|26 June 2008|
The Italy squad that is preparing to host the U20 European Championship for Women was pushed hard by a surprising Romania in the Coconuda Cup in Naples but prevailed in an overtime thriller in the final.
Now Nino Molino's team will be taking part in the Zamora International Tournament in Spain from July 3-7.
Molino has announced a 16-strong group for that event with the star of the win over Romania, point guard Chiara Rossi, again included.
"There are just few weeks left for the European Championship and we have decided to focus on a specific group," said Molino.
Italy under-20 women squad for Zamora International Tournament: Valeria Battisodo, Serena Bona, Emilia Bove, Sabrina Cinili, Clelia Corsi, Martina Crippa, Chiara Consolini, Patrizia De Gianni, Sophie Fall, Giulia Gatti, Viviana Giordano, Enrica Pavia, Chiara Rossi, Martina Sandri, Elisa Templari, Arianna Zampieri.
As for the 68-65 overtime win over Romania, Rossi had 22 points.
The Italians might not have expected to be pushed as hard as they were by the Romanians, who will play in Division B of the U20 European Championship this summer in Poland.
Romania went into the game on the back of a 49-47 defeat to Israel at the event and trailed the Italians 50-40 heading into the final quarter.
But tied the contest at 58-58 to force the extra period before falling.
"We didn't play a great game," said Molino.
"But the good thing is that I see a group that has a lot of willingness to win.
"We have been focusing on the physical aspect but we are still behind in the tactical game."
That is why, Molino explained, his players had struggled against the zone Romania threw at them.
"Romania have made life difficult for us with a 3-2 zone, and we have not trained our offense so far to deal with that defense," he said.
"We cannot be brilliant just yet, we knew it but we have to take with us the good things done so far and focus on working on the things we need to improve on."
Italy are in a `Group of Death' with Serbia, France and Germany at the U20 European Championship that will be staged in Pescara, Chieti and Sulmona from July 11-20.
The Romanians will take on Slovakia, Great Britain, Ireland and Hungary in this year's Division B campaign.