Zimerle Aiming To Build On Success

17 November 2005

By Cindy Garcia-Bennett, PA Sport

Coconuda Maddaloni star Anna Zimerle insists her team's qualification to the last 16 in the Women's EuroCup is not simply down to beginner's luck.

The Italian international contributed 17 points to her team's 69-67 triumph over Spanish outfit Halcon Avenida on Wednesday.

The win, their fifth in a row, has guaranteed the Italians a place in the next round and it will no doubt give Massimo Riga's side plenty of confidence in the team's first adventure in the EuroCup.

"I think the key to our success so far in Europe has been our humbleness," Zimerle told PA Sport.

It's great to play in this competition and to test your quality against great players
Anna Zimerle
"We started well because we prepared well in the summer for the competition. We have taken one game at a time and never looked down at our rivals."

Zimerle, who joined Maddaloni after playing for Spanish side Ros Casares last season, is delighted to return to play in Europe.

"It's great to play in this competition and to test your quality against great players," she said.

"The EuroCup allows us to experience what type of basketball is played away from Italy.

"For the time being it has gone well for us and we hope that we can continue to play like this."

Maddaloni are in second position in Group L behind Halcon Avenida, having won three and lost two in the group stages.

Zimerle believes her side have all the right ingredients to make it all the way to the quarter finals, adding: "I believe we have the potential to advance to the next round."

The 1.74m tall guard, who spent seven years with Famila Schio before moving to Spain, was one of Maddaloni's top signings in the summer and is keen to prove she still has plenty to offer.

"I'm very happy to have returned to Italy after a positive experience with Casares," said Zimerle.

"Maddaloni has given me a lot of trust and I see the team growing game by game.

"Perhaps what this team lacks in order to compete against the great teams in Europe is a big centre that can fight for rebounds underneath the basket."

I think Lambruschi is working very hard in order to return the national team to its former glory
Anna Zimerle
Zimerle will be hoping to maintain her top form throughout the campaign as she is determined to be selected by Italy coach Gianni Lambruschi for the 2007 EuroBasket, which is to be held in Italy.

Having played in the European qualifiers in the past eight years for Italy, she cannot wait to play in her first EuroBasket final round.

"I think Lambruschi is working very hard in order to return the national team to its former glory," said Zimerle.

"Hopefully we will be able to hand a good performance in this tournament and in front of our home fans, which will no doubt give us a great morale boost.

"I would be delighted if Lambruschi chose me but if that is not the case, I will no doubt be watching."

The last time Italy played in the European Championship final round was back in 1999.


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