16 - 25
June 2017
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FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017 Qualifiers: Social media round-up and reaction

MUNICH (FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017 Qualifiers) – We check in with some of those involved in Saturday’s games and look at social media reaction to Final Round dreams being made, shattered, or put on hold.

Ukraine were one of the first teams to book their place as they shrugged off a slow start to outlast Germany 85-61 and maintain their perfect record under head coach,  Volodymyr Kholopov.

It's a sign of their determination to improve that even with a ticket to the Final Round in their pocket, their only focus was on beating defending champions Serbia for a second time on Wednesday.

"We had 26 assists [against Germany] and I think the most important thing is that we played as a team," mused Kholopov.

"In this next match with Serbia, I want my team understand one thing - they can beat any team."

It was a brilliant night in Lucca for Italy who beat Great Britain 71-52 to become one of the eight teams to make it to Prague and Hradec Kralove next summer. It was a particularly special night for Laura Macchi as she brought up an impressive landmark.

Russia also booked their usual place in the Final Round, although it wasn't entirely convincing against a Swiss team who brought in some different faces and did a good job of almost keeping pace with their illustrious opponents - before eventually falling 65-56.

Russia head coach Alexander Vasin was just as intent on making sure his team put celebrations on hold and take top spot with an unbeaten record on Wednesday against Greece.

"It was difficult for us to scout Switzerland as this team is new compared to the one we played last year," stated the play-caller.

"They played aggressive basketball and we tried to play all of our 12 players in front of this great crowd here in Kursk.

"It's not easy to play a full rotation in any game, therefore maybe we didn't look good on occasions. We also lost the battle on the boards, and we now have a lot of homework to do ahead of the game with Greece."

There was a first outing for new Belarus head coach Nataliya Trafimava and it ended in a 67-61 defeat in Namur. While disappointed to lose to Belgium, it was a decent performance considering they were without big guns Lindsey Harding and Yelena Leuchanka. They must now wait and sweat it out, with Katsiyaryna Snytsina proud of her former team mate and new coach.

Meanwhile, Emma Meesseman was thankful that Belgium can top the group and make a belated return to the Final Round if they can beat Poland on Wednesday or avoid a heavy loss.

Hungary look to be in a good position to progress on Wednesday after they moved to 4-1 with a 68-44 triumph against Portugal and veteran Zsofia Fegyverneky was excited by her team's potential to improve as she led them with 12 points and 9 rebounds.

"Portugal made a great effort and it wasn't as easy as it looks in the result," said the guard.

"I think we can play much better and there is more potential in this team. Our new players are not 100% built in and there is a plenty of work ahead us - but it's a team for real!"

Hungary will face neighbours Slovak Republic in a huge Wednesday derby in a game which will determine who takes the Group. The Hungarian backcourt also has the in-form 3x3 champion Dora Medgeyessy to call upon as she handed out 8 assists in the Portugal clash.

She plays for Hungary! Again...😉💪🏽🇭🇺🏀 #whun3x3 #proudteam #eurobasket

A photo posted by Magyar Női 3x3-as válogatott🏀 (@whun3x3) on

Finally, champions Serbia remain as popular as ever - taking the show on the road outside of the capital as they comfortably beat Luxembourg 73-51.

Head coach Marina Maljkovic was quick to praise the enthusiasm of the locals in Kraljevo.

She stated, "The biggest thing about this game was the crowd in Kraljevo and we thank the fans who filled the Arena.

"We were glad to be in this city, where they haven't had a chance to see women's basketball for a long time."