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Basketball - 12. January 2009.

EUROBASKET WOMEN – Italy, Germany claim important victories

VENICE (EuroBasket Women) - Italy's women took control of Group B and Germany evened their record in Group A at 1-1 after claiming victories in the EuroBasket Women Additional Qualifying Round on Saturday.

Both sides are attempting to reach the Final Round, which will be staged in Latvia this summer, and the smart money is on Italy reaching Riga after their 83-50 thrashing of Croatia in Venice.

One of the stars for Italy was Jenifer Nadalin, who was playing in front of many of her Umana Reyer Venezia fans.

She finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

"Yes, we won but there's still much to do," Nadalin said.

"We haven't done anything yet."

Nadalin admitted she has a point to prove in the Additional Qualifying Round games.

"There's revenge in me because of my exclusion from the national team for the 2007 European Championship here in Italy," she said.

Germany kept alive their hopes of advancing with a 68-60 win in Hagen over Bulgaria.

That result has left Germany (1-1) and Bulgaria (0-2) trailing Ukraine (0-2) in Group A.

On Wednesday, Ukraine host Bulgaria and Croatia visit Belgium.

In the EuroBasket Women Relegation Round, Romania battled their way to a third successive triumph with an impressive 75-71 victory at Great Britain (2-1) in Nottingham, England, that was aided by 29 turnovers by the home side.

Romania's Monika Isabele Borgia said: "It was a hard game but good for us to win.

"We had a plus on defense, so I congratulate my team. They (Great Britain) have a good team and played well but like I said, we had a plus on defense and it's an important result for us."

Great Britain's Kim Butler felt her side lost its concentration.

"We lost our mental focus," Butler said.

"It's heart breaking because for the whole game, we fought back and controlled it, then we fought back against and weathered their runs and brought our game back.

"But we have to learn to take care of the little things that happened in the summer and happened again tonight (Saturday), things like turnovers and mental lapses and we were fouling them 90ft from our own basket and giving them easy baskets."

Britain coach Mark Clark remained positive as the top two of the four teams in the Relegation Round will avoid the drop into Division B.

"The most important thing to remember is that we are still in control of our own destiny in this group," he said.

"A win against Finland should secure our status and that's what we will focus on from the moment we step out of this gym."

Finland, who only lost 63-61 at home to Great Britain before crashing to a heavy defeat at Romania, are now 1-2 after their 81-75 road success at Bosnia and Herzegovina (0-3).

On Wednesday, the Finns play at Great Britain and Romania are at home to Bosnia and Herzegovina.


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