CADIZ (FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament) - Rising Spanish stars Anna Cruz and Silvia Dominguez have seen their hopes of playing for the senior team at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament dashed after being cut by national team coach Evaristo Perez on Wednesday.
Dominguez, a point guard at Perfumerias Avenida, was the most valuable player at last year’s U20 European Championship after leading Spain to gold.
Cruz, who played for the under-20 team in 2006, is a shooting guard at Arranz Jopisa who averaged 13.1 points, five rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 steals in the Liga Femenina this season.
Perez now has the final 12-strong roster that he will take to Madrid where Spain will attempt to claim one of five qualifying places still up for grabs for the Beijing Games.
"I am satisfied and happy with the work of all the players,” Perez said, before discussing the players who had joined the eight holdovers in the squad from last year’s silver-medal winning side at the EuroBasket Women.
“The six invited players have been up to standard and have fully responded to the requirements of the national team but they all knew that two of them would not be able to continue.
"These decisions are always difficult, but one has to take them and this is the right time to take them."
The newcomers who have made it are Alba Torrens and Laura Nicholls of Celta Vigourban, Maria Revuelto of CB San Jose Leon and Tamara Abalde of Lamar University in Texas.
Spain will now continue their preparations in Cadiz. Once at the qualifying tournament, they will be in the same group as Fiji and Brazil.
The Spanish will then take on Cuba, Belarus or Chinese Taipei in a quarter-final.
The winners of the four quarter-finals will advance to Beijing, while the losers will then play in a mini-tournament.
The side that wins that mini-tournament will grab the fifth and final spot for the Olympics.
Spain squad for FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women: Point guards: Elisa Aguilar (Ros Casares), Nuria Martinez (Dynamo Moscow); shooting guards: Laia Palau (Ros Casares), Isabel Sanchez (Perfumerias Avenida); small forwards: Amaya Valdemoro (Ros Casares), Alba Torrens (Celta Vigourban), Maria Revuelto (CB San Jose); power forwards: Anna Montanana (Perfumerias Avenida), Tamara Abalde (Lamar); centers: Lucila Pascua (CB San Jose), Cindy Lima (CB San Jose), Laura Nicholls (Celta Vigourban).
England 6-Russia )
England defeated New Zealand 49-46 to level up the three-match Series at 1-1 heading into the deciding match on Wednesday morning.