|18 May 2012|
EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS
|Unfinished business - Veteran Amaya Valdemoro has had an eventful season, but has recovered from injuries in time to help Spain this summer |
Spain came up short of the Quarter-Finals at last year's EuroBasket Women but have so far kept faith with the veteran players as they look ahead to qualifying for next year's Final Round in France.
New coach Lucas Mondelo has Laia Palau and Sancho Lyttle of EuroLeague Women and Spanish Liga Femenina champions Ros Casares in the 17-strong squad but their teammate, point guard Silvia Dominguez, is not on the list as at the time of the decision it still looked like she would play in the WNBA this summer.
2011 FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year Alba Torrens is also not included, as she is still recovering from the serious injury she sustained in the winter.
The veteran playmaker Elisa Aguilar, who had a terrific EuroLeague Women Final Eight with Rivas Ecopolis before agreeing to a move to Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje for next season, is included, as is former Rivas forward Amaya Valdemoro.
Both 35-year-olds have been stalwarts in the national team.
Valdemoro travelled to the EuroBasket Women in Poland last year but injuries kept her off the court for all but one game.
She fractured both wrists while playing for Rivas in their first EuroLeague Women game this season but recovered in time to feature for Rivas at the Final Eight.
Laura Nicholls and Anna Cruz, vital contributors in the Rivas team, are in the preliminary squad and looking to play for the senior side for a fourth straight summer.
Marta Fernandez didn't make the cut last season but after helping Mondelo's Perfumerias Avenida capture the Copa de la Reina (Spanish cup) title, she has been named in the squad.
Gran Canaria 2014's 1.90m power forward/center, Vanessa Ble, also has a shot of making the team.
The 20-year-old averaged 9.3 points and 8.7 rebounds in the EuroCup Women this season.
Mann Filter Zaragoza's Cristina Ouvina, who has agreed to a move to Wisla Can-Pack Krakow to play for former Spain coach Jose Ignacio Hernandez, and Maria Pina are among the others to have a chance at cracking the senior squad as well.
Spain are in Qualifying Round Group D with Germany, Sweden, Romania and Bulgaria.
The first two teams in each of the five groups will qualify for the EuroBasket Women in France.
Spain's first game is against Bulgaria in Murcia on 13 June.
Preliminary squad: Elisa Aguilar, Laia Palau, Cristina Ouvina, Leonor Rodriguez, Amaya Valdemoro, Marta Fernández, Anna Cruz, Marta Xargay, Maria Pina, Anna Montanana, Sancho Lyttle, Tamara Abalde, Amaia Gastaminza, Lucila Pascua, Cindy Lima, Laura Nichols and Vanesa Ble.