Spain Uncertain About Wauters' Impact

19 September 2003

Spain coach Vicente Rodriguez hopes a tired Ann Wauters shows up for their European Championships opener on Friday.

Wauters has twice been voted as Europe’s best player and must be on her best if Belgium are going to survive Group B, but she has not taken a breather since the end of club side Valenciennes’ campaign, instead opting to play this summer in South Korea.

"The fact that she has not stopped can go in our favour as after the winter season, she played iin the summer league in Korea and she must be tired," Rodriguez said.

If Wauters is fresh, it could mean problems for the Spaniards.

Rodriguez thinks so highly of her, in fact, that he has compared her to Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, who makes an otherwise average German side formidable because of his superlative skills.

Rodriguez said: "The Belgian (Dirk) "Nowitzki" is Ann Wauters and she is a talented centre of 1.94m who can really damage us both in, and out of the zone.

"We will have to be careful to try and cancel her influence in the match. She is one of the best players in the world and she is unstoppable.”

Most experts expect Russia, who are in Spain’s group, to prevail in Greece.

Russia were beaten in the final two years ago by France and then made it all the way to the title game last year at the women’s World Championships.

"The bad news is to see the physical level of the Russian players,” Rodriguez said on, the website for his country’s basketball federation.

“Their development has been simply spectacular and if they were previously superior  from the rest, now the difference is even greater.

"We will worry about adding points game by game."


28.09.2003 - From Jeff Taylor, PA International, Patras
27.09.2003 - From Jeff Taylor, PA International, Patras
27.09.2003 - PA International
26.09.2003 - From Jeff Taylor, PA International, Patras
26.09.2003 - PA International, Patras

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