FIBA Europe U20 European Championship Women Div B, day 4

After a rest day the competition for the title of the Fiba Europe U20 European Championship Women Division B continues.

While the Czech Republic secured first place in Group B and Great Britain finished second, the final three places will be decided on the fifth day.

In Group A Austria became the first team to be eliminated whereas the fifth day already has Portugal as group winners.

Positions two thru four will be decided on the final day of Fiba Europe U20 European Championship Women Division B group play.

You can read highlights of the FIBA Europe basketball news from the day's actions by clicking on the links below or by scrolling down the page:

Slovak Republic 60-53 Israel

Czech Republic 72-58 Great Britain

Austria 51-55 Greece

Macedonia 63-64 Belgium

FIBA Europe U20 European Championship Women from day three

Slovak Republic won against weakened Israel

  Slovak Republic U20 beat Israel ©

Israel were without influential point guard Naama Shafir and took a while to get into their stride.

The Slovak Republic with Barbora Novocká, Lucia Staneková and Klaudia Lukacovicová took full advantage of the confusion in the Israeli set-up to lead (8-2) early on.

Adan Inbar, the coach from Israel decided to turn his bench. His players became more aggressive and started to find their way to the basket.

The Slovak Republic were then on the back foot. Maya Reiter received a nice pass from Mayan Levy to put Israel in front for the first time (13-12) with less than a minute to play in the quarter.

Baskets flew in from all over the court during the last minute with Keren Nechama having the last say for Israel to win the quarter (17-15).

The second quarter was a pleasant affair with the both sides playing to their strength.

The Slovak Republic, were alternating between low/high post plays with excellent shooting from the perimeter while Israel preferred to weave their way into the paint, which enabled them to stay in front (27-26) with four minutes till the break.

The two teams became more defense oriented during the rest of the quarter with the Slovak Republic going into the locker room ahead (30-28).

Israel and the Slovak Republic appeared to be giving a demonstration in the basketball art of "pick and roll" as they struggled to break down each other's defensive wall.

  Slovak Republic and Israel © womensbasketball-in-france.comOne highlight of the quarter came from Idit Oryon from Israel who knocked down her team's first threy of the match to bring the teams level (31-31) with the first minutes of the quarter.

The second big play came from Novocká who finished a nice play with a baseline rainbow three-pointer to bring the teams level again (40-40) with a minute left to play.

Novocká was active once more just before the buzzer with one of her drives into the paint to finish with a nice jump shot for the Slovak Republic to head into the final quarter leading (42-40).

  Zeljko Vukicevic  © womensbasketball-in-france.comThe pleasantries came to an end in the final quarter with the Slovak Republic coach Zeljko Vukicevic (right) demanding a brutal acceleration of pace by his players.

Israel held their own during the early exchange of baskets but they were unable to prevent the trio of Alexandra Baburová, Lukacovicová and Novocká to score. So they fell beind (51-59) with the game in money-time.

The Slovak Republic went on to win (60-53) with Lukacovicová and Novocká scoring 18 points apiece while Oryon was the only player to reach double digits for Israel with 11 points.

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Decisive second half let Czech Republic take win

  Czech Republic are group winners ©

A cautious start from both teams resulted in neither team being able to get into a rhythm. The players had to work hard for score any points.

Both coaches made frequent changes as they adopted similar tactics in a highly entertaining first quarter with Great Britain leading (17-14).

The Czech Republic stepped up defensively not allowing Great Britain any chance to shoot from outside or get into the paint while creating offensive chances for themselves.

  czech Republic are groupe winners © womensbasketball-in-france.comKaterina Bartonova (left) fired in a trey for the Czech Republic to take the lead (22-21).

Great Britain were on the back foot. Their opponents rattled in 11 unanswered points to lead (27-21) with just under two minutes to play in the half.

Somehow Great Britain ended the seven-minute barren spell from the charity stripes through Mairi Buchan.

Rebecca Allison on the next play hit a two-pointer and her side looked that they were about to come storming back.

However in the dying seconds Dana Kuslitová somehow managed to hit a trey from the top of the key while drawing Allison in fouling her.

Kuslitová hit the free-throw and the Czech Republic went into the interval leading (33-25).

After the break both coaches changed tactics and the match resembled the slogan "let's play basketball".

Great Britain were more aggressive and started to hit their shots from far as well as taking care of the offensive boards while the Czech Republic had to play the patience game to hold on to the lead (46-38) with 26 minutes played.

  MairiBuchan © womensbasketball-in-france.comThe game became a little scrappy and rough as the intensity went up with Great Britain forcing to chase the game.

However it was Alena Hanusová who had the last say with a three-point buzzer beater to take the Czech Republic in the final quarter leading (52-44).

The Czech Republic continued their three-point shooting festival with Hanusová and Bartonova to push their side 20 points clear (67-47) with four minutes to play.

The Czech Republic paced themselves to victory (72-58).

Kuslitová led the scoring for Czech Republic with 22 points while Buchan (Above right) had 12 points for Great Britain.

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Greece hung on to win

  Efstathia Zafeira Gkritza and Angeliki Nikolopoulou celebrate ©

Greece found their scoring touch during the first quarter as they found it difficult to miss, hitting 7-of-10 from the field during a first-quarter blitz that saw them score 13 unanswered points to lead (19-10) by the end of the first quarter.

Greece' shooting percentage went down during the second quarter as they dropped their intensity. However Angeliki Nikolopoulou made sure that Greece went into the interval leading (33-19) with 8 of her team's 14 second-quarter points.

  Julia Köppl © womensbasketball-in-france.comAustria came out firing on all cylinders after the break with Julia Köppl (right) firing in a trey and 3 more points (2+1) as Greece went to sleep with 22 minutes played.

The game went dead for almost three minutes with nobody able to score.

Austria were putting in a lot of effort to find ways to score but Greece managed to keep them at bay with their taller players. Nevertheless it was a very dull quarter. Greece went into the final quarter leading (42-33).

Austria really stepped during the final quarter. With two minutes to play they trailed by a single point. This was the moment the player of the match, Nikolopoulou, stepped up and hit a big three for Greece which turned out to be the winning shot.

The remaining time was full of the traditional time-outs and fouls to stop the clock. Both coaches tried to take advantage of gaining possession of the ball.

In the end Austria just ran out of time and are hence eliminated from the FIBA competition with this defeat (51-55).

Nikolopoulou fired in 24 points for Greece while Köppl had 19 for Austria.

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Macedonia's loosing streak continues

 Belgium get past Macedonia ©

It was fireworks from the tip-off with Ema Reskoska scoring the first points of the game before the fans could get seated. It became (4-0) to the hosts seconds later with Ana Tanturovska also finding the target.

Belgium remained calm and despite a trey by home favourite Jelena Antik, they trailed (5-7) thanks to Miete Celus and a trey by Kim Snauweart.

Belgium changed their tactics in order to stop Antik. This resulted in them playing small with only one tall player on the court: Jaleesa Maes. Their efforts were in vain as Antik somehow powered her way to the basket to score under the basket. Then she continued with back to back scores (16-9) with three minutes left to play in the quarter.

Macedonia were able to pick up holes in the Belgium defense and extended their advantage by the end of the quarter (23-12) with Antik already in 12 points.

Belgium turned things around during the second quarter with a player-to-player marking system and clutch shooting to draw level (25-25) off a running drive from Caroline Bourlioux with just under three minutes played.

Antik and Reskoska put Macedonia back in front with 7 quick points.

 Jaleesa Maes © womensbasketball-in-france.comMiete Celus was everywhere for Belgium fighting for every ball while Jaleesa Maes (right) was starting to get her ball to drop.

The home fans were silenced as Nele Poffyn was allowed to run into the paint before handing the ball to Celus who in turn gave the ball to Maes to score on the buzzer for Belgium to go into the locker room leading (39-38).

Belgium played criss cross to good effect at the start of the third quarter. With Emmanuella Mayombo getting on the end of most of the balls as her side stretched their advantage (49-41).

Antik had been quiet for a while. But when she was left open for a split second at 45° to the basket, she hit the three-pointer. Her action inspired her team-mates Bisera Rajcinoska and Reskoska as they hit back to back scores.

The noise in the hall went up. The Belgium players started to feel the pressure as the hosts raced back to take the lead with 2:20 left to play in the third quarter (54-53).

It was tension all the way during the final quarter with the teams trading basket for basket for almost seven minutes with Belgium just hanging on to the lead.

Ana Tanturovska got the home fans on their feet as she reversed spun to finish a fast break (61-64). This resulted in the Belgium coach calling for a time-out with three minutes left to play.

The home fans became the sixth man on the court. So when Arin Agic scored with 94 second left to play the whole hall erupted. But the atmosphere changed in the dying seconds when Antik was called for an offensive charge on Maes.

 Belgium get past Macedonia © womensbasketball-in-france.comBelgium had the chance to win the game. However the ball refused to drop. Then Macedonia had the chance to win the game on the last attempt on the game: bodies went up from both sides so it was impossible to see who took the shot, which was missed. The buzzer had gone and Belgium had their first victory (64-63).

Yet the home fans thought that they had some free-throws which was not the case.

Celus scored 24 points for Belgium while Mayombo added 13.

Antik finished the game with 26 points and 18 rebounds while Tanturovska and Reskoska scored 19 and 12 points each.

Neither nation is eliminated from the FIBA tournament.

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FIBA Europe U20 European Championship Women picture credits:

Date created: 20 July 2010

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