Alba Torrens and Maite Cazorla

Love for basketball

06/16/2023 · By Roberto C. Rascón
Alba Torrens and Maite Cazorla, basketball players of the women spanish team

The Spanish female basketball team has set its sights high at the Eurobasket in Israel and Slovenia. Alba Torrens contributes her experience and Maite Cazorla, her youth, a winning combination that includes other elements: talent, technique and competitiveness, but also spirit and love, a lot of love, which they put into the game every time they jump onto the court.

“I think Alba is a leader on and off the court. Being able to play with her and knowing her has been a gift for me.” This is what Maite Cazorla (Las Palmas, 1997), the player called to lead the future of the Spanish team, says about Alba Torrens (Binisalem, 1989), a real basketball legend at this stage in the game. In any case, their admiration is mutual. “I think Maite has been, is and will be a very important player in this team —notes Alba—. She’s naturally talented when playing basketball, she has an innate elegance. Apart from that, I’d highlight her level-headedness, which is uncommon given her age.” On the 7th of May, they played against each other in the Liga Femenina (female league) —Alba’s Valencia Basket beat Maite’s Perfumerías Avenida—, but now the only thing that’s on their mind is the Spanish national team and, they confess in unison, that they prefer to play together.

Part of it is talent, competitiveness or technique, but also spirit and love. I think you can’t win on this alone, but it does help” — Alba Torrens

In the midst of Eurobasket preparation, which is held between the 15th and 25th of June in Israel and Slovenia, Maite and Alba are completely confident in the Spanish national team’s chances but prefer to err on the side of caution. “I think the best expectation is to have no expectations —confirms Alba—. Having the mindset that anything can happen and being ready to compete.” Alba speaks from her own experience, since she’s already won two golds (2013 and 2017 Eurobasket), two silvers (2014 Mundobasket and 2016 Olympic Games) and four bronzes (2010 and 2018 World Championships, and 2009 and 2015 Eurobasket) with the Spanish national team. An impressive track record that she hopes to extend. Maite, who could win her first title with the senior national team, prefers to take it step by step. “We need to focus on each day and enjoy it, obviously giving our all.”

The Spanish female basketball team, just like the male national team, has been doing an excellent job in the last couple of decades. Their secret? “I believe we Spanish players always have a competitive streak—begins Maite—. It starts at an early age and it’s something that leads us towards success, in the end. There’s also chemistry, on and off the court, the good vibes we share and the fact that we’re together through thick and thin.” We’re surprised that this comes from a relative newcomer like Maite. Alba adds some intangible aspects to the equation: “Part of it is talent, competitiveness or technique, then there are also our coaches and the Spanish Basketball Federation organisers, but then there’s spirit and love. I think you can’t win on this alone, but it does help.”

“Talent requires hard work. Some people are really talented, but then they give up, so it’s a case of perseverance” — Maite Cazorla

And what role does talent play? Alba believes talent is different for each person, but that in basketball in particular, "it comes to the forefront when you manage to be in the here and now”. A here and now that, in her case, involves sharing matches and training sessions with the best female players in Spain. Yes, talent grows when it connects people. For Maite, hard work is essential. “I believe that, sometimes, talent is innate, but it requires hard work. Some people are really talented, but then they give up, so it’s a case of perseverance.” Alba, who’s listening closely to Maite, reacts and yields to her teammate: “You need to work on talent, that’s right my friend. I assure you that the Spanish national team is well cared for, we leave it in better hands than it was in.”