Dominguez: 'We have no pressure in the Final'
RIO DE JANEIRO (Rio 2016 Olympic Games) - Silvia Dominguez might not be Spain's star player, but the back-up point guard has become special in Rio.
After setting the tone in the Quarter-Final win against Turkey, the 29-year-old came up big on Thursday, fueling Spain's offense to a 68-54 win over Serbia to reach the Gold Medal Game for the first time ever.
Spain knocks off Serbia to play for gold, guarantee first-ever medal in women's basketball: https://t.co/1hfC4e8sRJ pic.twitter.com/bmWgTJYukj— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) August 18, 2016
Dominguez contributed 10 points and 2 assists off the bench and is now living what she describes as a special moment in her national team career.
"Few people expected us to make it to the Semi-Finals, but right now we are just so happy to cherish this moment." - Dominguez
Talking to FIBA.com after their Semi-Final success, the 1.67m guard explained the significance of the win.
"We are very happy for the win," she said.
If the USA can beat France in the second Semi-Final, Dominguez says Spain won't back down against the Americans, a team that they lost to in the Final of the 2014 FIBA Women's World Championship.
“We have no pressure," she said. "It would be a game that we have to enjoy and maybe good things can happen.
"I like that [nobody gives Spain a chance against the USA]. They are the dream team, the best team in the world. We have a chance and we are going to try to beat the USA."
Spain reached the Semi-Finals with a 6-1 record and have long been tipped as potential medal contenders.
Now that they have a medal guaranteed regardless of the outcome in Saturday's game, Dominguez insists they deserve to be in the position they find themselves.
"We like to prove to ourselves that we are a team. It was hard for us when we lost Sancho Lyttle through an injury," she recalled. "We came here thinking that our team comes first. Few people expected us to make it to the Semi-Finals, but right now we are just so happy to cherish this moment."
With Spain collecting Olympic medals in other sports in Rio, local media is awaiting for one more from Lucas Mondelo's team.
¡DÉCIMA MEDALLA PARA ESPAÑA! Fabulosa victoria de la #SelFem de #baloncesto ante Serbia por 68-54 y ¡A LA FINAL! pic.twitter.com/c8GysLdjvD— InfoOlímpica (@JJOO_Rio_2016) August 18, 2016
Asked to explain how they beat Serbia for the second time in the competition, Dominguez praised the European champions.
"Even though we beat them in the Group Phase we knew they would come up strong, but we did a great job and they didn't play comfortably," she said.
"It's funny because before that [Serbia's game against Australia] I had a feeling they would win. You can never underestimate them, especially when something big is at stake. I wasn't surprised at all because they are a very good team."