Germany and Cuba are joint leaders of the British Basketball Invitational Tournament after day one at Surrey Sports Park.
The day’s second game saw Cuba record a fine 73-60 victory against Latvia.
The Latvians won the tip, but Cuba’s Marlene Cepeda Valle opened the scoring, and a 6-0 run soon after the mid-stage of the period saw them take control to lead 29-20 at quarter time.
Zane Tamane hit a free-throw to cut that lead to eight at the start of the second period, and despite some good outside shooting, the lead never dropped below three points as the Cubans went into the locker room 45–35 up.
Taimí Fernández Martínez sunk a trey to open the second half and put the Cubans up by 13, and their lead never dipped below nine as they went into the final stanza 61-48 ahead.
Latvia’s Ieva Kubli?a hit a trey to open the fourth period and make it a ten point game, but that was as good as it got for her side as an impressive Cuban team closed out the victory.
Oyanaisis Gelis González led Cuba with 13 points – all in the first half – with Valle and Martinez each adding ten, the former adding eight rebounds.
Latvia were led by Elina Babkin’s 19 points, five boards and four assists, with Tamane finishing a rebound shy of a double-double having scored 11 points.
Earlier in the day, a strong second half saw the Germans run out 70-60 winners against the Standard Life GB women.
GB had edged a tight first period 18-15, but Germany shaded things in the second period to lead 36-35 at half-time.
Some defensive errors saw GB trail 54-45 going into the final stanza, and the visitors won the last period by a single point to claim a comfortable victory.
Tom Maher’s team were led by Kim Butler who starred on the boards, and Natalie Stafford who tried valiantly all night. Lauren Thomas-Johnson finished with 12 points while Steph Gandy added 11 points. Kim Butler also had seven points to go with her ten rebounds. Azania Stewart put in a solid performance with six boards and as many points.
The British Basketball Invitational Tournament continues on Friday afternoon at Surrey Sports Park. The action starts at 14:30 when Latvia and Germany match up before the Standard Life GB women face Cuba at 19:00. Admission is £6 for adults and £4 for children, with the ticket covering both games.
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