Belarus back on track, EuroBasket Women 2017 qualifiers round-up

Spain women national team

Giants Belarus will sleep easier this Christmas after getting their EuroBasket Women 2017 qualifying campaign back on track in the second round of games.

Belarus go 1-1 after a 76-71 midweek home win in Minsk over Group G rivals Belgium, anchored by 24 go-to points from centre Anastasia Verameyenka, who shot an unplayable 9/11 from the floor.

Group A

In Group A Lithuania will not rest easy after going 0-2 following a 73-64 home loss in Kedainiai to now 1-0 rivals Slovenia.

Slovenian guard/forward Maja Erkic said afterwards: “We were smart. In the middle of the game we had some bad minutes, but we were patient and that got us the result.”

Group B

In Group B Croatia pull themselves back into contention with a 1-1 record after a 67-55 road win in Estonia, who slide to 0-2.

Estonia had led their rivals by as many as 11 points in Tallinn on Wednesday, but were pivotally outscored 29-7 in the third quarter.

Elsewhere in Group B, France remain perfect and go 2-0 following a 76-52 win at Holland, who are now 1-1 in the standings where only the nine pool winners are guaranteed qualification alongside hosts Czech Republic for the 2017 tournament.

France’s bench overwhelmed Holland’s reserves 34-13 in the contest.

Group C

In Group C, Montenegro smashed Albania by 60 points 99-39 to go 2-0 and leave the visitors to Podgorica 0-2 heading into round three of six in qualifying on February 20, 2016.

Albania turned possession over a fatal 32 times on the night.

Elsewhere in Group C, Great Britain could not prevent slipping to 0-2 following a frustrating 60-48 home defeat at the Amaechi Centre in Manchester to 2-0 Italy.

Veteran forward Laura Macchi led the visitors with 27 points as GB dried up completely on offence in the fourth quarter, shooting 0/10 on their final 10 attacks.

Group D

In Group D, Ukraine stole a heartstopper 66-64 in Germany to go 2-0 and leave their hosts 0-2.

In Marburg Germany fatally dried up on offence late in the fourth, missing their last four attempts from the field after leading 64-62.

Reigning EuroBasket Women champions Serbia annihilated 0-2 Luxembourg 132-38 elsewhere in Group D to go 2-0.

Serbia coach Marina Maljkovic got 66 points from her bench on a productive evening all-round.

Group E

In Group E, Hungary climb to 2-0 after beating 0-2 hosts Portugal convincingly by 17 points, 67-50.

Hungary pieced together a decisive 18-3 streak in the third quarter and held Portugal to 33 per cent shooting from the floor on defence.

Elsewhere in Group E, Slovak Republic are 2-0 after a 72-55 win at 0-2 Iceland.

Slovak Republic continually frustrated and denied Iceland’s attempts to attack the rack, with 11 blocks on defence.

Group F

In Group F, powerhouse Russia smashed Switzerland on the road by 38 points, 86-48 to go 2-0.

Switzerland, who slide to 0-2, were destroyed 50-12 on the night in points in the paint.

Elsewhere in Group F, 2-0 Greece march on emphatically after a 74-40 road win over rivals Bulgaria.

Greece already led by 12 points when, either side of half-time, they hit their hosts with a 14-0 run.

Group H

In Group H, Romania won a thriller 78-77 at Israel to go 2-0 and leave their hosts 0-2 heading into 2016.

The nail biter finally turned when Israel guard Alysha Clark failed to add to her game-high 27 points on the hosts’ final attack; Romania guard Annemarie Parau rebounded the loose ball, was fouled and drilled 2/2 free-throws to win it.

Elsewhere in Group H, Turkey go 2-0 and leave opponents Bosnia and Herzegovina 0-2 after a dominant 79-50 road victory. Turkey outscored Bosnia in each of the fourth quarters.

Group I

Finally, in Group I, 2013 EuroBasket Women winners Spain crushed visitors Finland by 41 points, 86-45 to finish 2015 perfect and 2-0. Spain led Finland 49-15 in Zamora at the half-time break.