EuroBasket Women 2009 drama with Belarus
Spain keep on going

Belarus, 2007 EuroBasket Women bronze medallist, have qualified for the semi-final of the Women European Championship in Riga, Latvia after beating the Slovak Republic (70-68) in overtime.

Natallia Marchanka playing with a face mask EuroBasket women 2009 © Agenzia Ciamillo-Castoria/E.CastoriaNatallia Marchanka (right) playing in pain and a face mask came up with a play and the score to put Belarus in the lead for good with less than two minutes left to play. She finished the match with 12 points and 3 assists.

Spain made it to the semi-final after beating Italy (61-42) in a rather technical game.

Italy got off to a flying start leading (12-1) early in the first period. Spain used, what has become a tradition at EuroBasket, a strong third-quarter push to take control of the game for good.

You can read more about the games of interest by clicking on the following links or scrolling down the page:

Slovak Republic 68-70 Belarus

Spain 61-42 Italy

Belarus required overtime to beat the Slovak Republic

Belarus on their way to semi-final of EuroBasket women 2009 ©

Zuzana Zirková from Belarus hit the game's first three-pointer which came off the back board after almost two minutes of play. On the very next attack Anastasiya Verameyenka hit a rainbow three-pointer from the top of the key and the match was on. Verameyenka was the main offensive threat for Belarus at the start with 7 of her team's first 9 points. Belarus increased their advantage (11-7) with Yelena Leuchanka finding the basket after working in the paint. The Slovak Republic quickly picked themselves up with back to back baskets from the LFB connection Martina Gyurcsi and Lucia Lásková. However they fell further behind as Katsiaryna Snytsina fired in a baseline trey. Belarus became more patient and alternated their inside/outside game consistently to lead (24-15) at the end of the first period. Belarus and the Slovak Republic at the  quarter-final of EuroBasket women 2009 © Volha Padabed was the only player to score from Belarus in the first two minutes of the second period. Padabed was later to lose the ball to Jana Carnoká who went on to score. Snytsina set up a fast break and while delivering the pass to Natallia Anufryienka she ran into Lásková. Both players fell to the ground. Anufryienka continued and scored and Pokey Chatman called for a time-out with her side trailing (17-28) with 6:26 left to play in the second period. The Slovak Republic controlled their defensive rebounds. But Belarus stepped up their intensity in defense and blocked out the Slovak offensive options, while scoring regularly on counter attacks to lead (36-23) at the interval. The Slovak Republic switched to their pressing game at the start of the third period and scored the first 6 points with Zirková scoring 4 points. Anatoli Buyalski was forced to call a time-out with less than two minutes played. Gyurcsi scored immediately afterwards to complete the 8-0 run for the Slovak Republic. Belarus' response was a single trey from Anufryienka but the Slovak Republic had seized the moment. With Zirková and Gyurcsi running the floor the two teams were level (42-42) with three minutes remaining in the third period. Belarus managed to put a stop to the Slovak charge to go into the final quarter leading (48-42) after Padabed ran the clock down and on the buzzer scored in the paint. Zirková fired a trey after 21 seconds of the final period. But the Slovak Republic were unable to turn their domination into points and Belarus took advantage. Marina Kress scored twice and then Yuliya Dureika fired in a trey as Belarus restored their advantage (54-47) with six minutes left to play. The two teams continued their exchange until Gyurcsi knocked in a trey for the Slovak Republic to go regain the lead (54-58) with just over three minutes left to play. Zirková scored again for the Slovak Republic with 2:20 to play and then both teams missed chance after chance as bodies flew all over the court. With 42 seconds left to play Anufryienka scored for Belarus. However six seconds later Zirková hit a trey (59-60). Belarus turned the ball over and Lásková was then fouled as she tried to complete a fast break. She just split the pair of free-throws. With 5.9 seconds in the last quarter the two teams were level once again. Nothing happened and the game went into overtime and it took almost two minutes before Anna Jurcenkova finally broke the deadlock. A few seconds later she committed her fifth foul and had to leave the game. Belarus scored mainly from the free-throw line while the Slovak Repulic relied on the finishing of Zirková. Belarus led (67-66) as the game went down to the last minute of overtime. Natallia Marchanka drove to the basket to score and draw the foul. The Slovak Republic had the chance to take the lead as they had three attempts. They picked up the defensive rebounds but the fall refused to drop. Tatyana Troina was then fouled with 13. 6 seconds to play. She split the pair. Zirková then drove to the basket and took a shot that hit the rim and bounced out. Verameyenka picked up the defensive rebound and was fouled. Belarus on their way to semi-final of EuroBasket women 2009 © Agenzia Ciamillo-Castoria/E.Castoria

Verameyenka hit one of the free-throws leaving the Slovak Republic 6.9 seconds to find 4 points to take the game into double overtime. They managed 2 points and Belarus, the EuroBasket Women comeback queens have won the match. They have now qualified for the FIBA Women World Championship next year. Verameyenka led the Belarus attack with 13 points while Marchanka followed up with 12 points and 5 assists. Zirková led the Slovak Republic attack with 23 points. Her side will be disappointed to have lost this game as they dominated the battle of the rebounds (50:30).

EuroBasket Women 2009 Box Scores.

EuroBasket Women 2009 audio after match comments >Natallia Marchanka<© Natallia Marchanka made one of the most quoted quotes at EuroBasket Women "Drama queens, Drama queen so popular for us. But hey, it's on the board. We won." She thanked all her team-mates for the work done and the qualification for the World Championship which was the objective of coming to Latvia. She also explained that she had to take responsibility at the end and it turned out well with the score and the foul.

Yelena Leuchanka  ©

Yelena Leuchanka explained that the team was just one big family, when things did not go right they stuck together and tried and saw it through.

In this game they played great in the first half but in the second period for some reason they played their opponents' game, got nervous and missed some shots but in the end they won (a W is a W).

This made her so happy, for her country and team-mates, fans and everybody for sticking with them to the end.

She explained that there was a lot of doubt but the team always believed that they would qualify for the World Championship.

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Spain remain unbeaten at EuroBasket Women

Spain qualify for semi-final at EuroBasket Women 2009 ©

Italy got off to the best start possible with 7 consecutive points to lead (7-1) with a little of three minutes played. Laura Macchi started the run with a three-pointer. Marte Alexander then opened her account with a hustle in the paint. Simona Ballardini was next to score but then had to leave the floor shortly after coming off second best in a challenge with Cindy Lima. Spain's problems continued as Elisa Aguilar was called for an unsportmanslike foul. They were having a tough time and Italy's lead increased (12-1) with five minutes played after another trey from Macchi. Spain scored their first points from the field on the ninth attempt after six minutes of play with a three-pointer by Alba Torrens. Anna Montañana fired in a second trey for Spain. But Italy responded immediately with Raffaella Masciadri hitting a three-pointer (17-7) with three minutes left to play. Spain reduced the deficit from the free-throw line by the end of the period as they trailed (12-17). For Italy Mariangela Cirone thought she had scored before the buzzer went off but the officials said no. Spain came back with a spring in their step at the start of the second period and Amaya Valdemoro fired in a three-pointer. Spain and Italy playing basketball at EuroBasket Women 2009 © womensbasketball-in-france.comNothing much happened until Macchi scored from behind the arc for Italy. But the score of the quarter came from Lucila Pascua from Spain after Torrens supplied an overhead back pass to her. Spain started to find their rhythm and increased the tempo to draw level (14-14) with 14 minutes played after a trey by Aguilar. Spain regained the lead with Montañana at the end of a Valdemoro fast break. Th Italian head coach Giampiero Ticchi called for a time-out as he needed to find a system to break the player-to-player marking system of Spain. Italy managed to slow down the Spanish attack but were unable to score themselves. They fell further behind as Montañana bulldozed her way to the basket (27-22). Italy stuck to their defensive system and finally started to find space in the Spanish defense. They regained the lead (28-27) as Macchi knocked down her fourth three-pointer of the game. Spain had 10 seconds left. Evaristo Pérez drew up a play during the time-out which was executed to perfection as Montañana scored on the buzzer for her side to go ahead (29-28) at the interval. Spain went down to business at the start of the third period with Italy only scoring 1 point from the free-throw line. On the other hand Spain scored 10 points lo lead (39-29) with four minutes played during the quarter. Italy did not make things easier for themselves with missing easy baskets. The game went through a scrappy phase with a lot of running up and down but little scoring. Spain held on to their advantage (43-32) and went with Anna Cruz scoring a three-pointer into the final period (46-36) with a 10-point lead. Unfortunately there were no fireworks in the final quarter as Spain were prepared to play the game out. Italy were unable to break down the Spanish defense. The Italian coach Giampiero Ticchi's frustration got the better of him and he was called for a technical foul. This allowed Spain to maintain their 10-point advantage (50-40) with eight minutes to play. The game fizzled out and Spain won (61-42).

EuroBasket Women 2009 Box Scores.

EuroBasket Women 2009 audio after match comments >Alba Torrens at EuroBasket women 2009 © MIGUEL BORDOY CANO
 Alba Torrens, who is still 19 years old, told us in Spanish that Spain had had six wins in a row and that they were playing a nice style of basketball at EuroBasket Women 2009. She thought that all the players had taken on responsibilities and finding roles in team. She went on to explain a little about her game by saying that her game was more up tempo and that she loved to counter attack (fast breaks) as well as bringing team-mates into the game. She reminded us that all was not perfect as she required to work on her outside shooting.

Isabel Sanchez at EuroBasket women 2009 ©

Isabel Sanchez was pleased that they qualified for the World Championship after a good game against Italy.

With the qualification secured she explained the next objective for this EuroBasket Women was to win a medal.

Amaya Valdemoro ©

Amaya Valdemoro described the game as ugly.

She explained that this was a typical EuroBasket Women quarter-final game.

The players were nervous and it was a difficult game to play but the team came out strong in the third period and turned the game around and the victory was deserved.

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France beat Russia. Belarus & Turkey qualify quarter-final

Spain down hosts, while Greece qualify for quarter-final

Belarus keep hope alive while Russia win again

Spain are the only team undefeated in Group E

France stay on track in beating Turkey (55-43)

Russia in quarter-final

France taken to the wire against Lithuania (57-55)

Spain and Latvia in quarter-final

France beat Israel (73-70) to end first phase unbeaten

Four teams go home

France need overtime to beat Belarus (63-61)

Five teams qualify for the next phase

France beat Italy (76-61)

EuroBasket Women news from day 1

Return from EuroBasket Women 2009 finals to "What's New" page

Return to Senior International Basketball

EuroBasket Women 2009 pictures credits :
Agenzia Ciamillo-Castoria/E.Castoria
Miguel Bordoy Cano

Date: 17 June 2009

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