Belarus Needed Overtime To Advance To Semifinals

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SLOVAKIA 68 – BELARUS 70

In the first 3:30 the game was all about trading baskets. Belarus leading 14-13 with Anastasiya Verameyenka heading the team with 7 from her teams 14 but then Belarus improved defensively and scored a 10-0 run in the nest six minutes to put ahead 24-13 with 20 seconds remaining after 5 straight points from Yuliya Dureika –a jump shot and a trey- ending the quarter 24-14 ahead after a freebie from Slovakia. Apart from Verameyenka, Belarus best offensive weapon was the perimeter shot scoring 5-of-11.

The second quarter was controlled by Belarus despite it was all about Trading and the defensive effort from Slovakia. A three pointer from Nataliya MArchanka gave Anatoli Buyalski’s team its biggest lead in the first half making it 33-19 with 2:45 remaining making useless Pokey Chatman’s team attempts to close the gap and the game went into the interval with Belarus leading 36-23. Belarus scored 5-for 11 three pointers in the first half.

After the break Slovakia was again the solid defensive team that had been so far and only allowed Belarus 5 pts in the first 6:45 –a 19-5 run overall- with an outstanding Zuzana Zirkova leading and guiding the team with 8 pts to come back in the game and put ahead after a shot from Anna Jurcenkova to make it 42-41 for Slovakia. However in the last three minutes the defense fell down and Belarus made a 7-0 run to regain the lead and enter in the fourth 48-42 after a buzzer beater from Volha Padabed

Despite of that Chatman’s girls didn’t quit and they fought back during all the fourth. Once again, the excellent Slovak defense stopped Belarus, especially the perimeter shooting from where they would only score one shot in the second half and the overtime. But it was the lack of accuracy what deprived Slovakia of regaining the lead faster, however Lucia Lascova had in her hands the victory when she was fouled with 5 seconds remaining and 68-67 for Belarus, but she split from the line and the game went to overtime, 68-68.

It all was about heart in the overtime, the game continued with trading and the lead changed hands five times but in the last a three point play from Natalia Marchanka with one minute remaining which put Belarus ahead for good, 67-66, since in the minute remaining Slovakia had chances to score but couldn’t finally execute and lately lost 70-68.

Slovakia out rebounded Berlarus 50 to 35, with 21 offensive boards

Anastasiya Verameyenka had 13 pts and 10 boards, Yelena Leuchanka 8 pts, 5 assists and 12 boards and Natalia Marchanka 12 pts.

In Slovakia Zuzana Zirkova had 23 pts, Anna Jurcenkova 12 pts, Romana Vynuchalova 10 pts and Martina Gyurcsi 9 pts and 11 boards.

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