FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament - Day 2



The FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament day 2 summary from Madrid, Spain is now complete. You will be able to jump to any match report that interests you on by clicking on the links below or by scrolling down the page.
Day 2 Results
Cuba 68 - 58 Belarus
Senegal 69-71 Japan
Fiji 45-125 Brazil
Argentina 58-59 Angola
Ling Yao HungLing Yao Hung the coach of China Taipei has an Olympic dream. She at believes that her players will have to do their best even if they do not win the games and qualifies for the Olympics. She went on to add that they have improved in the past and is her dream that if not this time then the next Olympics.

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Olympic qualifying tournament quarter-final for Cuba

Anastasiya Verameyenka was very active at the start of the match and eventually opened the scoring for Belarus as they tried to oppose their own rhythm on the game.

However Cuba quickly went on the attack and scored 8 consecutive points to take an early (8-2) lead.

Despite Belarus' height advantage they were unable to do much inside. So they switched to the perimeter for offensive points. Nataliya Trafimava hit a shot from the land of many to end the Cuban onslaught.

Cuba also changed tactics by alternating their inside moves to good effect and managed to hold onto their advantage (12-9). Belarus had no alternative but to become more aggressive to counter the quick moving Cubans Oyanaisy Gelis and Yamara Amargo.

In the closing minute of the first period Marina Kress from Belarus stepped up to reduce - with some unselfish work from Olga Masilionene - their deficit to a single point (13-14).

Yelena LeuchankaIn the second quarter Yelena Leuchanka, (left)quiet in the first period, started to throw herself around and put Belarus in front for the first time since the opening minutes with a three-point score (2 + free-throw) (18-16) with just under 12 minutes on the game clock.

The next five minutes were end to end basketball as both sides attempted with not much success to impose their style on one another. Sometime it got rather rough on the court. The officials politely calmed the players down. Cuba however managed to score 7 unanswered points during this phase to open the first big lead of the match (30-23).

Cuban tends to get excited in offence and forget to defend. So Trafimava was left wide open to hit another trey from beyond the arc. However Cuba managed to head to the locker room with a 3-point advantage (31-28). In the third period Avila Suchitel hit her second trey of the day to extend the lead of Cuba after a minute of calm. Marlen Cepeda followed this up by her trademark drive and lay-up. Yakelyn PlutinLeuchanka was then to pick up her third foul on Yakelyn Plutin (left). This call she was not happy about and made her feeling known. Cuba took advantage of the confusion in Belarus' defence to quickly open a 9-point lead (41-32). Yamara Amargo took advantage of Belarus' lack of attention and hit a couple of three-pointers. With Plutin now running the game Cuba's advantage increased (51-34). Belarus once again profited at the end of this period to Cuba's weakness in defence with Masilionene hitting a 3 to reduce their deficit (40-51). Masilionene was left open again at the start of the final period and obliged with another trey. Cuba started to struggle in defence. Belarus hit another shot from the land of many as Tatyana Troina connected (46-53). Then Belarus switched to zone and destabilised Cuba who now found it difficult to get shots in from the outside. Furthermore they did not have the height to get through on the inside. Meanwhile Belarus hit another three-pointer. This time it was Sviatlana Volnaya who had the honour. Belarus were on a run and when Leuchanka hit a jumper in the paint, Cuba's head coach, Anatoli Buyalski, called for a time-out: His side's advantage was disappearing (57-51). Plutin was required to use her experience and come up with something special for Cuba. She was to be given a split second at the top of the key and hit a trey (61-53). Belarus hit back with yet another trey through Verameyenka. But Plutin maintained Cuba's advantage from the free-throw line. The two sides exchanged baskets and with just a minute left in the game Cuba was ahead by 8 points (66-58). Belarus had no choice but fire shots from beyond the arc in the last 48 seconds but were not able to connect with any. They fell further behind as Avila hit a couple of free-throws for Cuba to win the game (68-58). Plutin led the scoring with 23 points for Cuba while Leuchanka had 13 for Belarus.

Olympic qualifying tournament Box Score

Natalia Marchanka explains that the player are all back together again after their club season. They have started to work on new things and are getting used to playing together again just like old times.

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Senegal say bye-bye to Olympic qualifying tournament

In a lively first period Japan got the festival of three-pointers started with Ryoko Yano scoring her first points. Bineta Diouf responded almost immediately for Senegal with back to back baskets. Yano was then to bring the teams level with a three-point play (6-6).

Noriko Koiso demonstrated that she was not intimidated by the physical game of Senegal as she powered her way into the paint to score and get the foul. Aya Traore also showed her skills from beyond the arc to bring the sides level again.

Both teams continued to chase each other round the court with Japan holding the advantage despite back to back treys from Fatou Dieng(15-16).

Traore managed to put Senegal in the lead briefly before a three-pointers by Yuko Aizawa and Yano gave Japan the lead at the end of the first period (22-19).

Both sides continued to play cat and mouse during the first part of the second period with Japan holding on to their advantage (28-25).

Shortly afterwards Yano hit the first trey in the second quarter. Japan increased their lead with trips to the free-throw line as they scored 10 unanswered points (38-25) with half-time approaching.

Dieng ended the Senegalese draught but was then called for a foul. Oga hit 1 of 2 from the free-throw line and Japan went into the break with a 12-point lead (39-27). The contest Dieng against Oga did not start well for Dieng as she was stripped off the ball right at the beginning of the third quarter by Oga who then scored. Back to back baskets from Diouf quickly settled Senegal. However they left themselves open and Koiso hit a trey. Diouf continued her personal one-lady show with 8 quick points for Senegal. Her hard work was undone by poor defending which allowed Koiso from Japan to punish them time and time again from the free-throw line. Hence Japan maintained their advantage (50-39). Senegal had a little run with Diouf doing most of the scoring to reduce their deficit (45-52) before suffering a 7-0 hit to leave Japan going into the final period with a 12-point lead (59-47). Senegal came storming back in the last quarter to score 10 unanswered points which forced the Japanese head coach, Tomohide Utsum, to call for a time-out. The game remained tight with each side pushing to the limit. Senegal eventually drew level as Awa Gueye went coast to coast to level the score (63-63) with three minutes remaining. The sides continued their exchange of baskets with Japan leading (67-65) as the game entered money-time. Diouf (20 points) once again brought the teams level (67-67) as the game entered the last minute. Kiosi was allowed to walk into the zone and gave Japan the advantage but Dieng kept her cool from the free-throw line to level the score again. Senegal then allowed Kiosi (18 points) once again to walk into the paint to score (71-69). They then rushed their next play and missed the shot. So they lost the game and are the first team out of the Olympic qualifying tournament.

Olympic qualifying tournament Box Score

Yuku Oga Yuko Oga, the point guard from Japan, explained after the game (in English) why they had to make fast breaks count against Senegal. They knew that Senegal had good shooters and were strong in rebounding which were troubling them. They had no choice but to defend hard and attack on the break in typical Japanese fashion. She also said that in the next game we would see more of this.

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Brazil start Olympic qualifying tournament with a comfortable victory

Brazil scored on the very first attack with less than five second into the match. Claudia Das Neves and Kelly Da Silva Santos doubled the advantage a minute later. Micaela Martins JcinthoFiji found it difficult to break the Brazilian zone. Hence they made adjustments to feed the ball to Valerie Nainima who scored their first points with a shot just within the perimeter. Brazil were then to switch to player on player and used their height to keep Fiji at bay. Micaela Martins Jcintho (left)was proving a handful for Fiji with her jumping skills as Brazil continued to increase their lead (20-5) to end the first period leading by 17 points (29-12). Brazil dominated the second quarter and went to the locker room with a comfortable advantage (60-24). We have to pay credit to Fiji who ran their hearts out during the third period. However Brazil increased their lead (91-41) and wrapped up the game with an easy final quarter to win (125-41).

Olympic qualifying tournament Box Score

Claudia Das Neves and Jucimara Dantas who both play basaketball in France are just happy to get the first game out of the way and are looking forward to next match in the Olympic qualifying tournament. They speak in French

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Argentina leaves Olympic qualifying tournament after losing to Angola

Florencia FernandezArgentina scored the first points after two minutes of play as Florencia Fernandez (left-No:15) picked up the rebound off a Sandra Pavon shot.

Another two minutes passed before the next points which came from Pavon on the free-throw line.

Angola finally got off the mark with Isabel Francisco nailing a jumper just as the period was reaching the half-way point.

Afterwards Argentina picked up the tempo and started to move the ball around and hit their shots. Mareta Mani put in a trey to extend Argentina's advantage (11-3).

Angola made up for their lack of cohesion with their exuberance which unsettled Argentina. All the same Argentina led by 10 points by the end of the first period (17-7).

Argentina struggled during the second quarter and were not able to dictate the pace of the game which allowed Angola to reduce their deficit to 5 points. Eduardo Pinto, the head coach of Argentina, called for a time-out after he witnessed the trouble (24-19) his side was having in running the system.

Argentina managed to stop Angola from scoring but were unable to score themselves. This prompted the Angolan head coach Raul Duarte to call for a time-out.

Angola insisted in trying to attack from the wings despite being blocked on each occasion. However this tactic worked in their favour as they switched the system by feeding the ball out to Nadir Mauricio who then hit a base-line three-pointer.

The last 40 seconds were hectic for both sides not scoring. Argentina went to the locker room leading by only 3 points (26-23). The two teams were chasing each other round the court in this low scoring game. It took back to back baskets from Sthefany Thomas Diazto give Argentina (44-41) the lead once again. Then an Angolan time-out gave the breath back for the fans. Vincente hit a trey after the time-out for Angola. Yet Argentina took control of the match with Thomas Diaz and Marie Gimena Landra doing all the damage as they opened a significant lead (52-44) with just over three minutes to play. Nassecela MauricoAngola fought back and with Nassecella Mauricio (left) and then Vincente hitting three-pointers the pendulum swung in favour of Angola with just 44 seconds on the clock despite the fact that Argentina still held the lead. Argentina's Marcela Paelette was called for an off-the-ball foul which meant that Angola were now given the ball. She was then called for a foul on Francisco who in turn hit her free-throws to give Angola the advantage. There was still time for more drama as Argentina's shot fell short and Maneul from Angola picked up the rebound. She was fouled with seven seconds left but missed both her free-throws. However Angola recovered the ball. Francisco was fouled and did not make any mistake from the free-throw line. Fernandez somehow managed to draw a foul with a little over a second left for Argentina. She hit her free-throws. Angola then had to throw the ball in. Thomas Diaz managed to get the ball off Irene Guerreiro and then fired off a shot. Her shot hit the rim and the buzzer had gone and Argentina was out (58-59). Argentina are the third team to say farewell to the Olympic qualifying tournament.

Olympic qualifying tournament Box Score

Irene GuerreiroAfter match comment in French by Irene Guerreiro

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Olympic qualifying tournament picture credit: MIGUEL BORDOY CANO for action pictures


Date: 10 June 2008


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