Promotion day at the U18 youth international basketball competition in Skopje
The FIBA Europe U18 youth international basketball competition in Skopje reached promotion day. Unlike Division A the semi-final is the most important match for the participants in the U18 European Championship Women as the winners are promoted to Division A.
We covered both semi-finals live. Additional information to the live feed was provided on our blog feature during the game.
In addition to the semi-final the following games were covered, too:
Audio comments will be found after the match reports from Latvia-Greece, Estonia-Hungary and The Netherlands-Germany.
Latvia confirming status as pre-tournament favourite
Latvia controlled the first few minutes of the game and scored the first 6 points, with only 2 points coming from the field (6-0).
Antigoni Chairistanidou opened the account for Greece. With Ioanni Deila scoring a three-pointer it appeared that Greece were going to make a game of it (5-8).
However Latvia went back to basics and scored 10 straight points to end the first quarter with a 10-point lead (18-8).
The second period was very dull as Latvia seemed to operate in cruise control for the first four minutes and extended their advantage (25-10).
Greece then started to attack the Latvian zone with more purpose which made the game more interesting. Sabine Niedola dominated the scoring for Latvia with 16-of-19 points as her side went into the interval leading (37-23).
The third period was rather defensive. Greece - no matter how they tried - were unable to penetrate the Latvian defence. The only points for the game came from the free-throw line. Latvia were doing no better as they only scored once from open play (44-30).
Anete Steinberga was called into action but only scored for Latvia from the free-throw line in the last couple of minutes of the third quarter. With 5.6 seconds to go Ioanni Deila connected with a shot from the land of many for Greece to record their only points from the field for this period (33-46).
Latvia came out for the final quarter with their opening line-up. However it took them almost two minutes before Anete Klintsone scored for them.
In the meantime Deila fouled out although the Greek bench thought she was on three fouls. They had not noticed that one of the lights were not working.
Ieva Krestina followed this up with a trey for Latvia to go on a run. By the time Steinberga completed a 3-point play (54-36) the game was over as a contest, with almost seven minutes left to play.
Latvia went on to win (68-46) and win promotion back to Division A in this age group.
Niedola led the scoring with 18 points. She also had 12 rebounds. She was joined by Steinberga who also finished with a double-double wiith 15 points and 18 rebounds.
For Greece only Aikaterini Kontali finished in double digits with 13 points.
Sabine Niedola explained that they worked for this one game all summer and that they are all feeling wonderful.
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