Netherlands Punch Second Round Ticket

18 August 2012

9. Zera Butter (Netherlands)
Zera Butter was the only Dutch scorer in double digits, contributing 14 points

It was far from straightforward and they had to survive a tense, nerve-wracking last minute but the Netherlands eventually squeezed past Sweden 54-52 in Group B to seal a place in the second round of the U20 European Championship Women.

Having never trailed at any point during the game and having led by as many 13 points when Zera Butter drilled a triple in the third quarter, the Dutch were left horrified when the already qualified Sweden launched a late challenge.

With only sixty seconds remaining, Sweden grabbed their first lead of the game but amidst almost unbearable tension for those wearing orange, a basket by Jamailah Adams and a free-throw by Marlou de Kleijn proved sufficient to secure the win.

It was a contest when neither team managed to get into the flow offensively, both sides very much guilty of careless ball-handling and a wealth of unforced errors.

But, that won't concern the respective coaches too much since they can both now look forward to competing in the second phase and will now wait to see how many wins they will carry forward.

This is because the other game in Group B will be a winner-takes-all showdown between Italy and Poland. And, in the case of the latter, last year's bronze medallist could either top the group or be dumped into the relegation round.


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