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Basketball - 05. October 2014.

ISTANBUL TURKEY 2014: Pride pours out of Mondelo ahead of Final


ISTANBUL (FIBA World Championship for Women) - There will be nobody prouder than Lucas Mondelo when his team steps out against USA for a maiden appearance in the Final of the FIBA World Championship for Women.

Buoyed by his team's exciting new chapter, Mondelo has paid tribute to the accomplishment of his players in making the last game at Fenerbahce Arena.

"Whether we win or lose, we will all be very proud of our players," he stated.

"The USA will be great favourites of course and they have many players I have coached or played against.

"I am sure my team will be competitive and fight until the very end of the game."

Spain will look for Alba Torrens to continue the blistering form which saw her amass 28 points in the Semi-Final win over Turkey and her fellow MVP nominee Sancho Lyttle will also be pivotal.

The forward registered a double-double effort which underpinned the defeat of the hosts and it was perhaps overlooked by the headline making exploits of her colleague on the wing.

From a USA perspective, Maya Moore could be the one tasked to lock horns with Torrens and is also coached in China at club level by Mondelo.

She is adamant the EuroBasket Women champions pose dangers all over the floor.

"I'm excited and it should be a really great match-up as far as the two best teams in the tournament," insisted Moore.

"Spain have a lot of great weapons, offensive talent, some versatile posts, guards that are pretty slippery and can get to the paint - we are going to have our hands full.

"It's going to take a lot of focus and determination on our end, but I think we use our physicality well, and if we come with the same defensive focus, we will be great."

Meanwhile, USA head coach Geno Auriemma added: "Spain deserve to be there because they played well the whole tournament and because they beat the home team in front of a great crowd in a great game.

"They have earned their way to this game and I don't think they're looking at us and saying, 'Oh my gosh, we have to play the United States'. I think that what they did was very impressive."

If Spain are looking to cause an upset, it would mean the USA losing a Final at the tournament for the first time in over three decades, having last been on the losing end to Soviet Union in 1983.

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