The Spanish women’s basketball team will look for this Wednesday (21.00 hours / Teledeporte) the semifinals of the Eurobasket in Valencia against Serbia, a rival that arrives undefeated, with less physical wear and tear and motivated by the pending accounts that it drags against the team trained by Lucas Mondelo.
After the initial blow against BelarusSpain reacted furiously in the tournament to win three very convincing victories against Sweden, Slovakia and Montenegro that have once again placed them one step away from the fight for the medals, the final goal in their last seven major tournaments.
Mondelo has rebuilt the team around defense and Slovakia has been the only opponent capable of scoring more than 60 points against the host. That is the main strength of a team that has also grown a lot in attack to become the best three-point player (43% correct) and also the one that moves the ball the best (23 assists per game).
The steps forward of players such as Laura Gil, María Conde or Cristina Ouviña have wrapped up to perfection Astou Ndour, which remains a great reference for the team, something that he reaffirmed again in the tie against Montenegro. The Spanish-Senegalese only needs 23 minutes per game to average 16 points and 7 rebounds.
The memory of Belgrade
With these weapons and the increasingly refined equipment, the host will once again collide with an opponent whom she already bitter in the semifinals of the Rio’16 Games (68-54) and, more recently, in the semifinals of the last Eurobasket (71-66), also in Belgrade. Serbia now dreams of returning the play to Spain and showing them the exit door away in front of their fans.
The team coached by Marina Maljkovic, daughter of four-time European champion Bozidar Maljkovic, arrives undefeated after beating in the group stage at Italy, Greece and Montenegro, and more rested after sealing her direct classification to fourths without the ‘toll’ of eighths that Spain had to pay.
Spar Girona forward Sonja Vasic, who will retire after the Tokyo Olympics Despite her youth (32 years), she is the main offensive reference (15.3 points) together with the American point guard Yvonne Anderson (13.7), while Tina Krajisnik appears as the main internal reference and will be in charge of trying to stop Ndour.
Driven by the second best attack of this Eurobasket (86 points per game), the 2015 continental champion is aiming for a much-anticipated rematch and a return to the semifinals. The winning team will fight for the final against Belgium or Russia, which will be measured in Strasbourg starting at 8:45 p.m.
Serbia: Dabovic, Vasic, Crvendakic, Brooks and Krajisnik -possible starting five-; Anderson, Cadjo, Jovanovic, Butulija, Skoric, Jankovic and Dugalic.
Spain: Palau, Ouviña, Quevedo, Gil and Ndour -possible starting five-; Conde, Domínguez, Casas, Rodríguez, Carrera, Cazorla and Ginzo.
Pavilion: La Fonteta.
Hour: 21.00 / Teledeporte.