Colinas: Becoming Complacent Can Cost Spain

09 July 2009
Spain have cruised into the Quarter-Final Round of the U18 European Championship Women with six victories in as many games.

But Spain coach Carlos Colinas is not getting carried away by his team's performance in Södertälje just yet.

"There's always a certain fear when you reach the Quarter-Final Round without a loss," said Colinas to FIBA Europe.

"But the character and spirit of this team and of all the Spanish national teams is to win all you can win and more.

"The team is improving game by game.

"However, you still have the feeling that one day your team will have an off day.

"Last year, we lost in the Quarter-Final Round and that left us out of medals contention.

"Now the complicated games and the good teams await us and there is a lot of balance and any team can beat you."

Colinas guided Spain to silver in 2007 in Serbia in what was his first year in charge of the U18 squad.

The following year, the Spaniards suffered disappointment as they failed to progress to the medal round and finished fifth in Slovakia.

Spain, who have just three players from last year's side in Leonor Rodriguez, Marta Arbizu and Vega Gimeno, have looked impressive, winning their games by an average of 84.7 points per game.

"We are doing certain things right," said Colinas. "We have played great third quarters, we are scoring a lot.

"It's not usual that a national team in a European Championship surpasses the 80-point mark in almost every game but we have done that.

"Another positive is that there are players that are beginning to feel important in the team and that is a good sign."

However, there is still room for improvement, according to Colinas.

"We need to have more consistency and not be so irregular," he said. "We are winning games in the third quarters and we have to improve our defense.

"We need to be able to defend in all of the offense situations that our rivals throw at us.

"I think in the zone we do have physical strength but perhaps outside, we are rather fearful and allow our opponents to take many threes. "We need to select better our defensive options."

Colinas, whose side are alongside France the only team unbeaten in the tournament, believes his side must brace themselves for a challenging end to the tournament.

"France is a great team," Colinas said. "There's no doubt about that. Serbia is another strong rival, as they have good interior players and an experienced coach.

"There are other teams that may give you the feeling of being vulnerable, such as (defending champions) Lithuania, because of their style of play, but they play without pressure, and are very respectable teams."

Spain take on Ukraine in Friday's Quarter-Final.

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