Spain Flying High After Win Over Czechs

05 July 2005

Spanish coach Jordi Fernandez was all smiles after watching his team defeat the Czech Republic to earn a place in the quarter-final of FIBA's U20 European Championships.

Spain produced a late fightback to defeat the tournament hosts 73-71.

"It was a real joy and even more so because it was against the hosts, although the fans behaved perfectly," he said.

"We pressured hard in the last minutes and I am doubly happy for the way we won."

The victory puts Spain into Group F alongside France, Ukraine and Poland.

"This generation hasn't won anything up to now and the fact we are among the top eight is a really big prize for the girls," Fernandez said.

"That is why we were so happy at the end of the game."

Guard Gema Garcia was the star of the show for Spain with 24 points on eight of 17 shooting, including two of six from the arc.

"We know that we have important weaknesses in the side, especially in our interior play, but we are a smart team and have found a fast and exciting way of playing in our three games so far.

"Our lack of height means we have a defence that presses hard and play a 1-3-1 zone that is all our own.

"Also, they are an easy team to motivate because they all want to do something important."

Spain face France on Tuesday night in their first Group F game.


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