Portugal: Vagos Celebrate First Cup Ever

18 March 2008

The champagne is still in full flow at Gesfunny Vagos after the club cliniched its first-ever Portugal Cup for Women success at the weekend.

Tatiana Iourtaeva, the Russian-born Portugal national, poured in 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Vagos to a 62-53 win over Sport Alges e Dafundo at Coimbra.

"It is a proud and unique moment in the club's history," Vagos coach Nuno Ferreira said to Basketball World News.

"My players showed great character, dedication and belief. We forced our opponents' key players to make several mistakes."

As for the 29-year-old Iourtaeva, who moved to Portugal eight years ago from Russia, Ferreira said: "We are very proud of her.

"She is almost 30 years old and works so hard. She is a role model for the youngsters.

"I just have to say that she is a great investment from the club board if we consider that she played most her career in lower divisions sides.

"She was absolutely fantastic knowing that she returned to the game last year after giving birth."

What makes Gesfunny Vagos' achievement even more special is that they boast no Portugal internationals in the squad and none of the players before Sunday had ever won a trophy in their careers.

"This is a humble team that achieved this trophy due to the hard work. This moment will mark my players' careers," Nuno said.

"We suffered too much throughout both games [semi-final and final], but we deserved this win."

Vagos do not want to stop with the cup success.

They have already qualified for the Liga Feminina league play-offs.

"Our next goals are to reach the last four in the play-offs, and to compete in Europe," Ferreira said.

"We want to grow as club and our aim is compete with more experienced teams. With this in mind, Europe is our goal, definitely. We want to learn and grow by playing other European clubs."



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