ANKARA (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament Women) – Priceless veteran experience and youthful exuberance reigned supreme on an intriguing and entertaining day two in the Turkish capital.
Korea reached the quarter-finals in Group C along with Croatia after a 71-65 success against Mozambique but the African side beautifully encapsulated the enjoyment of watching both players in the twilight of their respective careers and others only just starting to truly arrive on the big stage.
Clarisse Machanguana will celebrate her 40th birthday next year but was full of energy and terrific plays for the second day in a row while the future of the Mozambique frontcourt looks safe with 21 year old Leia Dongue claiming a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Argentina has a wealth of talented young players rising to prominence but it was the expert hands of 36 year old Carolina Sanchez which came up with the play of the game against New Zealand.
She grabbed the most precious rebound of her entire career during the closing stages of a nerve-shredding 54-51 victory to help her team into the quarter-finals and keep their Olympic dreams alive.
However, she was also given great support on the glass by 20 year old Agostina Burani who secured 10 precious rebounds in a hard fought game and Argentina will now fight it out for top spot in Group B with Czech Republic.
Elsewhere on day two, there was mixed fortune for debutantes Japan and France with the former crashing to a disappointing 65-49 loss against Turkey who booked their quarter-final place in front of jubilant home supporters.
France meanwhile has one foot in the last eight after a hard fought 56-47 win against Canada who should also advance thanks to their opening day demolition of under-strength Mali.