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MADRID (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women) – Brazil put a difficult 24 hours behind them and thrashed Angola 75-58 on Saturday to set up an all-or-nothing clash with Cuba in the last game of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women.
Having suffered an overtime defeat to Belarus late Friday, the Brazilians were also hit emotionally as star player Iziane refused to enter the game following a disagreement with coach Paul Bassul – a decision which got her kicked off the team.
Bassul admitted after the triumph over Angola the situation had been extremely difficult, yet insisted his players could get through the adversity.
“We can overcome this,” Bassul said.
“The team is playing together, passing the ball, but we are tired. Last night (against Belarus) was too long. Now we can rest and we will be totally renovated for tomorrow.”
The Iziane bust-up has not been something that he wanted, he said.
“This is tough for me,” he said.
“It’s a loss for me, professionally speaking, because I felt she could change.
“It’s a weird situation, I’m not happy, but I’m convinced I did what I needed to do.”
Brazil killed the game off against the Angolans in the first 10 minutes when they opened up a 28-8 lead.
The South Americans’ biggest advantage was 27 points.
Ega led a balanced scoring attack with 11 points and Brazil shot 48% (24 of 44) from the floor compared to 32% (20 of 62) for the Angolans.
Now Brazil face a Cuban side that looked very tough against Japan with the winner advancing to the Beijing Games along with Spain, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Belarus – the quarter-final winners at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
“We have young players with a concentrated mind,” Bassul said. “The concentration will be more than enough.”