We now head to the quarter-final stage of the EuroBasket Women. And to say everything is going to plan is sadly very mistaken.
Here’s the outlook of the second round.
Advanced – Czech Republic, Lithuania, Russia and Turkey. Out – Belarus and Great Britain.
As expected, the favourites, Czech Republic and Russia go through, along with Lithuania and surprise package of the last-eight Turkey.
The Czechs top the group with just one defeat, which was at the hands of Russia, who themselves qualify, but still haven’t won some of the critics over with their performances. This year’s tournament proving just how open and competitive it is. Russia though did comfortably beat Turkey and Belarus before nearly getting stunned by Great Britain. They just about pulled off a 62-59 victory on the final day.
Lithuania go through, quietly without any fuss. Winning a thriller against Great Britain by one point then despatching Belarus to advance. They did lose their final encounter against the Czechs.
The major surprise was the no-show of Belarus, who bow out after such high expectations. Great Britain’s fairytale ends losing all three games, but they were no blowouts. Nearly defeating Lithuania, but losing 64-63, then nearly upsetting Russia in their final game but running out of steam in the end.
Advanced – Montenegro, Latvia, France and Croatia. Out – Spain and Poland.
Like the surprise exit of Belarus, Spain also join them in that category. As Croatia have become the true surprise package by going through to the quarter-final round.
Montenegro have yet to be defeated in this year’s Eurobasket, and have been convincing in all six games played in Poland. While the young Latvia squad exceed their pre-tournament expectations with a spot in the last-eight. Their two defeats coming at the hands of Spain and Montenegro, but, in the tighter of the two groups advance thanks to a better win-loss record.
The holders France are also through.They finished third in the group because of their defeat to Latvia in the preliminary round, but finished above Croatia as they beat them on the first day of Eurobasket action.
The writing seemed to be on the wall for Croatia after their 40-point drubbing to France on day one. But they have responded tremendously, with big victories over hosts Poland and another of the pre-Eurobasket favourites Spain. Who head home earlier than expected.
The hosts put up a brave fight, but Poland bow out of EuroBasket. They leave with heads held high though after spirited performaces in their three losing games.
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