selwyn basketball 224 88.
(photo credit: FIBA Europe)
Israel will have to defeat Turkey on Wednesday evening if it's to avoid early elimination from the EuroBasket tournament.
The national team lost 77-73 to Latvia in Vasto, Italy, on Tuesday night, but will nevertheless advance to the second round of the European Championships should it get the better of Turkey in its final Group A game on Wednesday.
The top three teams in the group progress to the second round, meaning that with a win against the Turks the national team can continue its excellent summer, which saw it qualify for the European Championship through the additional qualifying tournament last weekend.
"We redeemed ourselves after Monday's performance. The girls played superbly tonight," Israel's assistant coach Tal Natan said, referring to his side's 75-43 loss to the Czech Republic in its first game of the championships.
"Maybe a lack of experience and concentration cost us the game. We played very well against a far superior team."
Turkey lost to the Czechs on Tuesday and will also be looking for a win on Wednesday to advance to the second round.
"We must win on Wednesday," Israel coach Eli Rabi said. "It will be just as difficult as the game against Latvia. We will give our all to claim the victory."
Liad Suez-Karni led Israel with 21 points and six rebounds on Tuesday, with Ekaterina Abramzon and Laine Selwyn adding 15 and 14 points respectively.
Anete Jekabsone-Zogota was Latvia's only player to end the game in double figures, scoring 28 points and also passing five assists.
"We couldn't stop Jekabsone," Rabi said. "She took control of the game in the second half."
A 10-0 run, which was capped by an Ieva Kublina three-pointer gave Latvia an early eight point lead. A three-point move by Suez with four minutes remaining in the first period cut Israel's deficit to two points (10-8), but the Latvians maintained their lead and were in front 17-12 after 10 minutes.
Israel finally found its scoring touch in the second quarter and went on a 15-3 run that gave it a seven point margin. Suez scored eight points in the first five minutes of the period, hitting difficult jump shots with ease.
Santa Dreimane's three brought Latvia within two points, but a 10-2 Israel run gave the team its first double digit lead of the game (37-27).
Suez capped an excellent quarter for herself and the team with a buzzer beating jumper, opening a 39-30 blue-and-white advantage at the interval.
Latvia opened the second half with an 11-2 run that tied the score (41-41). Jekabsone was unstoppable, terrorizing the Israeli defense and scoring at will. The third quarter remained tight throughout, but Selwyn gave the national team a four point advantage (57-53), scoring from an awkward position in the final seconds of the period.
Abramzon's field goal to start the second period extended Israel's margin to six points, but Latvia slowly cut into the lead and went ahead midway through the quarter. Jekabsone's free throws capped an 11-3 run and gave her team a 64-62 lead.
The national team regained its advantage momentarily a minute later, but two straight three-pointers by Jekabsone gave the Latvians the lead once more, this time for good.
Later Tuesday Turkey lost to the Czech Republic 86-62.
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