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 centerĀ  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.