Pumped up by their hometown crowd, Turkey had a sizzling start and took control for the rest of the way to start their campaign with an impressive 65-53 win over Puerto Rico in Day One of the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Ankara.
The host jumped on the gun right from the opening tip, displaying their fluid offensive sets and solid defensive efforts to build a 24-12 lead after the first period.
The Turkish squad halted several comeback attempts from Puerto Rico and never looked back to take their first win and solidified their chances of finishing on top of Group A.
Naturalized player Quanitra Hollingsworth had an outstanding debut as she finished with 13 points and nine rebounds in just 23 minutes of action, showing why she is worthy of taking the spot of veteran Nevin Nevlin.
Tugba Palazoglu also had a productive offensive night, finishing with 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field that includes her 3-for-4 clip from beyond-the-arc, while Bahar Caglar racked up 11 points to go with eight rebounds and four assists.
Jasmine Sepulveda, on the other hand, led Puerto Rico with 20 points, while Carla Cortijo added 15 points, but they did not get enough support to drop their first game of the tournament.
Meanwhile, world’s fourth-ranked squad, Czech Republic also had a rousing debut as they humbled New Zealand with a dominating 70-51 win in a game where Eva Viteckova erupted for 22 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Canada, on the other hand, humiliated Mali with an 89-23 win, while Croatia started their drive for ticket to the 2012 London Olympics with an 84-62 win over Mozambique.
2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women Day One Results
Croatia 85 – 62 Mozambique
Czech Republic 70 – 51 New Zealand
Puerto Rico 53 – 65 Turkey
Mali 23 – 89 Canada
Photo Credits: FIBA.com