EuroBasket Women: Group stage review

Eurobasket Women 2011 is going as expected at the moment. With the pre-tournament favourites through – just. The holders through and the hosts also into round two.

Group A:

Advanced – Lithuania, Russia, Turkey. Out – Slovak Republic.

In a tough group to call, it was the Slovak Republic who bidded farewell to Poland. But they left the tournament on a high-note with victory over the group-winners Lithuania. They were eliminated though thanks to defeats to Russia and Turkey in the first two games.

Lithuania topped the group with an impressive victory over the favourites Russia and then they topped Turkey, who finished third in the group, as they defeated the Slovak Republic.

It was Russia who grabbed most of the headlines from this group. The pre-tournament favourites were unconvincing, despite finishing second. Beating the Slovaks by two points, and having to count on a last second block by Irina Osipova to ensure victory. They were disappointing in defeat to Lithuania, but then came good to beat Turkey in the final game to advance.

Group B:

Advanced – Czech Republic, Belarus, Great Britain. Out – Israel.

Group B went very much as planned as the World Championship silver-medalists the Czech Republic eased through, along with the established and strong Belarussians. But it was also a step in the right direction for Tom Maher and Great Britain, as they became the first national side representing Great Britain to advance beyond the preliminary stage in history.

The Czechs defeated Israel and Great Britain comfortably to progress with a game to spare. They topped the group in an exciting encounter against Belarus, where they made hard work of it in the second half of play. Belarus were awesome against Great Britain and Israel in their progression. But finished in second with defeat to the Czechs.

Great Britain went through thanks to a victory on the final day to Israel who go home having not won a game at EuroBasket for 20-years. Despite little gaps of promise, they were outplayed by the three teams they faced.

Group C:

Advanced – Montenegro, Spain, Poland. Out – Germany.

Montenegro have become the story of this EuroBasket for Women. Beating all three teams comfortably to advance, and so far, being perhaps the team of the tournament.

Spain were another of the pre-tournament favourites, but were outplayed by Montenegro in the first game. They advanced following victories over Poland and Germany. The hosts Poland advanced thanks to a victory over Germany.

Germany were the last team to qualify through the Additional Qualifiers, but are heading home after losing all three games. Maybe the fact that they played more competitive games over the course of two weeks hurt their chances. But they leave knowing that they put their effort into all three matches.

Group D:

Advanced – Latvia, France, Croatia. Out – Greece.

Latvia’s stunning victory over the EuroBasket holders France means that they finished as group winners with France finishing as runners-up.

Despite a 40-point loss to France, Croatia go through after defeating beating Greece by two points (65-63) in their second game. Thanks to that two-point defeat, Greece head home.

France lost to Latvia, but, as said, the holders finish second following victories over Croatia and Greece.

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