06 - 13
August 2017
5 Paola Ferrari (PAR)
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Ferrari makes Paraguayan history with a performance for the ages

BUENOS AIRES (FIBA Women’s AmeriCup) - Chants and embraces inside the court lead the Paraguayan celebration that still seems to know no end. Their 69-66 triumph over Group B rival Cuba was so spectacular that even the opposing team’s coach, Alberto Zabala —in a gesture of great sportsmanship—, came over to congratulate them for their achievement the second day of competitions at the FIBA AmeriCup Argentina 2017.

This victory must be analyzed in its context: it’s Paraguay's first appearance in history during a World Cup qualifying tournament, and this accomplishment was obtained no more and no less than against the Centrobasket 2014 and FIBA Americas 2013 champions. Remembering these details at the moment of the interview —despite all of the excitement that has yet to pass— is Paola Ferrari, the veteran 31-year old Paraguayan player that has played for 12 years in Spanish basketball. Currently, she plays at the Zaragoza Mann Filter.

“We won because we desired this deeply. We went all out and we knew that the first game was key. Today we have defeated a giant of this sport,” assured the outstanding player of the game; who achieved 27 points, seven rebounds and four passes.

Ferrari lead her team with a complete repertoire that included fast breaks, running speed, a great defensive attitude, and, above all, leadership at the time of establishing order. “I love pressure because that’s what drives athletes to their limits. Representing my country is the best thing I have. I owe everything to Paraguay", she acknowledged.

According to her, her national team knows very well how to compensate the areas they are in a disadvantageous position compared to other strong teams. “We're suffering the lack of height, but we have a great drive and intensity. All of us are very good shooters and we don’t miss out on any opportunity on the ball. It was difficult to get in the game, but during the second part, when we were behind by seven, we decided that the only way to overcome this what putting some ovaries in it. We did so, and at the end the game was ours,” she explained.

Her joy overflowed when she began describing that “we've played together since we're young, but we've never been able to do anything big as adults. A process is beginning. Now, during this tournament; in November during the Bolivians; and next year in the South American. I'm 31 years and I think that I’ll retire in five. That's why one must take advantage of these things. I believe this group is ready to face them.”

Paraguay will try to continue to make history on Tuesday, at 1:35 PM (host country hour), when they face Puerto Rico.