ISTANBUL (Euroleague/EuroBasket Women) – Alba Torrens could hardly have chosen a more dramatic stage to resume her career with Galatasaray.
Having suffered a serious knee injury while playing for the club in the EuroLeague Women last year, the Spain international had surgery and spent more than 11 months without playing a game.
She not only missed action for Gala, but also qualifying games with Spain for the EuroBasket Women 2013 in France.
Over the weekend, a year of frustration ended as Torrens returned to the court and helped Galatasaray beat rivals Fenerbahce, 74-72, in the Turkish Cup Final.
Her Spain teammate, Sancho Lyttle, had 19 points and 10 rebounds to earn the honor as the Final MVP but Torrens’ return was the main talking point.
The 23-year-old had been in the clouds for most of her career before the injury, a torn ACL suffered in a EuroLeague Women game on 19 January 2012 at Lotos Gdynia.
Torrens competed at the 2008 Olympics, captured bronze medals at the EuroBasket Women 2009 in Latvia and the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women in the Czech Republic and was named MVP of the 2011 EuroLeague Women Final Four after a dynamic display for Perfumerias Avenida.
What endears her most to fans is that Torrens plays the game with a smile on her face, and has both fire, and razzle and dazzle in her game, much like Spain great Amaya Valdemoro.
The Turkish Cup was a big occasion for Galatasaray and Torrens.
“The most important thing was to help, to win a title with my teammates, leaving the personal issue to one side, considering the magnitude of that game for Galatasaray and their fans,” Torrens said.
It was also a day for Torrens, who is likely to feature for Spain this summer at the EuroBasket Women when they attempt to qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women to give thanks.
“I would like to thank in the first place my club and its fans, who have taken care of me and supported me and given me all the necessary things during this time,” she said.
“I would like to thank the doctor, Cugat, and all of his team for its excellent, professional treatment.
“(Give thanks) To the Spanish federation, always able to give a hand to help in any way it could.
“To the media and all the people inside Spain and outside Spain who have not stopped supporting me, cheering me on and being interested in my health.
“To the technical staff, teammates and medical who have helped me in the recovery and made sure that my return would be in the best possible way.
“And of course to my loved ones that have always been by my side.