Israeli womens basketball 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel’s EuroBasket campaign is off to a somewhat deflating start after the
blue-and-white women dropped their second straight contest in Bydgoszcz, Poland,
on Sunday, falling 68-41 to a Belarus side that just kept on getting stronger as
the game went on.
Eli Rabi’s team dropped its opener on Saturday night to
the Czech Republic and now finds the path out of Group B much more
With the comprehensive, if not completely emphatic, conquest
Belarus became the first Group B team to book a place in the second round of the
tournament and the World Championship semifinalist will now likely battle it out
with the Czechs for top spot in the pool when they meet on Monday
Israel faces Britain on Monday in a must-win game.
yesterday, we had problems with field goal percentage,” exclaimed Rabi. “I don’t
feel we could have won the game because Belarus is a very strong
[Against Britain] the money’s on the table. And I hope we play
Indeed, Israel shot just 15-of-58 (26 percent) from the field.
Belarus went 26-of-65 (40 percent).
Belarussian head coach Anatoli
Buyalski said: “I think today my players knew how to play a game against this
We won the rebounds and I think we had better success with
mistakes and we had 17 turnovers.”
Even with all the turnovers, all early
signs pointed towards a Belarussian cruise when two 7-0 runs in the first
quarter sent the group favorite 18-9 in front, its superior size proving tough
The Israelis have speed on their side and they turned to their
strengths, pushing the pace with Shay Doron capping a flurry that put her side
within two points midway through the second quarter.
with a 6-0 burst to move 26-18 ahead but for the final 2:27 of the half, neither
side could find the basket despite a rush of turnovers at each
Israel, paced by 12 points from Liron Cohen, hit six unanswered
points in the third period to cut the gap to 34-27 but could come no
The turning point of the contest was when Tatsiana Likharovich
ignited a 7-0 run in the third period that put Belarus 41-28 in front and broke
Cohen put the loss into perspective.
team we made too many mistakes and that’s something we got punished
for. Against teams like that, you have to stay focused for 40
minutes. They punished every mistake we made. But tomorrow is a big game.
We can change everything with that.”
Belarus guard Natallia Marchanka had
11 points, four assists and three rebounds and was a calming presence in the
backcourt for the victors throughout the encounter.
“What can I say? It’s
not easy to play Israel and we came into the game remembering our experience in
Latvia. I think today a lot of things came our way. We played well under the
basket and in rebounding. I want to thank my teammates for wanting to fight
first of all and for being strong.”