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Moment Of Truth Arrives for Taranto

18 March 2009

Cras Basket Taranto took care of business at home against Dynamo Moscow last week. Now the Italians will look to finish the job in Russia on Thursday in the second leg of the EuroCup Women Semi-Final.

Cras go into the game on the back of a 76-71 first-leg triumph and Taranto coach Roberto Ricchini, who won the EuroCup in 2005 with Phard Napoli, urged his players to go all out for victory against Dynamo.

"We have to face our rival with the best possible approach," he said.

"We need to play intense basketball, without settling for the (five-) point advantage we took in the opening leg. Dynamo will play a very aggressive game. We cannot be intimidated by their play.

"We must play like Cras does. We need strength, intelligence and will."

The good news for Dynamo is that they have the cool head of Natalia Hejkova calling the shots.

The legendary Slovakian coach, who led Russian rivals Spartak Moscow Region to the last two EuroLeague Women championships before leaving for Dynamo in the summer, said after the defeat in Italy: "It was our worst game... But I think that next week we'll win and will be in the final."

The Semi-Final sees Galatasaray at home in Istanbul starting with a 14-point deficit after their heavy first-leg defeat at Dynamo Kursk.

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