The afternoon session of the women’s basketball quarterfinals provided two thrillers for those in attendance at the Carioca Arena, with Serbia upsetting Australia and Spain beating Turkey at the buzzer. Serbia’s win was surprising in that Australia last failed to medal in women’s basketball at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
As for Spain’s win over Turkey, the two teams combined to create a finish as wild as any you’ll see at the international level.
Down two with 14 seconds remaining Turkey rushed to trap the ball, finally causing a Spain turnover by forward Alba Torrens. Racing back up the floor, Turkey’s Birsel Vardarli Demirmen found Lara Sanders underneath the basket that tied the game at 62-all with 4.3 seconds remaining.
Spain got the ball to Anna Cruz, who weaved through defenders and tossed up a shot from just inside the three-point line with six tenths of a second left on the clock. The shot went in, giving Spain the 64-62 victory and a spot in the semis where they’ll play Serbia.
While Spain has enjoyed a great deal of success in men’s basketball, their women have never won an Olympic medal. A win over Serbia on Thursdaywould guarantee that changes.