The Netherlands continued their dominance of the women’s competition with a 78-17 victory over Turkey on the penultimate day of the group stages at the 2021 European Championships in Madrid, Spain. An effective opening quarter in which the Netherlands kept Turkey to just 2 points, 26-2, gave them a comfortable platform to rotate all players through the game but still win each quarter, to go 4-0, with their final game of the group stage tomorrow against hosts Spain.
The second women’s game in Polideportivo Municipal Francisco Fernandez Ochoa, was a must-win game for France if they were to progress to the semi-finals. However, it was a straightforward win for Germany, 66-21.
Three players for Germany finished with double digits: Katharina Lang (23 points), Lena Knippelmeyer (15 points) and Maya Lindholm (10 points). France can take some encouragement that newcomer Marion Blais, making her debut at the European’s, top-scored with a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds.
The most exhilarating game of the day came in the form of Spain versus Great Britain, in a battle for placing that will determine the semi-final crossovers, now that France could no longer progress.
A bright start by Spain gave them an early lead, but a 16-0 run by Great Britain ensured a 13-point lead midway through the second quarter. Vicky Perez then hit three consecutive 3’s as Spain pulled themselves back into the game. The second half was too close to call as both teams felt the pressure with the lead changing hands numerous times, but it was Spain driven by the extra vocal support that edged Great Britain out in the final minutes to take a historic win, 56-52.
Vicky Perez hit a double-double for Spain with 26 points and 20 rebounds, as Helen Freeman top scored for Great Britain with 14 points.
Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, and Spain are all now confirmed in the final four, with the final group games determining positions 2-4 and how the line-ups will look.
All four semi-finalists have qualified for the 2022 World Championships in Dubai, UAE.
Photo Credits: Steffie Wunder Photography/SA Images