EuroBasket Women 2011: Tears of joy as well as tears of disappointment
After four weeks of EuroBasket Women qualifiers 15 pieces from the 16-piece jig-saw puzzle have been placed.
From the eight teams that have qualified through the qualification series, 2012 0lympic hosts Great Britain have rewarded FIBA Europe for reinstating them in Division A by winning their group and qualifying directly for the finals.
Lithuania, Montenegro and Turkey had also booked their tickets for Poland 2011 before the final days actions.
The biggest tears of joy came from the Latvian players who crushed Serbia (80-55) to sneak into second place in Group B.
The first phase of the EuroBasket qualifiers has come to an end with Croatia, Israel, Latvia and the Slovak Republic picking up the last direct qualification places.
The qualification of Belarus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Russia and Spain for the 2010 FIBA World Championship exempted them from the qualifiers while Poland qualified as hosts.
The last place will be determined during the Additional Qualification Round.
You can read the EuroBasket Women 2011 news from all the groups by clicking on the links below or by scrolling down the page:
Croatia put together a 15-0 run from late in the second quarter and early in the third to take hold of the game (53-40).
Ann Wauters' scoring kept Belgium in the game and with five minutes left to play, her team trailed by just 3 points (68-71).
This was as close as Belgium would get as Croatia went on a 10-0 run to put the game out of their opponents' reach.
Iva Sliskovic (left) and Jelena Ivezic both scored 18 points while Marta Cakic contributed 17 points in the (85-70) victory.
Wauters fired in 27 points for Belgium.
This road win secures a place at EuroBasket Women 2011 for Croatia.
Italy's fate was sealed before they went on the court to play the Netherlands in the final game of the evening with Croatia taking the final qualification place from the group.
The Netherlands who wanted to avoid finishing bottom of the group took full advantage and dominated the first half (42-29).
Raffaella Masciadri (right) started the Italian revival with back to back three-pointers during the third quarter. She scored 13 points during the quarter as Italy reduced the deficit going into the final quarter (45-48).
The game remained close until the 37th minute with Italy leading (58-57).
Italy then went 10-from-12 from the charity stripes to close out the game (68-59).
Masciadri led the Italian offensive effort wit 16 points while Giorgia Sottana and Jenifer Nadalin scored 12 points each.
For the Netherlands Leonie Kooij scored 17 points and former Challes-les-Eaux player Marlous Nieuwveen contributed 11 points.
Group D turned out to be the group of death and home advantage counted for little.
Great Britain had already qualified coming into their game against Ukraine and were looking to improve their final seeding for the EuroBasket draw.
They kept the hosts and their fans quiet early on with some excellent shooting from the arc to lead (12-4).
Ukraine pulled themselves together and reduced the deficit by the end of the first quarter (15-17).
The second quarter was an evenly balanced shoot-out with Great Britain coming out on top 24-23 to lead (41-38) at the interval.
After the break Ukraine stepped up defensively and took control of the game with a 12-0 run that enabled them to go into the final quarter leading (52-47).
Great Britain came fighting back during the final quarter. But the experience of Olena Zherzherunova (left) and the calmness of Olena Ogorodnikova and Nataliia Isachenko were just enough at the end to seal the victory (70-66).
Ukraine required a victory from Germany to snatch second place in the group.
Jo Leedham once again led the Great Britain attack with 19 points and Chantelle Handy added 10 points.
Despite the efforts of Linda Fröhlich with 27 points for Germany, the Slovak Republic did just enough to win the game (73-67).
The Slovak Republic made the decisive break during the third quarter to go 12 points clear (68-56).
Germany restricted the hosts to just 5 points in the final quarter but also went scoreless for the last three minutes themselves.
Germany find themselves finishing bottom of the group while Pokey Chapman (right) and the Slovak Republic are off to EuroBasket Women again.
Lucia Kupcikova led the way with 15 points for the hosts while Ivana Jalcová and Luisa Michulková added 14 points each.