Belerus and Russia win in EuroBasket Women Group F

Russia are defending their crown at the EuroBasket Women 2009 championship in Latvia. So far they are undefeated after beating Italy (67-59) in a very technical if not spectacular match.

Ilona Korstin speaks in French about the progress of Russia in this competition.

Belarus' hopes of qualifying for the quarter-final of the Women European Championship is still alive after beating Lithuania (61-55).

Tatyana Troina and Yelena Leuchanka from Belarus speak in English about the EuroBasket Women tournament in the audio after match comment section in the game highlight section.

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

Belarus 61-55 Lithuania

Russia 67-59 Italy

Belarus' win give them a chance to qualify for the EuroBasket quarter-final

Belarus and Lithuania at EuroBasket Women2009 ©

Both teams were quickly into their stride. But it took 40 seconds before the first basket was scored by Agne Ciudariene for Lithuania. Belarus responded almost immediately with Natallia Marchanka racing down the court and feeding the ball off to Yelena Leuchanka. With both teams cancelling each other in the paint, Marchanka decided to pass out to Nataliya Trafimava who hit a trey. Belarus led (7-2) after three minutes of play. Lithuania were becoming more aggressive and tied the game (9-9) after Daina Staugaitiene connected from beyond the arc with six minutes played. Anatoli Buyalski decided to call a time-out. He replaced three players from his starting five. Then Anastasiya Verameyenka, the only member of the Belarus starting five still on the court, restored the lead for her side. Both teams continued to struggle inside and were aggressive defensively. As a result the two sides were forced to shoot from distance with no effect Belarus held a slender lead at the end of the first period (12-11). Belarus found their shooting touch at the start of the second quarter with Trafimava and Yuliya Dureika connecting from the land of many (18-11) within the first 90 seconds. A time-out was called by Rutenis Paulauskas, the Lithuania head coach. He was forced to call a second time-out less than 90 seconds after the first one because Belarus continued to score at will and led (22-13) with seven minutes remaining in the second period. This time his tactic worked and Lithunia scored back to back baskets which forced Buyalski to call a time-out. Belarus were able to alternate their outside and inside offensive play and stretched their advantage (30-17). Lithuania's only weapon to stop Belarus was to play individually which resulted in back to back baskets from Ciudariene and Sandra Valuzyte. Natallia Marchanka  at EuroBasket Women2009 © womensbasketball-in-france.comBelarus did not change their approach and went into the locker room ahead (37-23) after Marchanka (right) hit a period-ending three-point buzzer beater. Egle Stakneviciene gave Belarus something to think about early in the third quarter when she concluded back to back fast breaks. The Belarus coach called for an immediate time-out. The game lost its flow and became a little rough at times. Lithuania did not have much in breaking the Belarus defense and the highlight of the period for them was a three-pointer by Daina Staugaitiene. Belarus' control of the rebounds allowed the coach to keep on turning his bench. They maintained a 10-point advantage for most of the quarter for his side to go into the final quarter leading (50-39). Marchanka came off worse when colliding with Gintare Petronyte and had to leave the court with a nose bleed after only nine seconds. This seemed to have unsettled Belarus as Lithuania went on a three-point charge with Stakneviciene and then Petronyte as the 24-second buzzer sounded. Volha Padabed did hit a three-pointer for Belarus. Yet this was not enough to stop Lithuania with Stakneviciene being left open at the top of the key to hit another three-pointer. This was quickly followed by Lithuania's fourth three-pointer, this time by Rima Valentiene. Belarus still led (53-50) but decided to call a time-out. The three-point festival finally came to an end. By the time Marchanka returned to the game Belarus advantage was still 3 points (55-52) with five minutes left to play. With Marchanka setting the plays it was the turn of Belarus to hit back to back three-pointers as Trafimava and Troina connected from the land of many (61-52). Lithuania's chance was gone and Belarus hung on to win (61-55).

EuroBasket Women 2009 Box Scores.

EuroBasket Women 2009 audio after match comments Tatyana Troina at EuroBasket Women 2009 © womensbasketball-in-france Tatyana Troina has played for Belarus for the past six years and explained that her team tended to play best when under pressure. She also pointed out that the EuroBasket Women preparation was rather short and that might be the reason that they had not fired on all cylinders yet.

Yelena Leuchanka playing basketball in Riga Latvia for EuroBasket WOmen 2009 ©Castoria Fiba Europe

Yelena Leuchanka explained that she was proud of her team-mates for the way they played and stuck together to win the match and was hoping that they would do the same against Turkey.

She went on to explain that was important in tournaments such as EuroBasket Women to take things one step at time.

That was to finish a game, have a rest, then start thinking of the next game and forget about the previous game.

She added that in basketball in general teams had good moments and bad moments in games and then as a team you had to respond, like today they stayed strong and won the game but sometimes they lost.

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Russia are too strong for Italy at EuroBasket Women

Russia and Italy at EuroBasket Women2009 ©

Svetlana Abrosimova scored a baseline jumper with just 23 seconds on the clock. This was the first of a flourish of baskets in a lively session that had both teams level (8-8) with just over two minutes played. Abrosimova had already nailed her second three-pointer while Raffaella Masciadri had also connected from behind the arc for Italy. Masciadri's trey came as a result of Abrosimava slipping to the floor moments earlier. Maria Stepanova scored consecutive baskets for Russia to open up a lead that they did not lose for the rest of the game. Italy tried to match the Russians. They were unable to stop Abrosimova (12 points) and Stepanova (6 points) to fall behind by 6 points (12-18). Simona Ballardini (10 points in the first quarter) was the main Italian offensive weapon while Laura Macchi was doing her best on the defensive end. The Russians appeared to be in cruise control. But they allowed Macchi space to deliver a baseline pass across the zone to Ballardini who then hit a buzzer beater three-pointer to make it a 4-point game to finish the first period (19-23). Russia appeared to have lost their way in the second quarter and were kept scoreless for almost three minutes. Ilona Korstin was brought back into action. Her first contribution was to hit a three-pointer from the corner. Russia were still scrappy. Manuela Zanon fired in a three. Then Tatiana Popova was called for an international foul on Adriana Grasso at mid-court as she tried to execute a fast break. However Grasso missed the free-throws and moments later Stepanova scored for Russia (28-22). Italy defended hard for the next four minutes and only allowed Russia to score 3 points. However they only managed 2 points. Then during the last minutes both teams stepped up and the period ended in a flourish of baskets. Russia had a time-out with four seconds left to play. Then Abrosimova scored on the buzzer for Russia for her side to go into the locker room leading (35-29). Olga Arteshina showed good movement off the ball before running into space to receive the ball and score the first points of the second half. Italy continued to put pressure on the Russian team, who then fired a couple of air balls. However Italy could not score. They could not get any offensive action going and lost their momentum by blocks on Marte Alexander and Masciadri by Stepanova and Osipova blocking Masciadri. Russia were not that great offensively but stretched their lead (44-33) with Korstin coming up from nowhere to score. Italy finally scored through Macchi. Then Kathrin Ress scored. The Russians were under pressure once more. However Italy forgot about Korstin who punished the opponents with her second trey of the contest for the last score of the quarter (49-40). 51 seconds into the final period Ress for Italy picked up her fourth personal foul and had to return to the bench. The fireworks never happened in the final quarter and Russia maintained their hold on the game leading (57-46) with 3:41 minutes remaining in the game. Russia ended up winning (67-59) with Korstin and Stepanova scoring 14 points each.

EuroBasket Women 2009 Box Scores.

EuroBasket Women 2009 audio after match comments Ilona Korstin at EuroBasket Women 2009 © womensbasketball-in-france Illona Korstin explained that for the moment things were okay because of the matches won. She believed that the team was getting better each match and that they were playing a defensive game. On the other hand there were things to improve on especially like the high number of turnovers like tonight. She also pointed out that the EuroBasket Women preparation was rather short and that might be the reason that they had not fired on all cylinders yet.

Simona Ballardini and Raffaella Masciadriin Riga Latvia for EuroBasket WOmen 2009 ©Castoria Fiba Europe

Raffaella Masciadri (no. 12 in picture) said that despite the defeat, Italy were happy with the way they played.

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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 :
Castoria Fiba Europe

Date: 14 June 2009

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