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Spain's Torrens anticipates every game will be like a final in Rio
MADRID (Rio 2016 Olympic Games) - Following Spain's success at the 2016 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT), Alba Torrens is urging teammates to get ready for the Rio Olympics battle where every game will be "like a Final".
Torrens, who is set to become a two-time Olympian, was crucial in Spain's WOQT campaign earlier this month in Nantes, France, where she averaged 15.3 points.
Now the 1.91m forward - who starred for her country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics - insists Spain will have to live up to their No.3 seed in the FIBA World Ranking Women when they take to the court in Rio.
Our initial goal was to be in Rio, but this goal has now changed. We’ll have some rest, and get ready to compete against very good teams in Rio. Each game in the Olympics is like a final. - Torrens
Spain have been drawn in Group B alongside the World and Olympic champions USA, AfroBasket Women 2015 winners Senegal, European champions Serbia, 2015 Americas champions Canada and WOQT contender China.
"Our initial goal was to be in Rio, but this goal has now changed. We'll have some rest and get ready to compete against very good teams in Rio. Each game in the Olympics is like a final," she told FIBA.com. "The Olympics is all about the 12 best national teams."
Although Spain gave the impression of cruising past their WOQT opponents - Venezuela, China, and Korea - in Nantes, Torrens insists they have been challenged.
"It's been a tough competition and Korea was a good example of the competitiveness [of the WOQT]," she pointed out. "They played really hard and we needed to show and play our best game onnoffense and defensively. In the end, we got the victory, and we are very, very happy to move on to Rio.
"It's a great feeling having the opportunity of playing in the Olympics again."
The Spanish press made sure to remind where Torrens will be in a month's time.
In Rio, Spain will open their campaign against European champions Serbia, a team they beat three times in their three meetings. On Day 2, they will go up against the US.
But what exactly is Spain's target in Rio?
"We aim at making it to the Quarter-Finals. It will be tough, but we are going to work to make it happen," Torrens said.
Spain have gone from being an average European team to becoming a world powerhouse trying to challenge the USA's dominance and Torrens, rated as one of the best European players, has witnessed the progress they've made.
"Our success is down to the hard work implemented over the past few years," she explained.