Valdemoro: 'We Need To Keep Our Feet On The Ground'

22.09.2003

By PA International

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Amaya Valdemoro
Amaya Valdemoro and Spain are not getting carried away with their unbeaten start to the European Championships.

The Spaniards, thanks to another superlative display by the forward, prevailed in a tight encounter against Hungary on Sunday to cement their status as one of the title contenders - not that Spain are overly concerns about opinions right now.

"We have won all the matches played so far and already some people place us as favourites," Valdemoro said in her column on Monday in the Spanish sports daily Marca.

"We are very confident, but we need to keep our feet firmly on the ground."

Spain were expected to win all three games, but each contest offered a different challenge.

Against the Belgians, it came in the form of 6ft 4in Ann Wauters, the centre who is arguably the finest low post player in these championships.

Wauters kept her side in the game, but Valdemoro's contributions - 18 points, 11 rebounds and a couple of steals propelled her team to victory.

Then came a game a game against Slovakia, whose confidence was soaring after upsetting Russia.

Again, Valdemoro rose to the occasion with 15 points, eight rebounds and three steals.

Most recently against the Hungarians, who pride themselves on keeping opponents' scoring extremely low, it was Valdemoro who unlocked the defence with determined, cutting moves into the lane where she was able to drive all the way to the basket, pull up for short jump shots or pass to a team-mate if double-teamed.

All she did was score 29 points - including three of seven from three-point range - convert 10 of 12 free throws and grab nine rebounds.

"Amaya was outstanding," said Spanish centre Betty Cebrian, who has been bothered by a back problem, after the Hungary game.

"She not only scored the points but also helped us with the rebounds and to earn fouls. She has done everything, and was everywhere. She has taken control in the crucial moments and she was the one who found the way (to victory).

Looking back on the tournament, Valdemoro takes joy from the wins but says they have been extremely difficult to attain.

"We suffered in order to beat Belgium," she said. "We are going step by step, trying to improve game by game.

"We managed to stop Wauters and it was important to win by 15 points. But the best game we have played was against Slovakia, with a team play that placed us 20 points ahead at the end of the game.

"Personally, things went well for me but I hope the team recovers in order to fight with all our weapons. Against Hungary, several of our players picked up injuries."

"The day off will allow us to rest and be fresh for our next game."


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