Semi-final day for both the men’s and women’s competition at the European Championships in Tenerife saw four exhilarating matches.
In the women’s competition, The Netherlands looked to bounce back from the defeat against Germany in their last pool game, as they took on a Great Britain team wanting to better their bronze medals from the past five European Championships. Great Britain came out firing and following on from an early lead, led by six at the half-time break. A rejuvenated Dutch team came out in the second half and a 12-0 run gave them a lead they didn’t relinquish, and went on to win 59-42.
The Netherlands will now face the familiar match up with Germany, who secured their place in the final with a low scoring win over France, 46-33. Despite a slow start from Germany, they stamped their authority on the game in the third quarter, winning it 22-11 and giving themselves a 14-point cushion which France could not recover from.
France will meet Great Britain in the bronze medal game.
In the opening men’s game, it was the same match up of nations as Great Britain took on The Netherlands. The Netherlands started brightly in the first quarter, however it was Great Britain’s shooting power that proved too much for The Netherlands, and with points coming from across the board, Great Britain qualified for their fourth consecutive final at a European Championships 72-55.
The last semi-final of the day was the most exhilarating as Germany took on Turkey. Germany continued their momentum from their quarter-final victory against Spain, and came out strong, leading 15-11 at the end of the first quarter. Turkey pulled it back though, through some fine shooting from Özgür Gürbulak to cut the German lead to two points at half-time, 31-29. The lead was exchanged a number of times in the second half, and with one and a half minutes to go in the game, Germany led by one point, 64-63. Their failure to score in the remainder of the game, meant it was Turkey who edged it 64-68, to meet Great Britain in the final. Germany take on The Netherlands for bronze.
In the other two classification games of the day, Spain men defeated Italy, 62-42 and Poland fought off tough competition from Israel, 72 -89. Both winners will now play for 5th and 6th spot, whilst Israel and Italy will compete for 7th and 8th plus the final qualification spot in the World Championships.
For more results, statistics and full schedule please visit http://competitions.iwbf-europe.org