10 November, 2019
08 February, 2021
17 Gizem Yavuz (TUR)
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Turkey bounce back, Belarus hammer the Brits, Czechs win at the buzzer

MUNICH (Germany) - The second gameday of the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers saw some pivotal results including Turkey and Belarus both getting first wins on the board.

Having lost their opener last Thursday in Serbia, the pressure was on Turkey against Lithuania, but they delivered and took a terrific 74-51 victory in Group E.

It was a team effort from the hosts, with Quanitra Hollingsworth leading the way with 14 points and also a fitting night for fans to show their appreciation for the legendary and now retired Birsel Vardarli Demirmen. In front of a sold-out crowd in Mersin, she received a special tribute from the Turkish Basketball Federation.

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@TBF 🇹🇷 pay tribute to the legendary @birselvardarlidemirmen 🙌🏻. #EuroBasketWomen

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Turkey head coach Ceyhun Yildizoglu was thrilled that his team had put on a show and is now looking for some new role models to emerge as the transition continues. He stated: "We are in a changing process as we have a younger generation right now.

"Soon we will be as good as before and today we were determined and good. Lithuania is a great team, but we played better and want to continue like this," he added.

The margin of the victory was highly important for Turkey and that was also the case for Belarus in Group F. They jumped in the direction of qualification after just one game by blowing out Great Britain 90-59.

The frontcourt duo Maryia Papova and Anastasiya Verameyneka starred, with the former netting 24 points and adding 8 boards, while Verameyenka showed out with 17 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks.

A couple of nations will be breathing a huge sigh of relief and they include Czech Republic and Italy, both from Group D. The Czechs won on Italian soil last week, but almost watched their excellent work go up in flames as they only just dodged a bullet by scraping past Romania 60-59.

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WHAT. A. FINISH. @11caki11 wins it for @ceskybasketbal 🇨🇿! #EuroBasketWomen

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It was a spectacular finish to the contest as Katerina Elhotova drilled a game-winner with moments to spare to seal the deal for the home side.

"I knew that I have to make this last shot because it was a good position and I am so happy I made it," she enthused.

"Our team does not like to play close tense games because we start to be nervous and struggle to win.

"We have to learn and be much better in the future. We made a lot of mistakes in our defense so that was the reason the game was this close," added Elhotova.

Having lost against the Czechs, it was no easy ride for Italy in what many may have anticipated as a mismatch against Denmark. The visitors left it late before eventually seeing off their hosts 82-72 to get a first victory recorded.

There were also precious first wins for Russia, Greece, Latvia, Ukraine and Hungary.

Meanwhile, Croatia are riding a real high and probably wish there were more games to play after moving to 2-0 with an eye-catching 93-86 comeback win against Germany. A clutch score from Iva Slonsjak did the trick in what proved to be an epic tussle.as Ivana Dojkic racked up 27 points, 5 assists and 5 steals.

Belgium were rampant again in what has been a good window for them. They followed up trashing Ukraine with another dominant success as they swept past Finland 85-58, with Emma Meesseman barely missing in a wonderful 32-point haul . Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden and Bosnia and Herzegovina also collected triumphs and are yet to taste defeat so far.