Spain did their homework and beat Slovakia (93-61) at La Fonteta. But the victory won hours before by Belarus against Sweden (54-78) gives the first place in Group A to the Eastern European team and, therefore, forces the Women’s National Team to play the round of 16 against Montenegro on Monday 21st starting at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. in the Canary Islands). A decisive match that can be followed live on Teledeporte. The Balkan team finished in third place in Group B after beating Greece on the opening day and falling on Friday with Italy and this Sunday against Serbia.

The match against Slovakia was witnessed from the box by the Minister of Culture and Sports, Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes, accompanied by the president of the FEB, Jorge Garbajosa. Spain was playing second or third in the group, in addition to confirming the good feelings of the match against Sweden. What I was clear about before starting the match is that I would have to play the round of 16 crossing.

Spain did not want to speculate and started the game with a 10-2 run, before the first time-out requested by the Slovakian coach. Astou Ndour dominated the area, with Laura Gil seconding it perfectly. Mondelo I tried with a very active 3-2 zone, and with a quintet with two bases on the court (Silvia Domínguez and Cristina Ouviña). The first quarter ended with a festival of triples in both teams with Montgat’s very successful from 6.75 (21-13).

The second quarter started with Silvia just as successful as at the end of the first, but Slovakia held on to the game with an outside shot. The Central Europeans faced a match whose victory put them in first place in Group A and the defeat expelled them from the tournament. Spain got the maximum advantage (29-16) in the 13th minute, but the Slovaks had quality in attack to score easily. The six triples before the break left the score at 39-32 with the game open for the second half.

The third quarter started with a 7-2 run with a triple Laura Quevedo from the corner. Spain controlled the defensive rebound better which allowed them quick transitions that gave easier baskets. Good minutes of play for a team with a lack of preparation and that no longer has a margin of error. The ‘combo’ Laia-Ouviña It worked perfectly and Mondelo’s team got a 20-point lead for the first time, with the Aragonese base signing some spectacular plays. The third quarter closed with a 62-45 and the game practically resolved.

The last ten minutes were missing to make the always faithful public enjoy the Fonteta, to give minutes of play to players like Maria Count, with the most delayed preparation, and to be certified as one of the favorites of the tournament despite the fact that the setback of the first day condemned us to the eighth crossing. It will be France, Belgium, Serbia and Belarus that already have the place in the quarterfinals and eight more (Spain, Montenegro, Italy, Sweden, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and Russia) who will play this Monday for the other four places.