Spain: Diaz - We Deserved Bronze Medal

12.09.2005

Spain coach Domingo Diaz believes justice has been done after his side claimed a bronze medal in the EuroBasket Women with an 83-65 win over Lithuania in the third-place play-off.

It was third time lucky for Diaz's side, who had lost a preparation game to Lithuania last month and who were also beaten by them in the group stage.

Those defeats clearly inspired the Spanish, who raced into a 19-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, held their ground in the second and killed the game off in the third, when they established an 18-point advantage.

Amaya Valdemoro (Spain)
Amaya Valdemoro picked up her second EuroBasket bronze medal in Turkey
"It would have been a huge injustice if we had left here without a medal around our necks," Diaz said.

"We played really hard in defence and that was the key to our win.

"We deserve it because of our courage, hard work and will to win."

The win means a third consecutive bronze medal for Spain captain Amaya Valdemoro, who scored 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds despite playing with a twisted ankle and her feet covered in blisters as a consequence of the hectic schedule.

"We gave everything that we have inside us," she said.

Valdemoro just missed out on being named the MVP for the tournament, but did earn a place among the best five players in the competition.

"We don't have such physically powerful players in Spain as other countries do, that is why we have to give everything in defence and never give a game up as lost," Valdemoro added, highlighting her team's strengths.

"It is very important that we have won three consecutive bronze medals, very few countries can say they have done that."

Shooting guard Martha Fernandez, who came off the bench to score a decisive 19-points, was also delighted.

"I'm really pleased because it was such an important game, I had the chance to get on court and everything worked out well."

Spain had already qualified for the FIBA World Championships in Brazil next year after defeating Latvia in the quarter-finals. However, Fernandez admits that she would have been disappointed not to take home the bronze medal.

"It would have been horrible if we had come away from here without a medal because we deserve this bronze," she added.


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