The Netherlands women have been an unstoppable force as the 2021 European Championships so far – unbeaten in their six games winning each one by 28 points or more.
The opening five minutes of their semi-final against hosts Spain looked like this was going to be the same as the Netherlands opened an early 10-0 lead. The Dutch defensive pressure left Spain struggling under the basket, shooting at just 20% for the first half, with the half-time score looking comfortable for the Netherlands, 31-13. They continued to dominate in the second half, winning it 37-20, to complete the victory 68-33. Leading points scorer of the competition, Bo Kramer, was again influential for the Dutch with 27 points and 12 rebounds, with Mariska Beijer also adding her own double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds.
It was predicted the second semi-final between Germany and Great Britain would be a closer game than the first semi-final, and with both teams missing key players, there was a slow start to the game, 2-2 after five minutes, as they struggled to find their shooting touch. Great Britain moved ahead at the end of the first quarter though and held an eight-point advantage at half-time, 25-17. They continued to build their lead in the third, and midway through the fourth were up by nineteen points. Germany then went on a 12-0 run to bring it back to a seven-point deficit but that was as close as they got and GB secured their spot in the final, 58-51, to set up a rematch of the 2019 European Championships final against the Netherlands. Helen Freeman finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds for GB, with Katharina Lang adding 15 points and 11 rebounds for Germany.
The fight for position in the 5/6 place game between France and Turkey ended in dramatic fashion. France managed to open up a small three-point lead going into half-time, 22-19, before Turkey won the third by one to keep the tension going into the fourth. Turkey then took the lead with eight minutes to go, but a number of fouls from France and turnovers from Turkey mixed with a 10-1 run to close out the game from the French, left the Turkish coach, Murat Saltan, visibly frustrated and he was ejected from the game for his second technical foul. France concluded a 42-35 win. France’s Angelique Pichon hit 14 points and 17 rebounds, and Rabía Akyürek led the scoring for Turkey with 12 points.
Following the women’s semi-final game at the 2021 European Championship against Germany, the Great Britain women’s team have decided to take no further part in the competition. British Wheelchair Basketball has released a statement setting out their reasons for the decision – British Wheelchair Basketball’s Statement.
According to the official wheelchair basketball rules, should Great Britain not be ready on court 15 minutes after the scheduled start for the Gold Medal game against Netherlands on Sunday 12th December, the game will be forfeit. The Netherlands will be awarded the game 20-0 and will finish in first place securing the gold medal. Great Britain will finish second. IWBF Europe’s statement.
Sunday 12 December 2021 Schedule
11:00 – Women’s Final: Netherlands vs Great Britain
12:30 – Women’s Bronze: Germany vs Spain
16:00 – Men’s Bronze: Germany vs Italy
18:30 – Men’s Final: Netherlands vs Great Britain
(All times are local – CET)
Visit the 2021 European Championships Event Page for Live Stream, Statistics and Results.
Photo Credit: SA Images / Steffie Wunderl.