FIBA Europe U16 Division A Italy keep home fans happy
The third day of basketball at the 2011 U16 FIBA Europe European Championship for Women Division A was all about Italy.
With 10 teams already qualified for the qualifying round all eyes were on the match between Italy and Finland in Group C.
With so much at stake for Finland it was not surprising that neither team was able to play the free flowing basketball that is seen at lot at U16 level. Instead the match was slow with players too scared to take the initiative, which resulted in a missing festival.
Finland also ended up turning over the ball a lot more than usual.
The first quarter was the best with both teams engaging well. Although Italy led (20-13) both teams were more or less equal.
The Italians started to pull away during the second quarter and took full advantage of a five-minute barren spell by Finland to open up a 17-point lead (34-17) which increased to 20 points by the interval.
The contest was over by the end of the third quarter with Italy leading (53-26).
Italy switched off during the final quarter and did not score a single point in 8 1/2 minutes. But Finland were not able to take advantage themselves just scoring 6 points.
Italy ended up winning (57-34) with Cecilia Zandalasini (right) leading the way with 11 points.
France, okay for the qualifying round
France, led by the twin towers of Mousdandy Djaldi-Tabdi and Aby Gaye (in picture), needed a strong final-quarter push to keep the Netherlands away (66-43).
The Netherlands had the perfect start leading (12-6) after seven minutes of play and stayed in front till the end of the first quarter (15-13).
France's height advantage paid off as they regained control of the game to lead (31-25) at the break.
The Netherlands used a lot of energy in keeping up with France during the third quarter (36-44) so that they had nothing left in the tank for the final quarter. Laura Cornelius was the top scorer for the Netherlands with 11 points.
French players: Clémentine Morateur 6, Alexia Lacaule 5, Bétengere Dinga-Mbomi 9, Lysa Millavet 4, Ondaye Elenga 0, Mousdandy Djaldi-Tabdi 15 (10 rebounds and 2 blocks), Fleur Devilliers 6, Laetitia Guapo 1, Assistan Koné 6, Marie Mané 0, Aby Gaye 12, Marie Milapie 2
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Sweden, already assured first place in Group A, lost to Poland (40-46) who were already eliminated. Belgium on the other hand walloped Ukraine (81-49) to secure second place.
Russia stayed perfect in Group B with a comfortable victory (85-51) against Croatia while Greece finished second after beating the Czech Republic (53-43).
Spain walked over Hungary (70-37) to maintain their perfect record. Italy moved into second place after beating Finland (57-34) while Hungary moved to third place in the group.
Turkey assured the Group D win before the tip-off against Serbia. They remained perfect with a (66-56) victory. France moved in second place after beating the Netherlands (66-43).