Joyous Sweden End 25 Years Of Hurt



14. Louice Halvarsson (Sweden)
Louice Halvarsson led the way for Sweden with 21 points and nine rebounds.

A quarter of a century after their last EuroBasket Women Final Round appearance, Sweden is back at the top table once again having been crowned Group D winners after an impressive 71-54 rout of Bulgaria.

Wrapping up their place in France next summer with real style, the result never looked in doubt and consequently Swedish fans were able to start the party early once their team had opened up a healthy looking double-digit lead.

With Bulgaria lacking any real depth or offensive talent, once the hosts got their noses in front they simply controlled the game and kept their opponents at arm's length.

Unsurprisingly, the success sparked scenes of unbridled joy at the final buzzer and especially for a generation which had previously promised so much and yet had been part of Sweden almost incomprehensibly being relegated to the now defunct Division B only a few short years ago.

That serious low point for women's basketball in Sweden could barely have seemed further away in Södertälje as fittingly, the 1988-89 generation took the initiative and fired their team to an entirely new and exciting chapter.

Louice Halvarsson was a menace under the basket once more with a near double-double of 21 points and nine rebounds while both Eldebrink twins made telling contributions - Elin dishing up seven assists and Frida finishing with 15 points and five assists.

But, Sweden has shown it isn't just about this headline trio of names but is a true team and possibly the real deal.

Time will tell whether that's the case but for now, it's all about celebrating a very much coveted spot at EuroBasket Women next year.


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