Hungary 59 Spain 71

21.09.2003

If the voting for most valuable player honours of the European Championships took place now,

Spa-Hun03.jpg
Amaya Valdemoro
Spain's Amaya Valdemoro would stand a very good chance of winning. The sensational forward provided the spark in her country's victories over Belgium and Slovakia, but against Hungary on Sunday night it was more like an explosion as she scored 29 points - 17 in the first half - and hauled down nine rebounds as Spain prevailed 71-59.

She poured in the buckets early. When Hungary's defence was choking off the passing lanes and limiting Spain's opportunities, she penetrated into the lane and made short jump shots.

Valdemoro had a decisive hand in the key 13-3 run at the start of the fourth quarter which allowed her side to pulled away.

Hungary have endured an almighty struggle shooting the ball in this tournament and that didn't change against Spain. They were 21 of 57 from the field, including three off 19 from three-point range.

However, resilience and determined defence are hallmarks of Laszlo Ratgeber's group and that helped them keep this game close.

Begoña García's two three-pointers gave the Spanish a 43-38 lead at the end  of the third quarter, however Hungary pulled level at 43-43.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Valdemoro continued to fire and Spain went on their decisive run in the first four minutes to lead 56-46. There was no way back for the Hungarians.

Réka Cserny had a team-high 10 points for Hungary, who have lost two straight since winning their first game against the Ukraine with a three-pointer in the waning moments by Seres.


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