Baku, June 24, AZERTAC
Switzerland's women's team silenced an enthusiastic home crowd by beating Azerbaijan 15-11 in the first session of 3x3 Basketball at the Baku 2015 European Games.
There are high hopes for Azerbaijan's all-star line-up with WNBA (United States Women's National Basketball Association) duo Renara Hayes and Aneika Henry invited to join the team.
But their lack of experience in the condensed format showed as Switzerland's Sarah Kershaw connected on two two-pointers in the final 70 seconds to put the game beyond Azerbaijan.
"We were really stressed actually," said Switzerland's Alexia Rol of performing in front of the home support. "We didn't know Azerbaijan at all. We knew they (the crowd) would be cheering for them, we knew they would be waiting for Azerbaijan to play, so we got on the court thinking we had nothing to lose."
Henry did not know what to expect from her team either.
"It's our first game," she said. "We just have to learn a little bit more about each other's game and play together. We need some kind of format to be able to play faster, and as a team, we don't have that down together."
In Group A's other game, Greece took advantage of Netherlands' foul trouble to score five of their points from the free throw line in a 13-8 success.
"You could see that we were very nervous because we were not looking for our normal strengths," said Karen Heinen of the Netherlands. "Normally we are looking for the options off the screens and moving better because we’re quick and tall."