Women’s basketball earns Worlds ticket

Greece can start preparing for next year’s World Basketball Championship for Women, after finishing fifth in the European Championship that ended in Latvia last Saturday. It was the team’s best showing ever in the competition, and next year will be the first time that Greece takes part in a World Championship, to be held in the Czech Republic. Coach Costas Missas’s players narrowly missed out on the semifinals when they lost by two points to eventual champion France but then were able to beat Slovakia and Italy in their fight for the fifth spot, which provided them with the last ticket to the Worlds. Moreover, Greece has earned the right to take part in the finals of the next European Championship in 2011 without having to go through the qualifying round. Greek guard Evina Maltsi was voted the most valuable player of the championship, something quite unusual for a player on a team that finished fifth. She was also the top scorer of the tournament, with an average 22.6 points per game.