Galatasaray Tear Up The Script

11.04.2014

EUROLEAGUE WOMEN

21. Alba Torrens (Galatasaray odeabank)
Alba Torrens' three-point parade sunk UMMC Ekaterinburg's back-to-back aspirations

Turning Point: With three minutes remaining and UMMC having cut the 25-point margin down to just six, the smallest player on the court came up with an incredible offensive rebound which fed Alba Torrens for another triple and restored a nine-point cushion. She then got another with 90 seconds remaining.
Stats Don't Lie: Five offensive rebounds for Alben was the outstanding number, while the level of accomplishment for Galatasaray can be measured by 25/01/2012 - the last time UMMC lost at home in the competition.
Game Hero: The entire Galatasaray team deserve credit for an astonishing victory, but Alba Torrens led the way with a season-high of 29 points. Shavonte Zellous played the perfect cameo with 19 points and eight assists, while Alben did the dirty work on the glass - from the point-guard spot.

There will be a new EuroLeague Women champion crowned on Sunday after Galatasaray odeabank stunned Final Eight holders UMMC Ekaterinburg 77-70 in the semi-finals to give Turkish women's basketball another immeasurable boost.

What made the victory even more impressive was that the Istanbul club had to manage without the services of 2013 FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year, Sancho Lyttle for most of the game.

After setting the tone with 12 quick-fire points in the opening eight-and-a-half minutes, the forward went down on her ankle and spent the following three quarters on the bench.

However, her Spanish national team colleague Alba Torrens exploded with a special display which was underpinned by the superb backcourt combo of Shavonte Zellous and Isil Alben.

"I don't even know what to say," said a shell-shocked Zellous.

"We had a game plan and everyone stuck to it and with their quality, wow - this was a big-time win.

"When we lost Sancho we all rallied together and just fought.

"We showed what kind of team we are with this win and what kind of heart we have."

UMMC head coach Olaf Lange
"We weren't good enough on the day" - UMMC head coach Olaf Lange

In a stellar start, Galatasaray had UMMC on the ropes early by blasting their way into a 31-13 lead and the home favourites were almost on the canvas when Torrens laid in a score to make it a 20-point margin in the second period.

It got even better for the Turkish side after the break when Zellous made it 57-32, although Silvia Dominguez and Diana Taurasi set up a rescue bid which eventually got the champions back to single figures and within a margin of six.

But, with gold-dust offensive boards from Alben and Torrens still hitting big shots, Galatasaray held on for a famous victory.

Losing coach, Olaf Lange made no excuses after the game.

He said, "it was a fantastic game and Galatasaray deserved to win.

"We were not good enough on the day, with our defence not at the level it needed to be."

Taurasi had 21 points in defeat.

 


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