FIBA Europe U20 women
Big guns survive first day in Debrecen

It was a tough on the first day of FIBA Europe basketball action in Debrecen with several players and an assistant coach becoming ill.

At the moment the official source for the outbreak is not known but the Serbian team have had the highest number of casualties.

All the games from Group C and D were played in the Főnix Hall which has seating for 6000 people. In the very first game of the day Turkey overcame a slow start to blow away Group C rival Ukraine (81-66).

In the second game from the group which we also covered France were made to work hard by Division A newcomers Portugal before coming away with a comfortable looking victory (55-33).

Speaking with some of the French players after the game, the common theme was the relief that they had played the game and won it.

Natasa Kovacevic

In the first game from Group D, Serbia pulled off an amazing win with the last shot of the game in overtime against the Slovak Republic (68-67). Natasa Kovacevic (in picture) with 20 points - who starred for Serbia in the U18 championship this summer - came up with the winning shot.

Serbia were trailing by 2 points with six seconds to play in overtime when Kovacevic had the ball. She simply dribbled up the court and then decided to keep the ball. She moved into shooting range for a two-point shot but then decided to step back and then on the buzzer released the ball from the top of the arc to score.

For Serbia, this was an amazing victory because two players were absent because of the sickness and a few others were not at 100%.

The Slovak Republic also had a major scare when Martina Kissova was clutching her knee seven minutes into the first quarter.

She was taken off and only returned to the game during the third quarter and somehow finished the game despite looking uncomfortable. Kissova suffered an ACL injury at the U20 tournament last year against Germany in the relegation round.

Serbian coach Radenko Varagic was delighted with the victory due to all the problems his team faced with players falling sick and the absence of his assistant. He also reminded us that he was proud with his youngest player in his roster Kovacevic and that they could not celebrate for long because they have other big games in this FIBA Europe Tournament.

You can listen to the after-match comments by Milica Toskovic below:

 Ksenia Tikh onenko and Cheridene Green

In the other game Great Britain once again gave a performance why they are a team that traditional division A nations do not want to meet.

It is possible that some Russian players might be ill but Great Britian lost Gemma Bullard before the game even started and during the game Maisie Elston became ill.

Despite a good start (20-11) Russia were not able to to pull away. Instead Great Britain kept chipping away at the score and even threatened to go in front by the interval.

The Russians really have to say thank you to Alexandra Stolyar (13 points) whose three-point shooting kept the British side at bay.

However the big match-up in the game was between two 1995 born players: Ksenia Tikhonenko and Cheridene Green (above in picture).

Green was a late replacement for GB and was called into action because unlucky Jessica Hurd had no luck with the officials and was in foul problems with less than five minutes played.

The game turned into hard work for both sides. Russia won (55-49) but Great Britain had the chance to pull off a big win. For Great Britain Renee Busch was the game leading scorer.

Elsewhere on day

In the games from the smaller arena Lithuania out-muscled the smaller but quicker Latvians in the most physical game of the day (71-66). With this victory the Lithuanians opened up their Group A campaign at the FIBA Europe U20 European Championship Women.

Spain walloped Belarus (73-39) while the Netherlands huffed and puffed to get a win against Italy (72-67).

Sweden outscored Poland (56-54) in a game full of twists and turns.

You can watch the FIBA Europe highlights below:

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Date created: 16 August 2012

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Debrecen U20 Logo


Opening Ceremony picture gallery

Final Round

29 August 2012 Latvia: Bridina Krista's reflections

26 August 2012 U20 European Championship title goes to Spain

26 August 2012 France take fifth place

25 August 2012 France will face Sweden for fifth place

25 August 2012 Spain to meet Russia in the final again

24 August 2012 Russia and Turkey qualify for semi-final

24 August 2012 The Netherlands on history course

24 August 2012 Spain eliminate France (55-53)

Qualifying Round

24 August 2012 Erin Mc Garrachan, GB U20 captain fighting for a win

23 August 2012 Eugénio Rodrigues from Portugal is proud of his team

22 August 2012 Second round comes to an end

22 August 2012 France eliminate the Slovak Republic

21 August 2012 Turkey, only team with perfect record - Portugal win

21 August 2012 France gave Serbia no chance

21 August 2012 Spain and Turkey remain perfect on day 4

20 August 2012 Third defeat in a row for France

20 August 2012 Slovak Republic beat Ukraine the hard way

Preliminary Round

18 August 2012 First phase comes to a dramatic end

18 August 2012 Turkey beat France for Group win

18 August 2012 The Slovak Republic send Great Britain into the relegation round

17 August 2012 Injuries and illness still the focus on day 2

17 August 2012 France lost against Ukraine

17 August 2012 Latvia defeat Belarus

16 August 2012 The show goes on despite players falling ill

16 August 2012 Turkey open with a comfortable victory against Ukraine

16 August 2012 France made to work hard against Portugal

Other News

15 August 2012 Coaches and players cannot wait to start

13 August 2012 French U20 roster for European Championship