Eurobasket Women in France begins today as we will see 15 days of fast and furious action. Here is the round up of day one so far.
Group A (Vannes)
Montenegro 77-63 Slovak Republic
The 2011 surprise package Montenegro have begun their 2013 campaign with a comfortable 77-63 victory over a rebuilding Slovak Republic side.
Jelena Dubljevic excelled in this contest with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals for the winners as they turned the game on its head in the third quarter with a 10-0 run to turn a 35-33 deficit into a 59-52 lead, which they never relinquished.
Romana Vynuchalova and Katarina Tetemondova each had 13 points to lead the Slovaks, the former pulled down 7 rebounds.
Ukraine 52-78 Turkey
A devastating 22-8 third quarter saw Turkey defeat Ukraine 78-52, as they sent a strong message to all the team competing at Eurobasket Women.
Isil Alben showed her worth after being given a starting spot with 7 assists, 4 steals and 5 rebounds to go with her 4 points. Quanitra Hollingsworth led the victors with 15 points.
Ukraine were led by Oleksandra Kurasova and Viktoria Mircheva, who both hit 8 points. No Ukraine player was able to achieve higher than that.
Group B (Vannes)
Sweden 63-64 Italy
Italy edged Sweden 64-63 in what was a physical battle, settled by a last second block by Kathrin Ress, who denied the Swedes victory with the rejection on Frida Eldebrink.
Ress finished with solid numbers of 18 points and 14 rebounds as Italy began their campaign with a stunning victory. Eldebrink had 23 for Sweden.
Spain 77-72 Russia
Alba Torrens put in the performance of the day as her 30 points lifted Spain past holders Russia 77-72 in the day’s final game in Vannes.
After overturning an 18-point deficit, Russia looked to have the momentum to snatch victory away from the Spaniards but consecutive free-throws from Sancho Lyttle gave Spain a 74-70 lead and they never lost the advantage from there.
Anna Petrakova had 18 points and 6 rebounds for the current Eurobasket Women champions.
Group C (Trelaze)
Great Britain 76-68 Serbia
Great Britain, urged by Sport England to produce victories in order for the sport’s funding to continue in Britain have begun with a crucial 76-68 win over Serbia.
Azania Stewart and Stephanie Gandy led the Brits with 13 points each while Jo Leedham, recently returned from Connecticut after a failed trial with the Sun secured a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Jelena Milovanovic led all scorers with 19 points for Serbia in what was a back-and-forth encounter where a 13-3 GB run was enough for a 41-38 lead at half-time, despite an 11-3 answer from the Serbs.
Then Serbia hit a further 11 points unanswered to nudge themselves in front before GB rallied and three-pointers from debutant Ella Clark and veteran Rachael Vanderwal plus important shots from Leedham gave GB the win.
France 62-39 Latvia
France thrashed Latvia 62-39 in front of a sell-out crowd of 5,300 in Trelaze as the favourites sent an early statement of intent.
Isabelle Yacoubou scored 17 points as she dominated inside to give the hosts confidence going into their next game with Serbia. The FIBA Europe Women’s Player of the Year for 2012 Celine Dumerc scored just 1 point but with her team-mates on form, she didn’t need to do too much.
Elina Babkina had 11 points for Latvia as they prepare to face Great Britain tomorrow.
Group D (Trelaze)
Lithuania 77-89 Croatia
Croatia came from an early deficit to defeat a stubborn Lithuania 89-77 in game two in Trelaze.
Antonija Misura, trying to prove her worth after a sub-par showing at the London Olympics last year led the Croats with 15 points. Gintare Petronyte led Lithuania with a game-high 23 points but it was in vain.
Belarus 60-39 Czech Republic
Belarus led from tip-to-buzzer as they comfortably saw off the Czech Republic 60-39.
With a new look squad, the Czechs looked out of depth in the fourth quarter as Belarus, still smarting from their second round exit in Poland two years ago eased through their opponents’ line of defence to win the final ten minutes 21-10.
Despite five turnovers, Yelena Leuchanka led the way for Belarus with 14 points and 8 rebounds.
The Czechs, who forced Belarus into committing 22 turnovers failed to capitalise on it and were thoroughly outclassed. Michaela Zrustova was the only player in double figures with 14.