Marco Crespi, who coached the Italian national team before taking charge of Sweden, was clear about who was the favorite ahead of the European Championship quarter-finals in Valencia.
Italy is better than us, this is no joke. They challenge for medals, which we don’t. But we like to be underdogs in this match, he told SVT.
But as soon as he boarded the plane, the favorite did not notice. The Swedes immediately took charge of the match – and then did not release it.
Sweden came from back-to-back defeats against Belarus and Spain, but against Italy the national team showed its ability to beat the top teams.
“I’m proud above all of all the girls on the team who have a great basketball game,” Frieda Eldebrink told TT.
Sweden advanced by eight points after the first half and managed to enter the second half with a difference of ten points (30-20). And, as usual, twins Elaine and Frieda Eldebrink have been a strong contributor to the great game.
It was the defensive match that worked, and our coach put together a tactic that really worked today. It gives energy when you see that they are not finding ways to move forward, and see that they panic a little. It feels great when it’s hard for them, says Eldebrink.
I played with confidence
Italy got two points in the third inning, but didn’t get any closer. Sweden won the last period with a score of 19-9, the final score was 64-46. Frida Eldebrink remained the leading figure of the match even in the second half, becoming Sweden’s top scorer with a total of 22 points.
In basketball, there is a possibility that you can basically beat all the teams, if we have a good day and their day is a little worse. We had that attitude, and we had a meeting where we said everyone should be bold and play with confidence, and we did, Eldebrink says.
Now Belarus is waiting in the quarter-finals. Sweden had no chance when the two teams met in the group and then lost 54-78.
We have to feel playing against them and know what they like to do, says Eldebrink.