EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS
|Amaya Valdemoro scored 18 points to help Spain book their ticket EuroBasket 2013. |
Recently installed head coach Lucas Mondelo can breathe a sigh of relief after Spain clinched a 61-55 success against Germany in Nördlingen to become the first team to qualify for EuroBasket Women 2013.
The group favourites headed into the game under the microscope and feeling the heat since they knew defeat could leave their hopes hanging in the balance due to having lost twice in Group D against Sweden.
But, just when it mattered most and only three days after their midweek reversal at home to the Swedes, the contrast in emotion was palpable as a wealth of veteran experience helped to get their team over the finishing line.
Perhaps encapsulating their qualification campaign as a whole, it wasn't all plain sailing with the hosts managing to produce a late scare, making serious inroads into a 17 point deficit by holding the visitors to a meagre seven points during the final quarter.
No doubt fired up after Wednesday's disappointment, Spain was always on the front foot right from the tip-off with a blistering 23-10 first quarter giving them they cushion the subsequently needed.
Crucially, they also dominated on the boards too with Cindy Lima and Laura Nicholls each pulling down 11 rebounds while Amaya Valdemoro top scored for Spain with 18 points.
Germany's slim hopes of achieving successive qualifications for the Final Round of EuroBasket Women are now over.