Medal Favourites Go Toe To Toe

23 June 2013
14. Sancho Lyttle (Spain)
Sancho Lyttle has been - and is set to remain - the central figure in Spanish successes

By Paul Nilsen

With a combined 10-0 record in France, Turkey and Spain look destined for the podium - although something will have to give when they determine the winner of Group E.

Last Time Out: Both sides picked up significant wins to make it five-from-five. Turkey finally managed to silence pesky Sweden to prevail 72-51. Spain were on top from start to finish against Montenegro, as they shut down their opponents' offence to win 66-50.

Key Match Up: It is becoming a recurring theme, but Sancho Lyttle is the reference player for Spain, with opponents unable to guard her. Presumably a combination of Bahar Caglar and Nevriye Yilmaz will be tasked with this defensive assignment, which will be just one of many appetising match-ups.

Key Stat: Closely matched in almost every statistical category reflects how well these powerhouse teams are matched on paper. It is interesting that Turkey don't have a single player averaging double-digits. That shows their incredibly versatile and wide-ranging offensive options, whilst Spain has Lyttle as one of the tournaments' leading scorers.

X-Factor: Taking into account the above, it's interesting to ponder whether Spain could inadvertently be over-relying on Lyttle. The assumption of course is that other Spanish players could step up if Lyttle is locked down or gets into serious foul trouble early. Hopefully injury wouldn't be a factor, but the one issue which could separate these teams as the tournament enters the next stage, is whether Spain have a plan to cope without Lyttle if needed. Given Turkey's versatility, an injury would not pose the same adverse affects.

From The Camps:
"They key to this EuroBasket Women championship will be defence. We won [against Montenegro] even though we didn't play well, which for us is a good thing" - Spanish coach Lucas Mondelo.

"We did a great job [against Sweden]. I was so excited winning this game. Now we want to beat Spain and advance to the next round as winners of our group" - Turkish guard Aysegül Günay.


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