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CRO - Another splendid effort by Mazic
ZAGREB (EuroBasket Women/FIBA World Championship for Women) - Mirna Mazic was not the most famous of European players heading into the summer of 2011 but the Croatian has put in some eyebrow-raising performances since to enhance her status.
The latest came on Wednesday night in the EuroLeague Women.
In arguably her finest effort as a professional, Mazic had 24 points and 14 rebounds for Novi Zagreb.
Though her team lost to USK Prague, 79-71, Mazic has been named as the EuroLeague Women Player of the Week.
Her most significant performance to date, international basketball fans will remember, came with Croatia at the EuroBasket Women 2011 in Katowice, Poland.
On 26 June, Mazic was crucial in a 75-71 upset of Spain that clinched a spot in the Quarter-Finals.
She had 15 rebounds to go with her four points in that contest.
In an interview with FIBA.com after that stunning result, Mazic spoke with so much confidence that it seemed she and her teammates believed they could move mountains.
"Our goal had been to get past the first round, and now we have done even better by getting to the Quarter-Finals," she said.
"Why shouldn't we have a chance of winning our next game? We beat Spain, so we can win another."
Croatia, in fact, won twice more.
Even though they fell to the Czech Republic in their next game, Mazic and Co beat Latvia and then knocked off Montenegro to finish fifth and seal a place at the 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women (OQTW).
This past summer, the 1.88m power forward/center came off the bench at the OQTW in Ankara, Turkey, and helped Croatia defeat Mozambique, Korea and Canada to claim a spot at the London Games.
It marked the first time the Croatian women qualified for the Olympics.
Mazic, 26, then made her Olympic bow.
Now she's keeping the momentum going by playing for Novi Zagreb in the EuroLeague Women.
Though her team is among the underdogs in the competition, anything is possible with Mazic and other Croatian internationals like Sandra Mandir on the team.
Novi Zagreb will go for their first win in the EuroLeague Women next week at CCC Polkowice.
"I hope for a better result in Poland," Mazic said.
"I hope we'll catch our first win there."
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