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14.03.2014, 19:30h
14.03.2014, 19:30h
62-57
18 - 1819 - 1213 - 612 - 21
18 - 1819 - 1213 - 612 - 21
Venue: Rivas-Vaciamadrid (ESP) |
Spectators: 900 |
Referees: Neil Wilkinson (ENG), Barry Peters (NED), Boris Krejic (SLO)

GAME REPORT


Rivas Force Decider In Prague

4. Laura Nicholls  (Rivas Ecopolis)
Laura Nicholls led her team to victory
Rivas Ecopolis responded to a mauling in their EuroLeague Women play-off opener against ZVVZ USK Prague with a gutsy 62-57 home success to stay alive in the competition and force a series decider against the Czech champions.

Jose Hernandez and his team showed bucket loads of character to revive their fortunes, although did have to endure a tense conclusion after briefly threatening to blow a double-figure lead in the closing minutes.

When a free-throw from Swedish national team center  Louice Halvarsson made it 55-44 with less than four minutes remaining on the game clock, it looked like Rivas would comfortably advance and especially with Prague not getting anything to drop.

But, Rivas missed a couple of lay-ups and didn't deal with the full court press particularly well.

As a result, turnovers mounted and Jelena Dubljevic brought Prague back to within five points with a basket on her former home court.

Then, the Montenegrin star made it a one-shot game with eight seconds left, but Frida Eldebrink made the two free-throws needed to get a jubilant Rivas over the line.

The hosts had given themselves a foundation for victory and the cushion they needed via some great work during the second quarter, when a 14-2 run handed them a double-digit lead.

Laura Nicholls finished with a magnificent MVP performance of 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way for the Spanish club, with Dubljevic scoring 22 points for Prague.

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Rivas Ecopolis vs. ZVVZ USK Prague

José Ignacio Hernández, Rivas Ecópolis Coach:

"We're pretty satisfied after being able to force a third play-off game, and after being capable of playing like this against the second top-seeded team in the EuroLeague. We did a magnificent work across the second and third periods and, then, managed well our options in the final rush. USK Prague is a great team and we have to keep our feet on the ground; we know it will be very difficult back on their court, but we have earned the right to win. After the first game I said to our players that it's rare to stop Viteckova and Elhotova at four combined points, and today they combined for only three, I think we're doing a great job stopping such talented players."

Laura Nicholls, Rivas Ecópolis player

"From my point of view, it's been a beautiful game to watch and to live. We fought all game long, and it was a long one, but we managed to be there every single minute. Of course I feel tired, but I feel more tired when I'm on the bench. I'm happy about my output; I needed a game like this. Obviously, USK Prague is one of the best teams out there in the competition, but we have to believe that we can also win in the third game."

Natalia Hejkova, ZVVZ USK Prague Coach

"We thought that Rivas Ecópolis wouldn't fight this hard in the play-offs, but for sure they did. They played a good game tonight and took advantage of our mistakes; I think we have just played our worst game this season so far. So now we have to regroup and focus on the third game back in Prague, we need to take that win."

Jelena Dubljevic, ZVVZ USK Prague player

"Rivas players were quite focused to the game, they always knew what they wanted to do. We had a number of bad shots, and also missed some easy buckets. There are no excuses, because we played a bad game. Rivas is my second home, but I'm fully devoted to USK Prague and we will give our best in the final game of these play-offs because we want to be in the Final Eight."

Accumulated statistics

44.4%

24/54
FG
M/A

32.2%

19/59

44.7%

21/47
FG2P
M/A

34.0%

16/47

42.9%

3/7
FG3P
M/A

25.0%

3/12

68.8%

11/16
FT
M/A

94.1%

16/17

33

8/25
RT
RO/RD

33

10/23

13

AS

8

18

TO

14

8

ST

10

5

BS

3

20

PF

20

62

Pts

57

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