13 - 19
June 2016
5 Ineidis CASANOVA (Cuba)
Game Report
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Cuba squeeze past New Zealand to reach Quarter-Finals

NANTES (2016 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament) - Cuba advanced to the Quarter-Finals of the 2016 FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT) thanks to a 64-62 win over New Zealand on Wednesday.

Oyanaisy Gelis led the way for Cuba with a game-high 16 points, while Marlen Cepeda and Ineidis Casanova added 11 points each in the winning cause, spoiling Jilian Harmon's game-high 25 points for the Tall Ferns. 

The win means the Cubans finish second in Group A behind tournament hosts France while New Zealand are eliminated from the race to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics

Turning Point: Cuba never trailed in the game. Gelys missed two free-throws with 12.8 seconds left to play and at the other end Harmon buried a three-pointer that tied the score at 62-62 with 12 seconds left. After a timeout, Cuba turned to Clenia Noblet who powered her way inside and missed the shot but Cepeda grabbed the offensive rebound and, after being fouled by Micaela Cocks, sealed the win by hitting two free-throws.

Stats Don't Lie: Missing all nine of their three-point attempts in the first half made things very difficult for the Tall Ferns. After having given France a hard time on Tuesday, they found themselves playing from behind during the entire contest on Wednesday. 

Game Hero: Casanova came up with three timely three-pointers that energised the Cubans. 

The Bottom Line: It was a win or go home situation for both teams. Although New Zealand took to the court less than 24 four hours following an exhausting game against France, credit must be given to Cuba who sealed a deserving win.