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Zabala throws down gaunlet to Serbia
ISTANBUL (FIBA World Championship for Women) - Cuba on Tuesday made quick work of Korea's perimeter shooting in a 73-57 win and reach the Qualification to the Quarter-Finals phase of the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.
Coach Alberto Zabala was prompt in raising the bar for his team.
In fact the 54-year-old sent a message of challenge to Serbia, his team's opponents on Wednesday.
"I have a message for Serbia. You have to bring your best game to the court, Serbia," said the coach of the 2013 FIBA Americas champions.
We are stepping on to the court to win the game. - Zabala
"We were brilliant in our defense. I am very proud of my team.
"This (Korea) is a not a style we are used to. We did very well to cut off their perimeter shooting. It shows my team can raise their level when it's needed. We have shown we are here to not just to make up the numbers."
Center Marlen Cepeda had her best game of the tournament with 16 points and a personal career-high 17 rebounds.
"It was time to play at a level higher than we are used to. This is the biggest game for us (at the World Championship) so far," said the 28-year-old.
"We are happy we are able to give our best every time we step on the court."
The 32-year-old was the live wire of Cuba 's defense especially in cutting off Korea's ambitions, and attempts, from beyond the arc.
"They had only three three-pointers. But more importantly, they had only 14 attempts. For a team like Korea that is really low," Zabala pointed out.
"I'm confident we'll come out all guns blazing tomorrow as well. Serbia better watch out."