In the second semi-final of the 2019 Women’s European Championship, hosts the Netherlands came up against Spain, who were in a European semi-final for the first time.
The opening quarter proved a scrappy affair with both teams making unforced errors and turning the ball over, however Spain would be the happier of the teams at the end of the first, trailing the reigning World and European Champions by just four points, 13-9.
In the second quarter the Dutch started to show why they are the best team in the world, with an eight-point run within the first three minutes, pushing ahead by twelve points as the Spain turnovers continued. The Netherlands then managed only two more baskets in the final seven minutes before half-time, with Spain knocking down six points themselves, to leave the score 25-15 to the Dutch.
The Netherlands Head Coach Gertjan Van Der Linden rotated deep into his bench early in the second half, giving valuable experience to his squad. Even with the changes, they had their most prolific quarter so far, adding seventeen points to Spain’s seven, giving themselves a 42-26 lead going in to the final ten minutes.
Although the Netherlands didn’t play to the best of their ability, they finished off a professional performance, winning the last quarter 15-5, to finish with a comfortable victory, 57-31, allowing them to take the winning momentum in to the final against Great Britain tomorrow.
The Netherlands’ captain, Carina De Rooij, said after the game:
“We are very happy with the win, of course, because it is always nice to end up in a final. We didn’t play well at all, but we secured a place in the final and that was our goal.“
Looking ahead to the final tomorrow she added:
“It’s always nice to play games against GB because they play kind of like we do, and we know it will be a tough game but I’m looking forward to it.”
Both Bo Kramer and Mariska Beijer made double figures for the Netherlands, 23 points and 19 points respectively; for Spain Vicky Perez led the team with 19 points. Full Statistics.
The Netherlands will now play in the Gold medal game against Great Britain at 15.00 tomorrow (Sunday 7 July), whilst Spain will face Germany in the bid for bronze at 12.30.
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More information about the 2019 Women’s European Championship please visit the websites below:
Photo credit – Steffie Wunderl / Eike Michler