|07 July 2009|
If Spain weren't the favorites for gold at the U20 European Championship for Women a week ago, they may be now following the late additions of Laura Nicholls, Tamara Abalde and Alba Torrens - three players who competed at last year's Olympics and just over two weeks ago captured a bronze medal at the EuroBasket Women in Latvia.
Torrens, one of the standout performers in Riga with her end-to-end style, said she is excited to have a chance to play in another tournament for her country this summer.
"For me it's special, this tournament, because it's going to be the last year in which this generation will be together," Torrens said.
"This group has done well in the past and we want to finish on a high although we know we must go step by step."
|Laura Nicholls will strenghten Spain's frontline in Gdynia|
Abalde expressed her joy at being invited to play in her age group again.
"It's going to be special because we are going to join a group that we consider friends as we have been together for many years," Abalde said.
"It's like finishing a cycle of European tournaments that has been marked by success."
Nicholls, who developed into a serious low-post threat on both ends of the floor in Latvia, also spoke of her happiness to be involved.
"We want to do well, even though we are joining late," she said.
"We want to adapt as fast as possible in the team and earn a spot as we did with the senior team. We are going to the tournament with our aim set on gold but we must do that with respect for our opponents and with humility."
No one is happier than Spain U20 coach Jordi Fernandez, who knows he now has a lot more firepower.
"They are three players from the senior team and two of them with starring roles, therefore, they can help us a lot and will give a leap of quality to the team," he said.
"They have the right attitude and are aware that they want to finish this developmental cycle with a medal at the U20 championship."
Spain will compete in Group A with Turkey, Ukraine and Germany.
"We are really enthusiastic," Torrens said.
"We already achieved an aim in Latvia and now we hope to go as far as possible in this tournament."