All six teams went into the final day of 2019 Women’s European Championship preliminary stage with something to play for.
In the opening game, Germany and Great Britain matched-up in a dual for second spot in the group. It was a close first quarter as Great Britain won it by two points, 15-13, but the second belonged to Germany, 20-12, giving them a six-point advantage at the break, 33-27.
Momentum stuck with the Germans in the third quarter as they built on their lead to head into the final ten minutes with a fourteen-point buffer. Great Britain fought back and won the final quarter 11-10, but the shooting prowess of Mareike Miller and Katharina Lang proved to be the difference for Germany, as they shot 52% from the floor compared to GB’s 34%, giving them the win, 61-48. Full Statistics.
The second game of the day was an important game for Spain, as a win against Turkey meant they would not only make the semi-finals of the European Championship for the second time in their history, but also qualify for the Paralympic Games for the first time in their own right.
It was a tentative first half from Spain as you could sense they felt the enormity of the game. They managed to close out the first quarter with a 14-5 score-line, but then boosted by the noisy Turkish fans, Turkey nearly matched Spain in the second quarter losing it by just two points, 8-10, ensuring Spain’s advantage was eleven at half-time, 24-13.
Spain’s confidence grew in the second half as they could sense the victory was in touching distance, and looking more relaxed, they won the third convincingly 27-9, and the fourth 19-11, to finish the game with a final score of 70-33 and a top four finish.
Vicky Perez led all scorers with 24 points and 11 rebounds, with Turkey’s Mine Ercan next with 13 points. Full Statistics.
The Netherlands made it a clean sweep in the group stage with a 72-34 win over France maintaining their unbeaten record.
France held their own against the World Champions for the majority of the opening quarter, keeping within two with four minutes remaining, but a seven-point unanswered run at the end of the first widened the gap and gave the hosts a 19-10 lead. Both the Netherlands and France rotated the line-ups throughout the second quarter, as the teams exchanged baskets, but it was the Netherlands who edged ahead, 15-12, to give themselves a twelve-point lead at half-time.
In the second half France ran out of steam as the Netherlands showed the talent across their squad winning both quarters, 19-8 and 19-4, to secure victory and head into the semi-finals as the top team from the preliminary stage. Full Statistics.
In a re-run of the 2018 World Championship semi-final, Germany and Great Britain will meet in the first semi-final at 13.00 on Saturday (6 July), whilst the Netherlands will face Spain in the other semi-final at 16.00.
France and Turkey will play-off against each other in the 5-6th place classification game on Sunday (7 July) at 10.00.
The championship is zonal qualification tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, and the top four have also ensured a ticket to Tokyo next year.
Standings after day five
Relive all the action
More information about the 2019 Women’s European Championship please visit the websites below:
Photo credit – Steffie Wunderl / Eike Michler