|17 August 2012|
|Olcay Cakir had 12 points, four assists and four steals for Turkey|
Turkey booked a place in the Second Round of the U20 European Championship Women in Debrecen but was far from impressive as they laboured to a 62-52 success against Portugal in Group C.
Even though they were missing the dynamic presence of guard Pelin Bilgic, they still had all the tools they needed to comprehensively see off Portugal but struggled in almost every facet of the game.
Indeed, had Portugal made more than just 1 of 13 from the three-point line, Turkey might have been seriously regretting their poor play.
Committing 22 turnovers and giving up far too many offensive rebounds to their much smaller opponent, they failed to impose themselves inside and couldn't get the transition scores required to pull away as they probably should have done.
Credit however must go to short-handed Portugal who fought impressively well, despite being able to field only six players due to illness.
There was nothing to separate the teams after the opening period but a quick burst of scoring for Turkey handed them a 32-23 lead at the break.
But, instead of taking advantage of their tired opponent and pushing the ball down the floor when possible, they continued to make errors in a lacklustre half-court tempo.
Certainly Turkey must improve and re-discover the sparkle from the day one win against Ukraine if they want to ultimately realise their ambitions of a podium place.