Sweden Fuelled By More Than Frida Power

21 June 2013

EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013

Sweden celebrate as their win against Russia sees them through to the next round
Their is an "I" in "Frida" but none in "team" or "Sweden" - something Frida Eldebrink will happily confirm

By Paul Nilsen

She may get the bulk of the attention, but the first person to communicate the importance of the Swedish team ethic which has catapulted them to the cusp of the quarter-finals, is star guard Frida Eldebrink.

Averaging 16.5 points-per-game, a very creditable 5.3 rebounds, as well as 2.8 assists - one can easily form a picture of the influence Eldebrink exerts.

Then, when you also throw in a wonderful 52.6% from three-point land, you can truly begin to understand why her teammate Louice Halvarsson describes what she offers as being ‘Frida Power'.

But, don't talk to the 25-year-old about it, because she is too busy telling anybody who wants to listen about her teammates and what they also bring to the table.

That is what is truly the hallmark of a genuine class act.

After Sweden had gained a precious first-up second round victory against Montenegro, the first topic of conversation was the job that her teammate Anna Barthold had done in knocking the ever dangerous Jelena Dubljevic out of her stride.

"That's the beauty of our team," said Eldebrink.

"We need everyone to be doing these important jobs, otherwise we can't expect to win at this higher level.

"Because we are at our first tournament, we lack experience and so we definitely need players to bring different things each night, in order to help get the job done and get some wins.

"We have so many players who can do all different types of jobs and with the win against Montenegro, we proved we can still continue in the competition."

The brutal physical nature of the contest with Montenegro was gripping.

6. Anna DeForge (Montenegro)
Frida (far left) has no doubt following Thursday's victory over Montenegro that this team has the caliber to remain in the competition

Sweden rejoiced in the physicality, blossomed due to their energy, found success in their smart way of playing and benefited from a coach who is carving out a reputation for himself at the elite level.

But, it's been a roller-coaster for sure.

Eldebrink took a deep breath and blew out her cheeks when asked about whether she had enjoyed the ride so far.

"It's been an emotional one," she confessed, also pondering her considerable relief at being able to line-up after a wrist injury last December had thrown her participation into doubt.

"It's mostly been up and down because of the painful loss to Italy on the first day and then going on to beat Russia.

"From my own point of view, I am just so happy to be able to be out there competing, because I was worried for sure when I got the injury."

Whether Sweden make it to Orchies or not, Eldebrink is looking forward with real excitement, having inked a deal with Rivas Ecopolis, confirming her return to EuroLeague Women.

Something which offers her the chance to make up for last season, when she missed out at the Final Eight in Ekaterinburg with Bourges Basket due to her wrist problem.

Her immediate priority however is to try and continue generating that little bit of ‘Frida Power' which her national team colleagues rely on.

Although for this to keep driving Sweden forward, all the other cogs and pistons in the wheel need to continue turning.


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