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Group:  B | 18.06.2011, 15:00h
Group:  B | 18.06.2011, 15:00h
55-40
14 - 1117 - 914 - 810 - 12
14 - 1117 - 914 - 810 - 12
Venue: Bydgoszcz (POL) |
Spectators: 200 |
Referees: Sinisa Herceg (CRO), Antonis Demetriou (CYP), Fabiana Martinescu (ROU)

GAME REPORT


Belarus Beat Debutants Great Britain

Turning Point: The run of seven unanswered points in the second broke Britain's resolve capped by a three-pointer from Natallia Anufryienka.

Game Hero: Yelena Leuchanka was a huge presence in the paint at both ends, overcoming the hustle of Britain's Julie Page.

Stats Don't Lie: Within 2-point field goal range, Belarus was an efficient 16 of 34. Britain 15 of 49.


Group B favourites Belarus began their EuroBasket quest with a 55-40 victory over Great Britain in Bydgoszcz.

And, paced by 10 points apiece from Katsiaryna Sntysina and Anastasiya Verameyenka, there were enough signs to suggest they are primed for an extended run at this tournament.

The 2011 world championship semi-finalists found themselves under unexpected pressure from the debutants in the opening period, Britain opening the scoring through Chantelle Handy and then responding to their first test by levelling at 8-8 through former WNBA Draftee Jo Leedham.

However a single free throw from Marina Kress put Belarus in front for good with 2:44 left in the quarter and their top-level experience was evident as they surged away from the 2012 Olympic hosts.

A 13-2 run in the second extended their advantage to 27-13 and although Rose Anderson came off the British bench to spark a brief revival, the Belarussians looked comfortable and composed.

29-20 ahead at half-time, it was no bluff.

Asserting her strength under the basket, Yelena Leuchanka bullied under-sized Britain into submission as the group favourites ruthlessly raced out of sight.

GB coach Tom Maher has won two Olympic medals but he does not do miracles.

There was no way back as Belarus moved as much as 51-30 clear early in the fourth before Britain - led by 8 points from Kim Butler - a late rally.

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Belarus vs. Great Britain

Great Britain Player Julie Page:
"We worked really hard and showed we can play at this level. I was proud of my team and my team-mates. We talked before the game about about playing really hard defence and we did that. I think we had energy, rotated right and worked as a team to help each other out."

Belarus Head Coach Anatoli Buyalski:
"It was a very difficult first game for us. Everyone was waiting for this game but I think my players were all very nervous and I just dont't understand why. We had 22 turnovers and I have already told my players this is too much. I think we will have to be better in the next game against Israel."

Belarus Center Yelena Leuchanka:
"One part of our game we can't be happy with is those 22 turnovers as that is just unacceptable. I think there are still a lot of things that we have to do game by game."

Great Britain Head Coach Tom Maher:
"I can't be upset because I thought we worked really hard and we have never really played a team at the same kind of level as Belarus are at. I don't think you can expect to beat a team as highly ranked as Belarus and who are so physically capable. I am not unhappy with our performance and at least I think we tried hard and that is always the first measure of what you want to see."

Accumulated statistics

32.8%

19/58
FG
M/A

25.9%

15/58

47.1%

16/34
FG2P
M/A

30.6%

15/49

12.5%

3/24
FG3P
M/A

0.0%

0/9

87.5%

14/16
FT
M/A

62.5%

10/16

46

13/33
RT
RO/RD

39

13/26

14

AS

11

22

TO

20

5

ST

4

2

BS

2

19

PF

19

55

Pts

40

Next Games

Belarus

Belarus

Great Britain

Great Britain