Belgium 62 Spain 77

19.09.2003

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Betty Cebrian had 12 points and 12 rebounds
Ann Wauters gave Belgium a lift by finally playing for the national team this summer but she wasn't enough to propel the low countries outfit to an upset of Spain in this Group B encounter.

The Spaniards, harbouring serious title ambitions and at bare minimum a medal which would catapult them into next summer's Olympics, extended a 15-11 first-quarter lead to 18 points (40-22) by half-time and kept the pressure on to secure their first win.

Wauters, twice voted Europe's best player, missed Belgium's preparations this summer because of her commitments in South Korea where she played professionally for Samsung.

Described as unstoppable by the Spanish coach Vicente Rodriguez before this game, she nearly proved as much by scoring 14 points and hauling down 13 rebounds.

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Kathy Wambe (Belgium)
The significant news for Spain, though, is that they were driven forward by Amaya Valdemoro's 18 points and 11 boards.

The 27-year-old who has scaled the heights with the WNBA's Houston Comets, capturing titles in 1998, '99 and 2000, has had a quiet summer in the build-up to this event. She averaged 13 points a game last summer as Spain took fifth place at the World Championships in China and it is vital she have major contributions in their hunt for a medal.

Betty Cebrian made Wauters work hard on defence, however. She also had a fine opening day, scoring 12 points and pulling down a team-high 12 rebounds.


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