Spain, Italy and Latvia snap up FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 tickets
MUNICH (Germany) - There were celebrations for Spain, Italy and Latvia who secured qualification to the FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2023 on Sunday, leaving 11 tickets still on offer during the final window in February.
Spain sealed their spot by beating Hungary 77-66 in Group C as Astou Ndour corralled a fine 21 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. But celebrations were put on ice for a few hours as they had to wait until Iceland potentially did them a favor with a win.
Iceland did the business and sent Spain through by moving past Romania 68-58. It was Sara Run Hinriksdottir they had to thank after she recorded a dazzling 33 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
Italy advanced to next year's flagship tournament by sweeping aside Slovakia 81-60 in Group H. They had a rapid-fire start and once ahead by double-digits early, they had no cause to look back. It was a big team effort with all 12 players on the roster getting buckets which will please head coach Lino Lardo. Forward Costanza Verona was the pick with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
They also needed a favor to be sure of their passage and Luxembourg provided it in emphatic fashion with an excellent 81-43 victory in Switzerland shaped around 20 points and 12 boards from Faith Ehi Etute, plus 24 points from Catherine Mereches.
Latvia were the first to book their ticket although they trailed Israel by 9 points late in the third period before back-to-back triples turned the momentum. They dug out a 79-73 win with Anete Steinberga claiming 22 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists, while Kitija Laksa added 23 points. Meanwhile Eden Rotberg had 28 points in defeat.
Elsewhere, Belgium are now in control of Group A after they gained sweet revenge for last year's loss against Bosnia and Herzegovina with a commanding 100-60 victory.
The Show! 💣— FIBA Women's EuroBasket (@EuroBasketWomen)
She flirted with a triple-double as secured another W! 😏
📊 20 PTS | 10 AST | 9 REB | 36 EFF
Emma Meesseman showed her class as always with a near triple-double of 20 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds. Antonia Delaere and Hind Ben Abdelkader brought the noise from the wings as they shared 32 points. Germany strolled their way to a 71-47 win in North Macedonia with Leonie Fiebich standing out after racking up 23 points, 13 rebounds and 4 steals.
It has been a tremendous window for France who now top Group B as they came up big in the last quarter to move past Ukraine 109-88. Adding to their win against Finland, they found a higher offensive gear to wrap up the win in style and improve to 3-1. Marine Johannes and Alexia Chartereau had 21 and 19 points respectively to lead the way.
Lithuania have transformed their chances and given themselves hope of advancing after they made it a perfect window as well. They followed up their victory against Ukraine by beating Finland 65-56 on the road. Experience got it done, with Kamile Nacickaite scoring 24 points and Giedre Labuckiene chipping in with 16 points and 11 boards.
Turkey are on the brink of qualifying in Group D after they moved to a perfect 4-0 by moving past Slovenia 80-74 in an entertaining matchup in Mersin. Teaira McCowan was dominant again with 26 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists, while Zala Friskovec shot the lights out for Slovenia with a super 27 points, 7 boards and 5 assists.
Poland rolled past Albania with ease as they took a 136-50 victory with 20-year-old center Kamila Borkowska enjoying her night with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals.
Croatia got their first win on the board in Group E with a 93-74 success at home to Bulgaria. It was facilitated by a one-two punch from Patricia Bura and Ana Marija-Begic. Bura amassed 19 points and 11 rebounds, with Begic adding 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Austria celebrated a landmark first win as they completed a nail-biting but thrilling 66-63 success against Denmark in Group F. The game looked to be drifting away but a 16-6 last quarter was decisive. Sigrid Elisabeth Koizar was the main architect with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
GAME. SET. FASOULA. x— FIBA Women's EuroBasket (@EuroBasketWomen)
Still unbeaten, Greece are close to qualification in Group G after a late surge facilitated a 72-65 win against Great Britain. Maria Fasoula netted 22 points and 8 rebounds, with Artemis Spanou contributing 15 points and 12 boards. Also in Group G, Portugal avoided an upset in Estonia in the same pool by completing a 76-52 win paced by 15 points from Maria Bettencourt Correia.
Ireland suffered Group I heartbreak against Netherlands after being edged out 59-56 in front of a noisy home crowd as they searched for a memorable first win. They looked like they might be on course but 11 triples from the visitors proved to be a difference-maker. Loyce Bettonvil had 15 points and 9 rebounds for the Dutch, while Claire Melia responded with 19 points and 13 boards for Ireland.