Third Place Preview: Russia vs Belgium

22 July 2012

U16 WOMEN

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15. Ksenia Kuzmina (Russia)
1.98 m center Ksenia Kuzmina is only one of many options Russia has in the frontcourt.

Russia and Belgium will meet again, after their Qualifying Round match, to dispute the U16 European Championship Women bronze medal.

Russia won their previous match-up, 57-44, but the situation is a different one on Sunday.

Going into the Classification Game for third place, both teams have defeats in their minds.

They must analyse what went wrong in their respective Semi-Final to avoid a repetition in their tournament's last game.

Belgium and Russia faced a similar problem, being pressured by strong defences that stopped their playmakers to create the game for their big players inside the paint.

Belgium has shown during the competition that they can also put pressure on their opponents' point guards, but they might get problems in the frontcourt.

Kyara Linskens has had big performances in the tournament, but has a hard task in stopping the tall Russian centers.

Russia's Ksenia Levchenko and Olga Orlova overcame the hard Spanish defence during most of their Semi-Final and seem fresh enough to look into one more game.

In their Qualifying Round match against Belgium, Russia had an efficient field goal shooting and missed less free throws.

With their various frontcourt options, they will try to impose their physical advantage from the start and decide the game early.

Despite seeming fresher, their problem might be a mental one, as their only defeat in the tournament came in their eighth game, eliminating them from the title game.

Belgium will play for their third medal in four years, while Russia only won one medal in the past seven years, Gold in 2010.


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