Belarus Hold Off Latvia To Win Bronze At Eurobasket 2007

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Belarus 72 – Latvia 63

No time for pleasantries in this match with both sides putting points on the board in the first minute. Latvia without Gunta Basko and with Ieva Tare and Anete Jekabsone-Zogota heavily strapped changed their offensive tactics from previous games which resulted in them hitting three treys (13-8). Anatoliy Buyalskiy noticed this variation and immediately called for a time-out. It appeared that his tactic was to use the pace of Natalia Marchanka . The result was two back to back baskets and assists for Marchanka as Belarus went on an 8:0 run to go in front (16-13). This time a time-out by Ainars Zvirgzdins resulted in Latvia regaining control as they finished the period with the last 4 points to lead by a single point (17-16).

An 8:0 run at the start of the second period for Belarus (still without a trey) was put to hold by Liene Jansone as she muscled her way into the paint and managed to draw a foul while completing the score. She was back again a few seconds later at the end of a fast break to bring her side to within 2 points (24-22). A Belarus time-out was called and on resumption Marchanka hit her team's first three-pointer of the evening. Belarus hit a second trey and put together an 8:2 run to finish with a reasonable lead (32-24) at the interval. Jensone scored all the points for her side in this period.

Jansone was kept under check during the 3rd quarter and Latvia's only points came from Jekabsone-Zogata as Belarus continued in increasing their advantage (43-26) midway through the period. Latvia's injury problems became a real handicap and they struggled until Ieva Tare came on and injected some fire into their attack which enabled them to reduce their deficit (55-37).

Latvia continued to work on bringing the score down all during the last period and the game reached its climax on the back of a 4-point play by Ieva Kublina (61-57). Belarus weathered the storm when TatyanaTroina hit a trey the victory for Belarus was more or less secured (66-59). The end was less dramatic as Belarus held on to win Bronze. (72-63).

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