EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS
|Anastasiya Verameyenka shined with 14 points, 17 rebounds and nine assits, but could not prevent Belarus' defeat. |
An astonishing near triple-double performance by Anastasiya Verameyenka wasn't enough for Belarus to seal qualification after they allowed a glorious opportunity to progress slip agonisingly through their fingers with a 60-58 defeat in Israel.
With a healthy lead heading into the last couple of minutes and a spot in France almost assured, Belarus reached for the self-destruct button as they lost their composure just when it really mattered.
Isreal grabbed the momentum in the last ninety seconds with a number of quick scores to close the gap and as the pressure mounted, Belarus crumbled at both ends of the floor, scoring just eight points in the last quarter and giving up the last 13 points of the game.
A bad situation was made worse by Tatyana Troina who committed an unsportsmanlike foul after turning the ball over with 14 seconds remaining and Israel punished her in the worst possible way by ensuring the qualification dreams are put firmly on ice.
Liron Cohen was instrumental for Israel right at the death while the loss was tough to swallow for Verameyenka who finished with a truly monumental 14 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists.
Belarus will continue to fight it out with Ukraine and Hungary for the two spots in Group A.