FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament - final day of group matches

For the FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament for women day 3, in Madrid: you will be able to jump to any match report by clicking on the links below or by scrolling down the page.

Day 3 Results

Brazil 71-68 Spain

Latvia 83-69 Japan

Belarus 81-65 China Taipei

Angola 54-86 Czech Republic

Spain lose first match at Olympic qualifying tournament

Spain - BrazilIn a pulsating first period in which the lead changed on six occasions it was Spain that went ahead 24-23 with Amaya Valdemoro stamping her mark on the game with 10 points and 2 steals.

Brazil were not intimated by Valdemoro's energy around the court as they had Claudia Das Neves and Iziane Castro Neves(18 points) making big shots from beyond the arc. In addition Brazil profited by Micaela Martins Jacintho penetrating excursions into the paint.

For Spain Laia Palau was on hand to score some important points as both teams went at each other non stop for the whole of the first quarter.

Das Neves opened the second period with a trey. Then Graziane de Jesus Coelo forced her way into the zone, scored and drew a foul. She converted the free-throws (28-24) and Brazil was back in charge temporally.

Alba TorrensSpain went on the offensive and with their quick fast break transition the two sides were level (30-30) again. This forced Paulo Bassul, the Brazilian head coach, to call for a time-out.

In the meanwhile Spain made three changes bringing on Laura Nicolls, Silva Dominguez and Alba Torrens (right). Brazil also had Natalia Mares Buria come into the game. The pace of the match dropped but Brazil used their physical strength well and regained the advantage (34-30).

Evaristo Pérez, the Spanish head coach, then called a time-out and introduced Tamara Abalade into the game. Isabel Sanchez was then the only senior player from Spain on the court.

Spain switched to a player-to-player marking system but were not able to match the physical strength of the Brazilians. They fell further behind (40-34).

Brazil went into the interval leading (40-35).

 Iziane Castro MarquesAfter the interval Spain went back to their traditional starting five. However it was Castro Marques (left - 18 points) from Brazil that scored the first points of the quarter. Spain picked up the pace but remained scoreless for three minutes with the only point coming from the free-throw line. In the meanwhile Castro Marques added more points to her tally as Brazil stretched their lead (47-36). Spain finally got over their problems in scoring and started to reduce the deficit with Anna Montanana as the catalyst. Elisa Aguilar and Palau found their way to the basket with consecutive scores. By the time Montanana hit a shot from downtown Spain only trailed by 2 points (49-51). Brazil went into the final period leading (53-49).  Laia PalauPalau (right) got the home fans on their feet as she hit a big three-pointer to bring Spain to within a single point of Brazil. However Brazil weathered the storm and kept cool from the free-throw line to move further ahead (57-52). Kelly from Brazil was in the mist of all the action in the paint as Brazil continued to hold on to their lead as she made frequent trips to the free-throw line (63-57). With money-time approaching Palau (17 points) hit a 90-degree three-point base-line jumper to bring Spain to within 3 points of their guests (60-63). This action resulted in the Brazilian coach calling for a time-out. Valdemoro (16 points) then stripped Castro Neves of the ball and scored for Spain. Yet Kelly who was down at the other end scored immediately for Brazil. The ball was down in the Spanish half again and Montanana (20 points) scored for Spain. With Brazil leading (65-64) the last 45 seconds consisted of time-outs and free-throws. With three seconds remaining Valdemoro was sent to the foul line with Spain trailing by 3 points. She made the first free-throw and attempted to miss the second but the ball went in. Then Spain had no option but to foul Das Neves. She hit her free-throws and Brazil won the match (71-68).

Olympic qualifying tournament Box Score

Olympic qualifying tournament after match comments

Claudia Das Neves Claudia Das Neves who said that they played well and did what the trainer asked. She speaks in French.

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 Laia PalauLaia Palau from Spain mentioned that this defeat is the wake up call they needed and is already looking towards the match against Cuba on Friday.

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You may also view the interview which has been web hosted by our colleagues at

Latvia leave it late in beating Japan

There was no times for pleasantries as both sides went on the attack with fast breaks from the tip-off.

Latvia like to run the ball to the basket while Japan prefer to set up the fast break for the shot from just inside the perimeter.

The result was both sides were level (11-11) after five minutes of play.

 Anete Jakobsen-ZogotaJapan continued with their fast breaks and hustled Latvia in turnovers. So they went in front (17-13).

Latvia had to change tactics and moved the ball more quickly around the perimeter giving opportunities for Anete Jakobsen-Zogota (right)to hit from distance. She then put Latvia in front (18-17).

By the end of the first period Latvia just edged out Japan (20-19).Latvia found the solution for the Japanese defence during the second quarter. After consecutive treys by Ieva Tare and Jekabsone-Zogota they opened the first significant lead of the game (30-23).

Japan showed no signs of abdicating and still found openings for Yuko Aizawa and Ai Mitani to score. Yuko Oga was causing the Latvian players all kinds of problems with her tenacity and pace.

Anda Eibele picked up an unsportsmanlike foul at mid-court in trying to stop 0ga.

Both sides continued their cat and mouse game all over the court with Latvia always managing to hold onto the advantage (39-35).Latvia went into the interval leading (41-37).  Ryoko YanoRyoko Yano (right) hit three shots from behind the arc as Japan attempted to unsettle Latvia. Meanwhile Tare and Liene Jansone were doing the scoring for Latvia as they held on to the lead (52-48). While all this was going on Gunta Basko was receiving treatment after slipping at the start of third period. All tactics were thrown out of the window as both sides went out in attack. Latvia were forced by the Japanese pace to run the ball more often. This was a tactic that suited Jansone who was finishing off a number of fast breaks for Latvia (56-52). Asami Yoshida who did not play in the first half of the game was using her pace to good effect as she set up shots for Yano and then scored herself with a reverse spin lay-up in between the taller Latvian players. Hence Japan edged in front (59-56). Ali Mitani thought she had scored the last points of the quarter but she was mistaken as Jekosen-Zogoto showed that she had the pace and lift as she triple-jumped to the basket and scored on the buzzer. Japan went into the final period leading (61-58). Both teams continued with their battle. It was the Latvian turn to play the Japanese system of fast breaks while Japan had switched to the Latvian style. With seven minutes Latvia and Japan were level once more (64-64). Basko had made her return in the game. Her first contribution was taking out two players on a drive to the baseline before feeding a ball out to Tare who then scored. Ieva TareAfterwards Basko was involved in a scramble at the other end where she finished on the floor but not before rolling the ball out to Jekobsen-Zogoto who then went on to score (68-64). The two sides continued their combat with Latvia holding the advantage with the game entering money-time (75-69). Once again Tare settled her side with a trey from he top of the arc (78-69), her 20th point of the evening. Latvia then negotiated the final minutes without forcing themselves. Tare (left)had the honour of finishing the game with the last 5 points (83-69).

Olympic qualifying tournament Box Score

Olympic qualifying tournament after match comments
Liene JansoneLiene Jansone from Latvia was surprised by the speed and the shooting of Japan and concluded that in the end they had to play smart to win.

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Yuku OgaYuko Oga, the point guard from Japan, explained that they played better for 39 minutes but lost out due to one poor minute and the shooting of Ieva Tare (No:13)

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Belarus stay in Olympic qualifying tournament

We had to wait almost three minutes for the first points in the game when Nataliya Trafimava from Belarus hit a jumper from the top of the arc.

Natalllia Marchanka

After almost four minutes of poor play Anatoli Buyalski decided to introduce Natalllia Marchanka (left) into the game. Her movement and passing was good but Belarus were not able to finish. In the end Feng-Chung Chang scored for China Taipei (2-2).

ChiWhenFinally Belarus managed to hit a shot as Olga Masilioene first hit a trey. Afterwards she followed this up with a jumper (7-2).

China Taipei rode their luck and started to attack. They were soon back in the game as Chang and Pei-Chen Tsia hit shots. Belarus' problems continued and they fell behind as Chi When (right) hit a trey (10-8).

Chang continued her first period festival as she scored her 8th and her team's 14th point to give her side a 4-point lead (14-10).

Belarus closed the gap by the end of the first quarter but allowed China Taipei to lead (14-13) after the first period.

BelerusThe quality of play did not improve in the second quarter. Nothing happened offensively for Belarus in the first minutes until Anastasiya Vermeyenka managed to force her way into the box and scored.

Belarus finally started to take control of the game but their opponents continued to trouble them with excellent shooting from the perimeter to keep the game close (26-23).

Belarus managed to stretch their advantage (29-23) due to the fact that their opponents were not able to shoot from close range. So Belarus went into the locker room with 6 points ahead of their opponent (33-27). Belarus' poor shooting continued. But their movement off the ball created openings for second-chance opportunities which they exploited and hence increased their lead (44-34). However Belarus struggled but still went into the final quarter with a comfortably looking advantage (53-42). China Taipei team talk Cheng who hit two three-pointers at the beginning of the last period put Belarus in difficulty. Chi-Wen Lin started to win defensive rebounds as China Taipei's confidence grew. Yet Belarus still had the lead (60-53) with five minutes left to play. But they had to work hard to hold onto their advantage during the closing minutes. If Chiang had not fouled out of the game China Taipei may have given Belarus a more difficult time down the stretch. The Olympic dream of Ling Yao Hung is over for this year but her team went down fighting as Belarus went on to win (81- 65) in the winner take all Olympic qualifying tournament match.

Olympic qualifying tournament Box Score

Olympic qualifying tournament after match comments
Yelena LeuchankaYelena Leuchanka explained that it is big thing for Belarus to play for a chance to qualify for the Olympics. She went on to explain that they need to relax and play like they can and see what happens.

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Czech Republic are taking Olympic qualifying tournament seriously

Ivana Vecerova Hana Machova hit a trey with her very first shot of the match. She was to hit a second shot from the land of many as the team of the Czech Republic opened the proceeding (11-0) with the other points coming from Ivana Vecerova (Right in red).

Angola's first points came from Maria Afonso. Her side went on to score 5 more points as they kept their opponents scoreless for three minutes.

Machova ended the scoreless spell of the Czech Republic with her third three-pointer of the period. Petra Kulichova ended the Machova/Vecerova-point monopoly when she hit a jumper in the paint.

Angola were unable to get any offensive plays to work leaving the Czech Republic to score 8 unanswered points to lead (24-9) at the end of the first period.

Barbara Guimaras got Angola off to a brisk start in the second quarter as they started to run at their opponents.

Astrida Vincente added a couple of three-pointers. But the Czechs were not intimidated and hit back with a shot from the land of many by Markéta Mokrosova to maintain their lead (29-17).

Angola continued to hustle their opponents but were unable to reduce the deficit. The Czech Republic always found a solution when they required to score and increased their lead (36-23).

Czech Reublic and Cuba Madrid 2008 Angola's perseverance paid off as Vincente nailed a base-line jumper from the land of many on the buzzer bringing the deficit down to a single digit by the end of the first half (30-38). All during the third period Angola ran their hearts out all but were unable to break down the Czech Republic's defence. They only managed to score 6 points during the first eight minutes as they fell further behind (55-36). The Czech Republic went into the final quarter with a comfortable lead (59-40). Angola never gave up but they could not find a solution. On the other hand the Czech side maintained their focus and discipline as they continued to increase their advantage (71-48). Both teams played the game out in good spirit and also used the last minutes to play all the players that had not been involved much in the first round of matches. The Czech Republic went on to win (86-54).

Olympic qualifying tournament Box Score

Olympic qualifying tournament after match comments
Ivana Vecerova said that she was pleasantly surprised by the nice game of Angola and hoped that the spectators enjoyed the game.

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Raul Duart Raul Duart the head coach from Angola who speaks in French congratulates his players for what has been achieved so far. He then explains that the players need to learn how to play against players of the height of the Czech Republic and also improve the field score percentage.

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You can also watch and listen to Olympic qualifying tournament comments from Hana Machova here.

Return from FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament to "What's New" page

Return from FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament to basketball events

Return from FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament to basketball events Day two action

Return from FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament to basketball events Day one action

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

Date: 11 June 2008

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