08 - 11
February 2024
7 Alba Torrens (ESP)
Game Report
to read

Spain bounce back to clip the wings of Canada and claim first win

SOPRON (Hungary) - Spain found the composure needed to get it done down the stretch as they got it edged past Canada 60-55 to get off the mark at the FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Sopron.



Bouncing back from their opening day defeat to Japan, the Spanish side blew a 13-point lead, but showed the resilience required to handle the pressure in crunch time and dig out a previous victory.

Turning Point:
 The game was in the balance with a couple of minutes to play as Spain trailed by two points, but a huge triple from Maite Cazorla and a classy reverse layup by Cristina Ouvina fired them up in terms of momentum heading down the stretch. 

TCL Player of the Game:
 Queralt Casas took TCL Player of the Game honors after she came up with a sizzling six steals and it was a major part of Spain's defensive presence that shut down their opponents. She also added 13 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists for good measure. 

Stats Don't Lie: Canada were locked down and you are not going to win many games if you finish with only 55 points. Part of that was due to star guard Bridget Carleton having an off-night and going 1 of 13 from the field. Meanwhile 15 steals for Spain was also an eye-catching number - as well as 24 bench points compared to Canada's 10.

Bottom Line:
 This was always going to be a defensively dominated duel between these two teams and so it proved. There was so much contested at both ends of the floor and nothing came easy for Spain or Canada. Credit is due to the experience of Spain, with Casas and Ouvina getting to the rim and that was a difference-maker since they had been settling for too much mid-range.

Canada did the hard work by getting back into the contest and taking the lead having been 11 down at half-time, so this will feel like an opportunity lost. They were dominant in the paint and the loss was tough on Kayla Alexander who was immense again with 17 points and 14 boards.

They Said: We

"We knew it would be a tough game and we know the importance of this tournament. Every game is a war. Even if we still have Sunday to decide if we go to the Olympics or not, this is a good victory." Spain's TCL Player of the Game, Queralt Casas

"Congratulations to my team and the players because it was not an easy game tonight. We are very happy with the win but now have to be ready to play the last game for the Qualification." Spain head coach, Miguel Mendez.

"I am really proud of my teammates and how we continued to play all the way until the end of the game. After half-time the Coach challenged us to come out with more energy and I was happy with how we responded. But you have to play a full 40 minutes to get a win. We will keep our heads high because the tournament is not over." Canada center, Natalie Achonwa

"I am very proud of my players. To play against Spain in this kind of situation after their defeat against Japan is very difficult. They did a great job and they pushed us out of our style of play. I was very happy with how the team came back into the game. We will have a good rest and focus on the next game against Japan. We have to play a serious game - intense and smart." Canada playcaller, Victor Lapena