23 - 31
July 2016
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U18 Women's Games: Wednesday 27 July

SOPRON (FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship 2016) - Wednesday sees the first day of knockout action in the Round of 16 in Sopron. Hosts Hungary face a tricky test against Serbia, and Turkey meet Czech Republic in what could be the game of the day.

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Czech Republic vs Turkey

The Czech offence has stuttered at times, while Turkey impressed in the Group Phase despite somehow finishing with only one victory. Ilayda Guner and Tereza Vitulova will face off in the post, while the battle between Meltem Yildizhan and Michaela Krejzova on the wing could be the decisive one.

Belgium vs Croatia

Belgium looked very good in wins over Serbia and Lithuania, but they were overwhelmed by Spain. If they can put the lessons from that defeat together, a podium spot could be in reach, but first they have to navigate themselves past a tenacious Croatian outfit that possesses a trio of talented backcourt players in Valentina Simunic, Matea Tadic and Josipa Silov.

Spain vs Slovenia

Spain topped Group C but haven’t had things go all their own way. They impressed in dealing with Belgium, but Serbia pushed them close and Lithuania defeated them in a game where guard Maria Gonzalez picked up an ankle injury. In any case, they should be too strong for Slovenia, who look like they might have a battle on to avoid relegation.

Latvia vs Israel

Latvia remain undefeated, although they claimed victory over Slovak Republic on Tuesday by the skin of their teeth, surviving missed free throws with seconds remaining. Israel remain winless, so Latvia should be able to tighten up on Tuesday’s errors in securing a Quarter-Final berth.

Italy vs Slovak Republic

Slovak Republic have impressed with their tenacity, keeping all three of their games close, although they will have to bounce back after missing a golden opportunity to take down Latvia. Italy outlasted Turkey in a thriller on Tuesday, having lost a tight match to Russia on Day 1, so this match will be difficult to call.

Hungary vs Serbia

The hosts showed their strength in depth yesterday, pulling away from Hungary in the fourth quarter despite missing point guard Agnes Studer and with star playmaker Reka Lelik suffering from foul trouble. Center Dorka Kata Juhasz was a huge factor, along with forward Agnes Torok. Serbia were overwhelmed in their defeats to Spain and Belgium, but they played very well in the second half against Lithuania and must not be overlooked if the home team want to send the crowd home happy.

France vs Lithuania

France have been very strong so far, racking up two thrashings as well as hanging tight with hosts Hungary before pulling away in the final period. The draw has handed them possibly the strongest of the four teams that placed bottom in the Group Phase, but it would be a big surprise if France were not able to overrun Lithania and move on as they chase a sixth successive trip to the U18 Women’s European Championship Final.

Russia vs Netherlands

This might not be the strongest Russian unit but in star center Raisa Musina, they possess a player who can win games almost single-handedly. The Dutch team has struggled to generate much offence in their winless start, so Russia will be expected to advance.