Busy Summer For Latvia's Sabine Niedola

03.07.2009

Having experienced the highs and lows of last month's EuroBasket Women which her country hosted, Latvia's rising star Sabine Niedola is looking to go for glory in Södertälje.

The 18-year-old shed some tears after she and the senior national team finished seventh in Riga.
The Liepaja power forward has bounced back from that disappointment and is proudly representing her homeland at the U18 European Championship for Women in Sweden.

She spoke to FIBA Europe shortly after firing her team to a 64-61 triumph over Belgium on Friday with a game-high 17 points and 10 rebounds.

FIBA Europe: Congratulations Sabine, two wins in as many days. Your team could not have asked for a better start.

Niedola: We are very happy. Our opening win against Turkey (88-50) gave us a boost in confidence and against Belgium, we held our nerve to take an important win. We are on the right path but we have to continue to work hard if we want to go far in this tournament. We have to take it one game at a time.

FIBA Europe: It has been a busy summer for you so far. Only a few weeks ago you were playing for the senior team in Riga and now you are leading this side in scoring at this event. How does it feel?

Niedola: It's a strange feeling. To be playing with and against famous players, who play in top clubs in Europe at such a prestigous event as the EuroBasket Women was great. I learned a lot from that experience. Now I have joined the youth team so it does feel strange. But I have more playing minutes in this team and I get to play basketball and represent my country again.

FIBA Europe: You had a chance to play with your idol, Anete Jekbasone-Zogota at the EuroBasket Women. What was that experience like?

Niedola: It was great. I admire her so much because she always wants to win, she always gives everything she has on the court and she helps her teammates.

FIBA Europe: It cannot be easy to join a new team shortly before a tournament. However, you seem to have adapted well. What is the secret?

Niedola: There's just a great chemistry within the team. I have great teammates and the fact that they also play for Latvian clubs does help. Every game I play is an opportunity to get to know them better.

FIBA Europe: How far can Latvia go in this tournament?

Niedola: All the way! I hope so. But it's difficult to know how strong we are right now, we will see as the tournament goes on.
I think if we continue to play as we are doing we can go all the way, why not?


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