Spain, France Renew Rivalry

30.09.2007

By Cindy Garcia-Bennett

European heavyweights Spain and France meet in a Group F showdown on Monday.

France boasts one of the top defensive sides in the EuroBasket while Spain, the last undefeated team in the tournament, displayed in their win over Italy they are among the most explosive.

"We will need to be creative on our offense and try to provoke chaos in France' defense, in

Lucila Pascua (Spain)
Lucila Pascua will need to hold her own inside for Spain.
order to make them improvise," said Spain coach Evaristo Perez.

Last time out: Spain defeated Italy 79-64 while France beat Belarus 72-60.

Key Match-up: Anna Montanana v Sandrine Gruda-No player has been better at getting out on a fast break than Spain's Montanana. Gruda is a terrific athlete and will do her best to contain one of Perez's main weapons.

Key Stat: France forced 19 turnovers against Belarus. France only took six three pointers and will be more than happy for Spain's defense to pressure the ball and open the passing lanes when Les Bleues have the ball in the half-court offense.

X-Factor: Against an imposing front line of France, Spain's Lucila Pascua must stand tall and be as aggressive as she was against Italy when she finished with nine points, nine rebounds and two steals.

Speaking out: "We need to be strong on defense, box them out on the boards and hit them with fast counter-attacks, even if by doing so we will have to pay a price on turnovers," said Perez.


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