France and Russia have qualified for EuroBasket Women 2009 final

France qualify for EuroBasket women 2009 © Agenzia Ciamillo-Castoria/E.Castoria

The EuroBasket Women 2009 edition offers five places at the FIBA Women World Championship to be held in the Czech Republic next year.

The four semi-finalists have already qualified while the four teams eliminated in the quarter-final will battle it out over the next two days.

France have qualified for the European Championship final in Riga after beating Belarus (64-58).

Sandrine Gruda and Céline Dumerc led the scoring with 19 and 13 points each.

Russia cruised past Spain (77-61) to qualify for the final.

Becky Hammon stole the show with 28 points, while Maria Stepanova finished with a double-double with 19 points and 16 rebounds.

Greece kept their hopes of qualification for the World Championship by beating the Slovak Republic (64-59).

Evanthia Maltsi and Durimitra Kalentzou were the match winners with 23 and 21 points each for Greece.

Latvia allowed a 22-point lead evaporate and lost to Italy in overtime (66-68).

For the coach of the hosts of EuroBasket Women 2009, this was the end of a long journey.

He announced during the press conference that he would be resigning his function after the European Championship.

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

Belarus 56-64 France

Spain 61-77 Russia

Slovak Republic 59-64 Greece

Italy 68-66 Latvia

France have qualified for EuroBasket Women 2009 final

Yacoubou and Vverameyenka © MIGUEL BORDOY CANO
 Pauline Krawczyk scored just after Emméline Ndongue won the tip-off with just four seconds on the game clock. Sandrine Gruda then scored for France. But Belarus took the lead with back to back three-pointers from Natallia Marchanka. Yelena Leuchanka scored twice for Belarus to complete a 7-0 run for her side to take an early lead (10-5) with four minutes played. France got back on level terms (10-10) quickly after 2 points from Gruda and a three-point play from Ndongue (2+1). The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the period (five minutes) as defense went out of the window with France holding on to the advantage (20-18). The second period continued in the same way with both teams exchanging basket for basket. With France leading (26-25) with a little over five minutes remaining in the quarter, Pierre Vincent was tired with the way his team was playing and called for a time-out. The team talk worked wonders. France went on an 8-2 run that resulted in Anatoli Buyalski using up his second time-out with four minutes remaining before the interval. The pace of the game never picked up and the game went through a dull period. Yacoubou and Vverameyenka © MIGUEL BORDOY CANO
 However an interesting battle between Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui from France and the Belarus duo of Anastasya Verameyenka and Leuchanka kept the contest interesting. The quarter came to an end with an exchange of three-pointers, first Emmanuelle Hermouet for France and then Voiha Padabed for Belarus. France went into the locker room leading (40-34). Belarus kept it tight defensively and it took a three-pointer from Céline Dumerc to finally break it. Belarus decided to got inside for their points while Dumerc hit her second trey of the quarter to keep France in the lead. There were five minutes left to play in the quarter when Vincent called for a time-out (46-38). France changed systems and within a twinkle of an eye had moved 15 points clear after Nwal-Endéné Miyem hit a trey as the 24-second clock buzzer went off. France went into the final period leading (57-44). The last quarter started slowly and became rough, with only 2 points scored from both sides during the first five minutes. Padabed broke the dead lock with a trey for Belarus. Katsiaryna Snytsina quickly added 3 more points for Belarus as she pushed Ndongue into fouling her while she was scoring. Dumerc hit another trey with three minutes to go to give France a 12-point lead. Then France paced themselves to victory (64-56)and a place in the EuroBasket Women's final.

EuroBasket Women 2009 Box Scores.

EuroBasket Women 2009 audio after match comments Anaël Lardy at EuroBasket Women 2009 © womensbasketball-in-france Anaël Lardy believes that qualifying for the final is the highest honour in Europe with the senior team. She explained it was not really possible to compare this qualification with that she had experienced as a youth international. However it was a final and all the players would do everything possible for the best result.

Emméline Ndongue in Riga Latvia for EuroBasket WOmen 2009 ©womensbasketball-in-france

Emméline Ndongue explained that they had come to qualify for the World Championship the following year and with having qualified for the final of EuroBasket Women 2009 they were almost there.

As for the match itself they did what they had to do also defensively in this game to keep shooting in the way they liked.

Elodie Godin EuroBasket Women 2009 © FFBB

Elodie Godin has been nursing an injury and did not play in this match. Godin is back in the French team after two years' absence.

She is happy with the qualification for the World Championship after the victory in the quarter-final.

It had been a while that France had waited for this and for the players it was a magical moment.

She explained that she had already experienced defeat in the quarter-final of EuroBasket Women twice and it was frustrating, but of this day they were guaranteed a medal.

Russia are back in the EuroBasket Women final

Sspain and Russian players during the EuroBasket women 2009 semi-final ©

Becky Hammon was first to score with a three-pointer with 30 seconds played. Cindy Lima from Spain was in the thick of the battle from the start of the game and managed to get the ball away from Irina Osipova and into the hands of Elisa Aguilar who went on to score for Spain.  Maria Steponova at EuroBasket women 2009 semi-final © Agenzia Ciamillo-Castoria/E.CastoriaLima was to pick up 2 quick fouls but continued to battle with the big ladies from Russia. Yet she was unable to stop neither Maria Stepanova nor Ilona Korstin as Russia opened the game (9-4) after four minutes. Spain reorganised themselves and started to hit their shots and drew level (13-13) with an Alba Torrens rainbow trey with 90 seconds remaining in the first period. However on the very next attack, Stepanova hit a jump shop from the top of the key for the last score of the quarter (15-13). The two teams battled it out for the last minute but were unable to score. Spain decided to attack in the Russian defense. They drew level through Lucila Pascua who hit a couple of free-throws. Laia Palau managed to get herself high above everybody to score for Spain to lead for the first time in the match (17-16). Russia had just taken Hammon out of the game but Svetlana Abrosimova was on hand to hit a trey for Russia to take the lead. They went on to miss 4 free-throws while Spain went on a 7-0 run with Amaya Valdemoro. She scored the last 5 points as they led (24-19). Russia continued to miss free-throws but still drew level (24-24) as Stepanova got the better of Laura Nicolls. spain and Russian players after the EuroBasket women 2009 semi-final © Womensbasketball-in-france.comStepanova scored her 13th point of the match with 90 seconds left to play for the last score of the second period which was enough to take Russia into the locker room leading (26-24). Alba Torrens hit back to back three-pointers for Spain to briefly regain the lead in an action packed first three minutes of the third period. However Stepanova continued to give Spain problems. Hence Lima had to go back on the bench after picking up her third foul. Russia took control of the game with Osipova and Olga Arteshina scoring. But it was the 5 points from Hammon (43-36) that put Spain on the back foot. Spain tried everything they could to score but they could not get past Stepanova. The battle in the paint at both ends of the court was furious. The only points came from fast break counter attacks. Russia survived even with Stepanova who had to rest after collecting personal foul number 3. Russia went into the final period ahead (48-42). spain and Russian players after the EuroBasket women 2009 semi-final © Hammon went on a one-lady demolition show at the start of the final period with the first 5 points of the quarter and a total of 8 points in a 10-0 Russian run (58-42). With Hammon running the show Russia’s lead grew (68-52) with her alone scoring 13 points for Russia. Russia controlled the pace for the rest of the game with Hammon continuing to score. Russia went on to win (77-61).

EuroBasket Women 2009 Box Scores.

EuroBasket Women 2009 audio after match comments Becky Hammon at EuroBasket Women 2009 © womensbasketball-in-france Becky Hammon speaks about the defensive pressure of the Spanish team and the performance of the big players with special mention for Maria Stepanova and her 16 rebounds. She is looking forward to playing France in the EuroBasket Women final and Hammon concluded she had learnt a lot from the first match. She would try and rest and maybe read a little bit.

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Greece have recovered and beat the Slovak Republic

Spain beat the Slovak Republic at EuroBasket women 2009 semi-final ©

Both teams took a while to get going in the first match of the day and the Slovak Republic led (6-5) with just over five minutes played. Greece then stepped on the accelerator.  Styliani Kaltsidou playing for Greece at EuroBasket Women 2009 © Agenzia Ciamillo-Castoria/E.CastoriaStyliani Kaltsidou (left) came up with, what is becoming her trademark drive to the basket in-your-face lay-up, for Greece to lead (13-8). Pokey Chatman from the Slovak Republic called the first time-out of the game. However nothing changed for her team as Greece extended their advantage (17-8) with 11 points coming from Durimitra Kalentzou. Martina Gyurcsi ended the 8-0 run of Greece for the last score of the first period 40 seconds before the end of the first period. Evanthia Maltsi fired a trey to the start the second quarter (the first trey of the game for Greece) which was the only action from Greece. The Slovak Republic then went to work on bringing down the deficit. So Konstantinos Missas, the Greek head coach, called for a time-out after Katarina Tetemondová hit a three-pointer that reduced Greece's lead to 2 points (22-20). The Slovak Republic drew level briefly through Gyurcsi but then suffered a 10-0 hammering from Greece as Maltsi (10 points in the second quarter) and Pelagia Papamichail turned on the turbo. Gyurcsi scored the last 3 points of the quarter from the free-throw line to bring her personal total to 10 points. But Greece went into the locker room leading (32-25) at the interval. The Slovak Republic started playing a pressing game at the start of the third period and outscored Greece (8-2) during the first five minutes of the third period. It was only after Zuzana Zirková scored her first points of the game that the Greek head coach decided it was time for a time-out. The flood gates suddenly opened with Kalentzou and Lucia Lásková trading three-pointers. The Slovak Republic then went into the lead through Zirková and extended the advantage when Maltsi was called for an intentional foul on Gyurcsi. Gyurcsi was in the thick of the action and fired in a trey for Slovak Republic to open their biggest lead of the game (45-39). Greece's only points came from the free-throw line as the Slovak Republic went into the final quarter with a 7-point advantage (47-42). The game became more physical at the start of the last period. The Slovak Republic decided to call a time-out after two scoreless minutes despite leading (47-44).  Evanthia Maltsi playing for Greece at EuroBasket Women 2009 © Agenzia Ciamillo-Castoria/E.CastoriaMaltsi (right) then tied the game for the fourth time with a shot from behind the arc. Greece regained the lead through Kalentzou who was also awarded a free-throw (49-47). Both teams continued to trade baskets with the lead changing twice with the Slovak Repubic going ahead(53-52) with 3:47 to play in the fourth quarter. Olga Chatzinikolaou managed to get the ball away from Zirková to score for Greece and take back the lead. Kalentzou extended the Greek lead from the foul-line after taking a battering from three players while contesting a rebound. Despite the efforts of Gyurcsi, Greece maintained the advantage with Maltsi connecting from the wing behind the arc (61-55). The Slovak Republic had the chance to level the game but took too long in setting up the play. They failed to shoot the ball and the chance was gone. Maltsi was fouled and made one more trip to the charity stripes for her 22nd and 23rd point of the game as Greece ended up winning (64-59). Greece will pay in the fifth place EuroBasket Women match.

EuroBasket Women 2009 Box Scores.

EuroBasket Women 2009 audio after match comments Dimitra Kalentzou< at EuroBasket Women 2009 © womensbasketball-in-france Dimitra Kalentzou had played well against the Slovak Republic before. She explained that she had to help her team in this important EuroBasket Women game. She also said that physically they were tired with only 15 hours since the defeat against France. But the team had courage and so the victory was theirs.

Konstantinos Missas©

Konstantinos Missas explained that he did not talk about the defeat against France.

At the the team meeting he told the team to be patient and play with their heart and that was why he believed they won this EuroBasket game.

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Italy have won against Latvia in EuroBasket Women hold-up

Italy end the dreams of Latvia  at EuroBasket women 2009 semi-final © Agenzia Ciamillo-Castoria/E.Castoria

Gunta Basko and Latvia did not waste much time and led (12-3) after 3 ½ minutes of play.

Italy was not able get anything going in attack but managed to slow down the Latvian scoring rate.

Latvia continued to dominate Italy in all areas of the game to lead (25-10) by the end of the first period.

Nothing much happened for almost five minutes in the second period with only 2 points coming from Basko.

The game picked up a little during the rest of the period with a flourish of points from each side with Latvia moving 20 points clear (39-19).

Italy had the better of the last two minutes reducing their deficit to 16 points at the interval (23-39).

Latvia lose at hope to Italy at EuroBasket women  © Womensbasketball-in-france.comAnete Jekabsone-Zogota opened the third period with trey. She followed this up with 2 points from the charity stripes.

Basko continued her offensive festival with her third shot from beyond the arc.

Italy started to play a bit more adventurous and Raffaella Masciadri hit her second three-pointer of the game.

Laura Macchi and Marte Alexander also scored for Italy as the game became more lively.

Latvia still led (45-32) with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Italy continued to lower their deficit with Alexander doing most of the scoring as her side trailed by 10 points (37-47) with just under three minutes remaining to play in the third period.

Latvia then on the back foot held on and went into the final quarter with a reduced advantage (50-41).

With just one second played in the last period the Italian coach called a time-out after Maria Franchini more or less threw the ball away.

Italy was slowly coming back into the match as Roberta Meneghel and Macchi fired in shots from behind the arc.

Italy kept on pushing Latvia into committing fouls and with just under five minutes to play Latvia's lead was cut to 5 points (54-49).

Latvia’s poor shooting continued. Italy took full advantage with Macchi finding the basket again to make it a three-point game with three minutes remaining.

Ieva Tare fouled out of the game with 2:55 to play against Macchi, who then hit her free-throws. Macchi was back at the charity stripes after drawing Basko into fouling her.

She hit her free-throws as Italy took the lead for the first time in the match with just under 2 ½ minutes to play. However it did not last long because Basko was fouled and hit her two free-throws.

The last 40 seconds were hectic.

Italy players in defense at EuroBasket women 2009 © Womensbasketball-in-france.comFirst Masciadri fired in a trey for Italy. Then this was quickly followed by two free-throws by Jekabsone-Zogota for Latvia.

Macchi then managed to put in 2 more points for Italy as she battled with the whole Latvian defense.

It was then the turn of Latvia to score after a patient build-up, concluding with Basko scoring a three-pointer (62-60).

15 seconds remained in regulation time and Italy levelled the score from the free-throw line with Mariangela Cirone.

Jekabsone-Zogota had time for one more shot which missed the target. But Basko managed to get the rebound and scored. Yet it did not count and the game went to overtime.

Overtime was fast and furious and the teams remained level (66-66) with the game in the last minutes.

However the game winning score came from Macchi with a drive to the basket with 13 seconds left to play to win the game (68-66).

EuroBasket Women 2009 Box Scores.

Russia required overtime against Latvia, while France just made it

Belarus and Spain qualify for semi-final

One on One with Maris Moviks

France beat Russia. Belarus and Italy are in 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: 19 June 2009

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