In the Fiba Europe U20 European Championship Women Division B semi-finals, Great Britain is the first team to reach the final. The Slovak Republic had it hard but won the second place in the final.
Great Britain were attack-minded from the tip-off but were unable to make the ball drop. This allowed Portugal with Luiana Livulo to put the first points on the boards.
Great Britain continued to hustle in the offensive paint with Mary Durojaye and Mairi Buchan doing all the scoring in an 8-0 run that forced Portugal to call a time-out with less than four minutes played.
Portugal continued to force their shots and miss while Great Britain scored 14 unanswered points.
Portugal finally broke the deadlock through Michelle Brandao. Yet a Charlotte Stoddart trey made sure that Great Britain finished the first quarter leading (17-4).
The second quarter started with the two teams trading three-pointers with Buchan and Joana Bernardeco connecting.
Portugal had to wait 13 minutes for a basket from Sofia Da Silva. She was on the score-sheet less than 60 seconds later with a fake spin hook shot (11-20).
Great Britain were under pressure as Portugal started to push forward. Once again Durojaye caused mayhem in the Portuguese paint and then split a pair of free-throws.
The pendulum swung once again in favour of Great Britain as Tamzin Barroilhet went on her trademark hop skip and jump lay-up.
Great Britain looked to have weathered the storm as Ella Clark fired in trey from the top of the arc (26-11).
However Portugal were soon back with Maria Correia and Brandao scoring back to back scores.
Great Britain continued to defend with everything they had.
They went into the locker room leading (28-15) with the last points of the first half coming from Stoddart who ran along the baseline before firing in a jump shot from just outside the paint.
The third quarter was not as explosive as the first two as Great Britain were forced to defend to keep the ball away from the Portuguese sharp shooters.
A trey by Katrin Chiemeka with just under four minutes played stretched the Great Britain advantage (39-20).
Portugal once again changed tactics and went back to the basics of setting up three-point shooting opportunities. Francisca Braga started the comeback.
Livulo and Da Silva scored back to back scores to reduce the deficit (27-39) going into the final quarter.
The last quarter the Portuguese continued to find space for their outside shooting with Brandao connecting from the land of many to further reduce the deficit (31-39). This forced Damian Jennings, the Great Britain coach, to call for a time-out after conceding 11 consecutive points.
Kashmere Joseph split free-throws ended the drought. With Buchan scoring again Great Britain regained their composure and also won the rebounds again.
A fast break was concluded by a Chiemeka trey and increased the Great Britain cushion (45-33) with five minutes to play.
Yet Portugal Joana Bernardeco hit another three from the top of the arc to put Great Britain under pressure. They were gnawing down the deficit (40-46).
When the game entered money-time Chiemeka hit her third trey (49-40).
This made the Portuguese coach call for a time-out with one minute to go.
Yet Portugal could not score and started fouling for Kristie Sheils to increase the Great Britain advantage to (51-40).
The Portuguese continued fouling whereas the Great Britain guards converted most of their free-throws. With 45 seconds to go, Great Britain were leading (56-40).
Damian Jennings then allowed to give all his players a run while the Portuguese players had not given up and challenged every attack.
Marcy Goncalves fouled Rebecca Allison (left) a second time which was punished with another technical and hence another 4 free-throws.
Great Britain won (59-40).
This is a historic moment for Great Britain as they had never reached the finals and are for the first time going up into a FIBA Europe youth category Division A.
For Great Britain Buchan top scored with 10 points, followed by Chiemeka and Durojaye with 9 points apiece, and Allison 8 points.
Only Da Silva reached double digits with 11 points (11 rebounds) for Portugal.
Veronika Cernáková was highly motivated for the Czech Republic at the start of the match with 6 of her team's 8 points as they took an early lead. Maria Felixova and Klaudia Lukacovicová completed the 12-0 run as the Slovak Republic led (14-2) after seven minutes of play.
Alena Hanusová ended the Czech Republic drought with a three-pointer. However Cernáková and Felixova were unstoppable as the Slovak Republic dominated the first quarter (20-9).
Immediately after the first quarter the Czech players attacked the basket to reduce their deficit to (20-14) with Hanusová's two-pointer and a three-pointer by Katerina Bartonova.
With less than five minutes to go the Czech players came storming back (20-22) with Hanusová scoring again.
The game became rather scrappy with the Slovak Republic holding on to their advantage going into the locker room ahead (26-21).
After the break both sides stepped up defensively making it very difficult to make openings for scoring. Yet the Slovak Republic managed to slightly increase their advantage by 5:11 (34-26) after a solo effort by Cernakova.
However Bartonova responded for the Czech Republic with a reverse spin lay-up. But the Slovak Republic countered with steals and more fast breaks to increase the lead to (38-28).
Both sides played cat and mouse, scoring a three-pointer each by Cernakova and Adéla Filarova. But neither team was able to wrestle control.
Maria Felixova was the offensive and defensive focal point during the last quarter as the Slovak held on to the advantage (48-39) with six minutes to play.
A block by Hanusova led to Petra Zaplatova hit a three-pointer (41-48) for the Slovak Republic to take an immediate time-out.
Yet the Czech players were going on an 8-0 run with Renata Brezinova driving in the paint, quickly followed by Hanusova picking up an offensive rebound to score again (45-48).
The Slovak Republic stayed ahead despite Brezinova and Hanusova scoring (51-49). Novocka fouled out for the Slovak Republic with 37 seconds to go. But Brezinova only split the pair (51-50).
Cernakova was fouled on the fast break and finished the job on the free-throw line.
The Czech Republic had 4.1 seconds to win the game but the Slovak Republic hung on to win (53-50).
For the Slovak Republic Cernakova, Felixova and Lukacovicova were in double figures with 19, 18 and 10 points apiece.
The Czech Republic had Hanusova and Brezinova with 16 and 11 points in double digits.
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Israel beat Belgium (61-57) in a match that neither side was able to dominate for a long stretch.
Shira Shecht put Israel in front for good with a jump shot from the top of the key with just under three minutes to play (57-55).
The turning point of the game that finally ended the hopes of Belgium was the offensive charge called on Miete Celus which saw her pick up her 5th foul.
Israel with Naama Shafir controlled the last couple of minutes to hold on for the win.
In the final classification match of the evening Hungary had no problems in beating Greece (56-31) with 13 points coming from Réka Bálint and Dominika Gergely.
The Macedonian team secured their first victory of the tournament in beating Austria (78-60). They actually trailed in the first half (27-39), but then regained their composure with a 25-6 third-quarter blitz.
Their 18-point victory overturned the 9-point defeat in game 1 for them to win the series and take 9th place in this FIBA tournament.
Hungary 56-31 Greece
Belgium 57-61 Israel
Macedonia 78-60 Austria (Austria 71-62 Macedonia)
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