Spain win to throw Group A wide open, Belgium bounce back in style
STRASBOURG / VALENCIA (France / Spain) - Reigning champions Spain reacted to a first day loss by cruising past Sweden to get rolling at the FIBA Women's EuroBasket, while Belgium also bounced back emphatically with a brilliant team show against Slovenia.
There were also first wins for Slovakia and Italy, while co-hosts and tournament favorites France rolled closer to the Quarter-Finals with another victory.
Spain 76-55 Sweden
Summary: After their defeat to Belarus, Spain (1-1) looked more like their usual vibrant best as they jumped out early on Sweden (1-1) and collected their first sucess in Group A. The Valencia crowd were also fired up ahead of the game in their appreciation of Laia Palau who was honored for having set a FIBA Women's EuroBasket all-time appearance record.
Game Heroes: Astou Ndour was sensational with 22 points and 13 rebounds, shooting 78 percent from the field.
They Said: "We are happy after yesterday's loss but not just because of the win that was necessary. Finally we played how we like to play and how we needed to play. We pressed hard, stole balls and ran the floor. It is no secret that this is what makes us feel good." Spain guard, Laia Palau
Belgium 92-57 Slovenia
Summary: Belgium (1-1) came roaring back from the shock of their opening day loss to Bosnia and Herzegovina (1-1) by humbling Slovenia in comprehensive fashion in Group C. They racked up 34 assists and that was more than any team in the competition since 1995.
Game Heroes: Who else? Emma Meesseman went 10 of 11 from the floor and finished with 23 points, 7 assists and 4 blocks.
They Said: "It's always hard to lose by that margin. Belgium were so much better in every statistic. We didn't show our true character but I still believe in my team." Slovenia guard Teja Oblak
Czech Republic 71-51 France
Summary: France (2-0) had to wait until the later stages of their Group D clash with Czech Republic (0-2) to eventually ease their way to another victory.
Game Heroes: Frontcourt duo Sandrine Gruda and Endy Miyem used their experience to good effect with 16 and 11 points respectively.
They Said: "Our biggest challenge was the zone defense It was not easy for us to adjust from man to man to zone. It is something we ned to focus on if we want to play our game and be efficient. But we found a way. We will try to continue on this path." France center, Sandrine Gruda
Greece 51-85 Serbia
Summary: Serbia (2-0) jumped out on Greece (0-2) in this Group B clash as they brutally exposed their opponents' lack of firepower with an excellent team performance to stay unbeaten and move closer to the Quarter-Finals.
Game Heroes: There was a perfect shooting effort from Aleksandra Crvendakic, who was 6 of 6 from the field and scored 13 points.
They Said: "We had a tough game yesterday and little time to recover but we tried to improve today what we were missing against Italy - that was energy. But now we really need to stay focused." Serbia guard Nevena Jovanovic
Turkey 54-64 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Summary: After claiming their first victory in 22 years on opening day, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2-0) collected another in Group C. It was thanks to a blistering 15-0 start to the last quarter, which turned things around, having struggled for much of the game against Turkey (0-2)
Game Heroes: There was another double-double for Jonquel Jones as the center racked up 22 points and 15 rebounds.
They Said: "We knew what to expect and I am proud of my team at how we came back after being almost 10 points behind. We showed character and I am happy we are in the next round for the first time in our history." Bosnia and Herzegovina guard Milica Deura.
Italy 77-61 Montenegro
Summary: Italy (1-1) picked themselves up from a mentally challenging overtime setback to Serbia in their first game by outpacing Montenegro (1-1) to get their first win in Group B.
Game Heroes: It was a strong team effort, but Debora Carangelo stood out with a nice shooting performance as shce scored 13 points, as well as adding 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
They Said: "It was a very difficult night after that overtime loss to Serbia. We were a little nervous in this game, but we provided the best answer with this win," Italy head coach Lino Lardo.
Slovakia 58-54 Belarus
Summary: Slovakia (1-1) used defensive intensity to surprise Belarus (1-1) in Group A and get rolling with a first victory against their shocked opponents, who had taken down co-hosts and champions Spain on Gameday 1.
Game Heroes: Ivana Jakubcova harvested 16 points and 6 rebounds, with Nikola Dudasova adding 13 points and an excellent 9 assists.
They Said: "I think everyone of us added something to the win, whether it was points, energy, defense or hustle. We showed why we are here and now we want to continue presenting ourselves like this in the tournament." Slovakia forward Sabina Oroszova.
Croatia 62-73 Russia
Summary: Russia (2-0) are a win away from potentially heading directly to the Quarter-Finals after completing a victory against the still winless Croatia (0-2) in Group D.
Game Heroes: The familiar one-two punch of Maria Vadeeva and Raisa Musina did the business for Russia. The former claimed 17 points 9 boards and 6 assists, while Musina had a huge double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds.
They Said: "We played good defense and in offense we really played like a team and that is why we won this game." Russia forward Raisa Musina