Czech Republic secured third place in Group A with an 82-71 victory over co-hosts Romania in Timisoara, joining France and Montenegro in advancing to Second Round Group E in Debrecen.
Turning Point: This Romanian team might not have experience but they do have fight. But after trailing 41-38 early in the third quarter, they suffered a defensive drop off and a 10-2 run took the Czechs clear. With their rivals missing seven three-pointers in succession as they tried to regain lost ground, the ball wasn't falling their way, and even though they closed to 72-69 with a late 9-0 run, their experienced foes responded with nine consecutive points to bolt the door.
Stats Don't Lie: There wasn't much between these two but the Czech Republic did get a push from their three-point shooting, going 8-of-19 while Romania converted 4-of-15. It was just enough.
Game Hero: With Ilona Burgrova spending much of the second half on the bench on four fouls before fouling out with 6:45 left, Alena Hanusova stepped up to anchor the defence. But her two three-pointers in quick succession during the Czech's surge in the third quarter were massively vital with the forward ending up with a game-high 24 points.
The Bottom Line: The Czechs avoided a First Round exit that might have proven the end of the international road for much of their great team. But they will need to improve to reach the quarter-finals, starting with Thursday's Group E opener against their old rivals Belarus on Wednesday. As for Romania, paced here by 22 points from Gabriela Marginean, they depart without a victory but the knowledge gained here should be hugely valuable once they start the qualification round for EuroBasket Women 2017.