances to the next stage.

From The Camps:

"You cannot win a game if you are outscored 22-6 on second chance points. It is impossible. But we only needone [win, to reach the next round]," said Latvia Head Coach Aigars Nerips.

"The Latvian team are very good, a very fast team. They are a team with great discipline and they are patient. I think the whole game, on offence and defence, is going to be 50-50," said Serbia Head Coach Marina Maljkovic.

Elsewhere in Group C, France and Great Britain face off for top spot.

These teams produced one of the games of the tournament at last summer's Olympic Games before France prevailed 80-77 in overtime.

Great Britain Head Coach Damian Jennings feels he ‘knows the French team better than the GB team' after scouting them for previous coach Tom Maher.

But Johannah Leedham can offer further advice having spent last season with Celine Dumerc, Endene Miyem and Emmeline Ndongue at Bourges.

"That left a very bitter taste in our mouths," said Leedham of their previous meeting.

"We know France are a very smart team with a very solid point guard in Celine and Edwige [Lawson-Wade] backing her up. We just have to be smart and execute and play tough."


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