2012 FIBA Europe U16 Championship Four teams eliminated from title race
France opened day 5 of the 2012 FIBA Europe U16 European Championship for Women Division A with a comfortable victory against the Netherlands (70-44). They scored the first 11 points of the game and despite the efforts of their opponents France were not in danger of losing.
Spain were given a hard time by Croatia and had to come from behind to win (65-50).
Russia started slowly against the hosts Hungary during a technical first quarter (16-16). They started to pull away in the second quarter and then paced themselves to victory (61-53).
Belgium's performance was strange against Greece but they ended up winning (52-26). In the final Group E game Belgium will face Russia who are also unbeaten.
The Slovak Republic added a new line to FIBA Europe U16 women's basketball history by qualifying for the quarter-finals for the first time in this age group since the creation of Division A in 2004.
They beat Sweden (54-46) and for the first time in this competition celebrated without tears. The last game of day 5 was played in the main arena where Italy had a comfortable victory against the Czech Republic (72-49).
In the classification group Turkey beat England (66-59) while Germany recorded their first victory of the competition by beating Serbia (59-54).
You can move to any of our FIBA Europe U16 reports by clicking on the links below or by scrolling down the page:
France were on the scoreboard within six seconds with Lisa Berkani (in picture) hitting her lay-up. The Netherlands had an early scare with Fleur Kuijt falling over and clutching her side. She was helped off the court but returned later.
France continued to hit shot after shot to score the first 11 points of the game. Despite a spirited fightback by the Netherlands, France led (19-7) at the end of the first quarter.
Although France went through a barren spell in scoring they dominated all the areas of the game to only lead (23-8) midway through the quarter.
The Netherland's zone was working against France but they also needed to score points which exposed them to French fast break counter attacks.
When the French team led by 22 points at the last second of the quarter, they left Fenne van der Wielen open at the top of the arc. Van der Wielen buried a three-pointer (35-16) to the dissatisfaction of the French coach.
At the start of the second half the Netherlands came out on fire with the duo of Eveline Kallenberg and Kuijt dictating the play while Deborah Vos and Janis Ndibda performed wonders in hustling and defending.
The result was that the Netherlands outscored France 9-2 with just over three minutes played.
The French coaching staff decided a change in system was required and went small.
With the hustle of Marylie Limousin and initially with the pace of Berkani, they final broke the Dutch zone. Then the acrobatic skills of Ornella Bankole came to light as France finished the quarter with a flourish to go (51-32) in front.
During the final quarter once again the Netherlands picked up and played to the best of their ability. Yet France had too much of a lead and the two teams played out the game in good spirit with France winning (70-44).
After the game Arnaud Guppillotte (in picture) said that in general the results so far at this FIBA championship with 4 victories and 1 defeat was positive. However he believed the team could play better and he was looking for more consistency.
France: Alix Duchet 0, Marylie Limousin 3, Lisa Berkani 12, Marie Milapie 14, Katia Clanet 12, Louise Dambach 8, Carla Blatrie 3, Maimouna Ba 10, Ornella Bankole 3, Mathilde Combes 3, Camille Cirgue 0, Angélina Turmel 2
Netherlands: Eveline Kallenberg 6, Beau Baars 3, Fenne van der Wielen 3, Fleur Kuijt 8, Iris Zwart 3, Esther Fokke 7, Asa Kantebeen 2, Deborah Vos 3, Janis Ndiba 4, Charlotte van Kleef 3, Emese Hof DNP, Laura Steggink 2
Spain were once again slow out of the starting blocks while Croatia hit 6 points for a (6-2) lead with two minutes played. However a big three by Elena Capella (in picture) woke up her team.
The next four minutes were typical of U16 FIBA Europe basketball with a lot of running up and down, coaches shouting but no systems and little scoring.
With the teams tied at (9-9) Ivana Dojkic and Iva Slonjsak took matters in their own hands for Croatia to edge the first quarter (13-9).
The second quarter turned into a technical battle with initially Croatia having the upper hand. But another three-pointer by Capella brought Spain right back into the match. With two minutes left to play the teams were tied for the fourth time (21-21).
Spain then went in front with Capella's third trey of the game to finish the quarter ahead (27-21) through a 9-0 run.
Then Spain completed the 11-0 run with the first basket of the quarter.
The rest of the quarter was U16 youth basketball at its best:
Both teams were hitting three-pointers. They were counter-attacking and playing good defence. The officials hardly blew their whistle as both teams avoided fouls.
Evaristo Pérez, the Spanish coach was using just as much energy walking up and down his coaching area as the players on the court as his side went into the final quarter leading (46-38).
The last quarter was very similar to the third one with Croatia not being able to close the gap.
In the last few seconds Dojkic from Croatia fell on her face after contesting an offensive rebound. The game was stopped and she was eventually able to walk off the court.
Spain secured a place in the quarter-final after beating Croatia (66-50).
Spain: Maria Cazorla 0, Medina, Angela Salvadores 15, Carla Romeu 5, Nogaye Lo Sylla 2, Cristina Molinuevo 0, Laura Quevedo 7, Laia Clavero 0, Elena Capella 19, Itsaso Conde DNP, Laia Flores7, Helena Orts 10, Sara Zaragoza DNP
Croatia: Dora Jordanic, 0 Antonija Bozic 3, Iva Slonjsak 23, Anja Kukolja 0, Ivana Dojkic 10, Tihana Stojsavljevic DNP, Klaudia Perisa 0, Daria Mijatovic 2, Lucija Milosevic DNP, Anita Kelava 7, Maja Marosevicn 0, Patricia Bura 5
Arvid Diels (in picture), the Belgium coach spoke with us after the game and explained that winning in the way they did did not make him happy because he knew that they could play better.
Overall he was satisfied because finishing in the top in this FIBA Europe event qualifies the next generation of U16 players for the Youth Olympics next summer, which is important for youth basketball development programmes in Belgium.
However with the qualification secured for the quarter-final, his attention is focused on what he considers the most important game in this competition, the quarter-final and not their final group game against Russia.
Greece had been eliminated from the FIBA Europe U16 European Championship for Women Division A quarter-final race before the game against Belgium had even started because the Slovak Republic had beaten Sweden in an earlier match.
All the same Greece were physical and aggressive from the start. But their shooting let them down so they only led by 3 points (4-1) after almost eight minutes of game time.
Arvid Diels was not happy and decided to change his starters in one substitution.
With 3:33 remaining in the first quarter Belgium managed to score their first points in open play when Loes Breughe made a cut to the baseline and then drove to the basket for a lay-up.
Belgium led briefly but Greece were playing better and reclaimed the advantage with back-to-back scores from Kleanthi Oikonomaki and Vasiliki Karambatsa.
Somehow Belgium were able to turn things around with great hustle play by Kyara Linskens and Emma Uittenhove to edge the first quarter (13-10).
Belgium regained their calm after the short break. With good passing and solid defending they opened up the first double-digit lead of the game (20-10) with just two minutes played in the second quarter.
Nothing happened for the next four minutes as both teams managed to turn the ball over several times. The shouting and expressionsof both coaches were more exciting than what was going on the court during this period.
Finally the two teams started to play basketball and the flood gates opened briefly starting with a three-pointer by Phoebe Raman. The teams had a quick exchange of baskets with Belgium coming out on top to lead (27-16) at the break.
The contest came to a swift end with a 13-2 run by Belgium at the start of the third quarter (40-18).
With nothing at stake Greece more or less surrendered and the match fizzled out with Belgium winning (52-26).
Belgium: Faufe Bastiaenssen 0, Julie Allemand 6, Eline Maesschalck 0, Eva Devliegher 2, Sofia Ouahabi 2, Phoebe Raman 5, Emma Uittenhove 7, Loes Breughe 11, Heleen Nauwelaers 4, Kyara Linskens 7, Laeticia Myopi 6, Serena-Lynn Geldof 2
Greece: Eleanna Christinaki 2, Evgenia Kollatou 3, Christiana Gerostergiou 3, Christina Kitsiou 0, Pinelopi Pavlopoulou 0, Charikleia Polyzou 2, Vasiliki Karambatsa 6, Chrysoula Kilazidou 4, Kleanthi Oikonomaki 6, Maria Goula 0, Kyriaki Kalimeri 0, Maria Fasoula 0