Spain Into Final

29.07.2006

Spain ended Cinderella team Sweden's hopes of a gold medal at the Umcor European Championship on Saturday.

The two sides met in preliminary round play when Sweden pulled off a huge upset to beat the Spanish 49-48.

Alba Torrens (Spain)
Alba Torrens had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Spain
There was, however, to be no repeat performance in the semi-finals as Spain found something like their best form to comfortably come out on top, 64-45.

Anna Carbo and Alba Torrens combined for 18 of their team's 21 first quarter points and Spain led 21-14 after 10 minutes.

The second quarter proved even tougher for Sweden and they could only muster 4 points to trail 34-18 at halftime.

"We didn't get any movement in the beginning, so we were a little bit static. When we don't move, we had to take low percentage shots and not the same that we had all the tournament before when we had good movement and more open shots and drives," said Sweden coach Mickael Johansson. 

14 of Sweden's 31 first half shots came from behind the three-point line and they connected on just two attempts.

"Spain had good positions for the rebound and they could run. We wanted to stop the running game but we had no positions to go for offensive rebounds and they got a lot of easy points at the start." said Johansson.

Sweden continued to rely on long range efforts in the second half as Spain maintained their defensive intensity.

"We did a great job in defense and this is the most important for us as our defense is the way to win," said Spain forward Tamara Abalde.

Sweden were held to just 26% shooting from the field and 16% from three-point range.

With Sweden struggling at the offensive end, coming back from a large deficit was always going to be a tough ask.

It ultimately proved to be too tough as Spain increased the lead into the fourth quarter and cruised home to victory.

Alba Torrens produced her best game of the tournament with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Ann Carbo shot 4/5 from the three-point line for 15 points and Jael Freixanet top scored with 16 points off the bench.


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