Russia 61 Spain 64


The Spanish team finished the Preliminary Round unbeaten
Spain capped off their Group B campaign in the European Championships with a 64-61 victory over Russia.

Rosi Sanchez buried a three-pointer at the end of the third quarter as the Spaniards broke a 50-50 tie and then at the start of the fourth quarter sank another from behind the arc for a 56-50 advantage.

Russia, who had led in this contest after half-time, never led again. Spain remained unbeaten in this tournament but, and for good reason, chose not to celebrate the triumph over a Russian side that many expect to lift the title.

"It is clear for me that the five wins are worthless if we lose the next match," said Sanchez.

"The crucial thing is to win the next game in the quarter-finals and then we will see."

If there is a team to celebrate at these championships for the fans, though, it is unquestionably Spain.

Not only do they push the ball up the court at every opportunity for a great spectacle, but their star has so far proved to be the most exciting player in Greece.

Ilona Korstine had 17 points for Russia
Amaya Valdemoro has torn apart every single side she has taken on, and that includes Russia against whom she scored 20 points.

The 1.82metre forward was either making shots on dazzling, penetrating moves into the lane or with an array of jumpshots from either close in or behind the three-point line.

She has averaged almost 21 points a game in the tournament.

Valdemore didn't hide her joy at beating the Russians.

"I am extremely happy because we have played a phenomenal game, and because we have won in my 100th game for the national team," Valdemoro said.

She is realistic, too, like Sanchez. "The good thing about this team is that we play game by game," she said. "We suffer against every team and we have to be very focused in order to stay alive in the competition. We can beat anyone, but we can also struggle against any opponent."

"We shouldn't be euphoric, but focus on the game of the quarter-finals. We have to take it one step at a time and not think of the medals because we could crash out."


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