The Spanish team took full revenge on the Serbs with an extraordinary 85-70 victory to take a giant step towards the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Games and also as the first of the group. The success brought three exceptional ‘mothers’ with 25 points from Alba Torrens, 20 with nine rebounds from Astou Ndour and 17 from a colossal Maite Carola who scored five triples (three of them at the key moment).
Spain faced their second match in Tokyo after beating South Korea 69-73, while the Serbs did the same also with difficulties against Canada. And obviously it was a match with certain special conditions, since Lucas Mondelo and his pupils burned with the desire to avenge the defeat suffered in extra time in the European past against those of Marina Maljkovic, daughter of the award-winning Barça coach Bozidar.
The first part was sensational for the viewer. With a quick and cheerful game, the baskets and quality actions followed one another with an important ‘but’ for the Spanish interests in the rebound, since the Balkans caught five offensives in the first quarter.
With two triples from three attempts by Alba Torrens, Spain took their first lead (8-6 in minute 3) and seven points in a row from Astou Ndour gave the reigning continental champions even more wings (15-10 at 3:58 at the end of the first quarter).
However, Serbia was recovering its hallmarks and, with two triples from the lethal Jelena Brooks and Yvonne Anderson, not only balanced the score but also closed the first 10 minutes with a minimal advantage (19-20).
The start of the second quarter was horrible for Spanish interests. A triple by Anderson and two baskets after losses by the American of origin and Dragana Stankovic placed a worrying 21-31 when only three minutes had passeds.
Mondelo stopped the game and the Spanish started a slow comeback led by SIlvia Domínguez and Ndou. The WNBA center closed the second quarter with a basket after an offensive rebound that left a exciting 41-44 on the email considering how things had gone.
Serbia regained control of the clash at the dawn of the third quarter with a triple by Crvendakic and with Brooks who was already going to 16 points (43-52). The big difference was in the throws from beyond 6.75 meters, with a sad 2/12 for Spain and an excellent 6/11 for the Serbs.
And … what happens when the pitches don’t come in? Well, Maite Cazorla appears from the bench to score three triples in a row and press the match until 52-54 at 3:27 at the end of the third quarter. With a sensational direction from Ouviña, a new triple from Gran Canaria left the score at 59-58 after a great comeback in the absence of the last 10 minutes.
In the final quarter Alba Torrens threw the team behind her back and showed why she is the team’s leading scorer and why she has won six Euroleague. The Balearic Islands scored a triple and two baskets in a row to stand with 21 points and place the maximum Spanish advantage at 5:50 from the end (69-60).
With two baskets in a row, Anderson added to the game an intrigue that Ndour immediately canceled with a basket and a 2 + 1 and Cazorla with his fifth triple to culminate a great collective display after the break and close a spectacular 85-70 victory.
Technical sheet of the match Spain-Serbia (85-70)
(19 + 22 + 18 + 26): Silvia Domínguez (7), Cristina Ouviña (10), Alba Torrens (25), Laura Gil (2), Astou Ndour (20) -initial five-, Laia Palau, Maite Cazorla ( 17), Raquel Carrera (4) and María Conde.
(20 + 24 + 14 + 12): Ana Dabovic (5), Aleksandra Crvendakic (2), Jelena Brooks (16), Sonja Vasic (11), Tina Krajisnik (11) -cinco initial-, Nevena Jovanovic (4), Yvonne Anderson (15), Dajana Butulija, Maja Skoric, Dragana Stankovic (6),
Yohan Rosso (France), Maj Forsberg (Denmark) and Andreia Silva (Brazil). They eliminated the Serbian Ana Dabovic by five fouls (39:52).
Match corresponding to the second day of the women’s basketball competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games played behind closed doors at the Saitama Super Arena (Saitama, Japan).
See all the results of the Olympic Games