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Belarus basketball team suffer second defeat at Rio

The 72:73 defeat against France that Belarus women's national basketball team suffered during the Olympic tournament is not critical, said Belarus' head coach Anatoly Buyalsky.

The coach said the match with France turned out spectacular and supporters loved the fight until the last second. 

"The defeat of France is not critical. The tournament situation may be that the team will qualify from the group with only one victory. In such a situation it is likely that we get the United States, but we do not have to choose right now. Before the game with France we did not have much time for preparation. Still, the day before we met with Japan. I cannot reproach the girls. Everyone saw how they fought. We will continue to play and fight. At the Olympics, each opponent is serious," said Anatoly Buyalsky.

Now, to preserve chances of reaching the quarterfinals the Belarusian basketball players need to win the remaining three games, against Brazil (9 August), Turkey (11 August) and Australia (13 August).

Also, the coach answered questions about the health of the leader defender Lindsey Harding. 

"There are some fears. Now we have at least a day for a break to recover a bit before meeting with Brazil. Much will depend on how Harding will feel physically. Earlier in the World and European Championships the national team of Belarus did not so clearly feel dependence on defenders. Now we have to take tactical decisions from the bench, which is quite difficult," said the coach.

The defeat against France is the second one for Belarus women's national basketball team at the Olympic Games in Rio. Earlier Anatoly Buyalsky's charges went down to Japan (73:77).

MORE: Belarus at Rio Olympics

Belarus basketball team suffer second defeat at Rio