PUERTO MONTT (2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women) - Isabela Romana's strong driving lay-up with just 18 seconds remaining has secured a Quarter-Final victory for Brazil over Russia, in one of the most enthralling contests of the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Chile.
Russia had closed to 69-68 on a strong run in the last 1:11, including an enormous three-pointer from Alexandra Stolyar, and had been denied a tying basket by a controversial shot clock violation.
With the large crowd in full voice, Romana stepped up and Brazil held their nerve from the free throw line, winning 73-71 to progress to the Semi-Finals.
Damaris Dantas was again a cut above the rest, scoring 23 points and pulling in 17 rebounds to be the difference between the two sides, while Romana (13 points) and Tassia Carcavalli (12 points) both scored in double figures.
For Russia, Stolyar was superb with 21 points, including five three-pointers, and Yulia Polyanova grabbed 17 rebounds.
Brazil started the quicker, jumping out to a 17-8 lead with Dantas scoring nine early points inside, but the Russians stayed in the game with their accurate perimeter play.
The Europeans would close to 22-20 on a Svetlana Efimova triple and then 34-32, before Brazil's attacking defence - which forced 11 turnovers for the half - sparked a 7-0 run to finish the second period.
The third quarter began like the first with Brazil swarming their opponents, but Russia surged again with Anastasia Maximova hitting two baskets and Stolyar nailing a big triple.
When Anastasia Pasynkova scored her second basket of the night Russia had regained the lead in the shadows of three quarter time, only for Dantas to nail a buzzer beating three-pointer from the corner to claim a 54-52 advantage for Brazil.
Dantas scored again to open the final term on a sweet feed from Vanessa Goncalves, only for Stolyar to respond again from long range.
The teams then traded baskets and with two minutes remaining Brazil's lead was five points, before Russia's emotional but ultimately unsuccessful run.
Brazil now faces the USA on Saturday for a place in the gold medal game, while Russia plays France in the 5-8 classification round.
Luis Claudio CICCHETTO TARALLO (Brazil head coach): "During the game my players were very nervous, which puts extra pressure on. Before
the game I told them to take off that pressure and relax, but they were very nervous and that led to many, many missed free throws and easy shots close to the basket.
My team has trained very hard practising the final situations of the game, so they had control of the situation from this training."