In the last game of this stage for Croatia and Korea, the Croatians won 83-75 and grabbed the first place of Group C in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Ankara.
Croatia’s Marija Vrsaljko was the MVP of the game with 26 points, seven boards and two blocks. Sandra Mandir was also important with 14 points and four assists, plus a couple of important three pointers.
For the Koreans, five players were in double digits with Y. Beon leading their way (19 points, six rebounds and three assists).
Croatia started a run in the second quarter, which was the moment of the game, they won that period by 10 points and never looked back.
Both teams started this game very conservative, in a slow tempo but with an excellent shooting selection mainly because of good ball movement where Korea took the lead 19-16 after one.
In the second quarter Croatia began pressuring more the perimeter players from Korea and with that more outside shots were missed that led to fast breaks for the European team. Croatia finished the quarter strong in an 11-2 run, to proclaim the lead at half-time (39-32). Vrsaljko off the bench was dominating both ends of the floor for Croatia.
Korea tried to make a run in the third, but every time they cut the lead to 4 points Croatia always answered well especially in the pick-and-roll situation between point guards and Vrsaljko. Croatia entered the last quarter with the same advantage they had at half-time.
After a good start of fourth quarter by the Korean team that made them tie the game at 66-66, Croatia answered with two three pointers to keep a 6 point lead that was enough to keep them comfortable. Until the end of the game, Korea tried to cut the deficit fouling, which led to many free throws and an 83-75 final score.
With this win Croatia won the group and will play against the team that end in the second place of Group D, while Korea will play against the winner of Group D.
Both games will be played Friday in an elimination system, time to be confirmed.