Fab Four Lead The Way For Spartak


Spartak Moscow are in command of the EuroCup Women final after thrashing hosts Pays D´Aix in the opening leg the championship tie on Tuesday evening.

The fabulous four of Lisa Leslie, Gordana Grubin, Ticha Penicheiro and Linda Frohlich led the Russian team to an 80-65 triumph in Aix-en-Provence.

The French side will now have to win in Moscow next Tuesday by 16 points or more to lift the Cup themselves.

Leslie, the USA superstar who would get a lot of votes for best player in the world if a poll were taken today, had 22 points and 14 rebounds while Serbo-Montenegrin Grubin scored a game-high 25.

Portugal's Penicheiro, the outstanding guard on Sacramento's triumphant side in the WNBA this season, weighed in with 12 points and nine assists while German international Frohlich scored 11 points and pulled down nine boards.

The visitors took the lead 14 seconds into the game on a three-pointer from Frohlich and led the rest of the way.

The hosts only trailed 22-17 with 2:17 to go in the first quarter. But a basket from Leslie, which took her tally to 12 points, followed by a jump shot and then three-pointer from Frohlich gave the Russian team a 29-19 advantage early in the second quarter.

When Grubin made a three with 1:21 to play in the first half, Spartak's lead had ballooned to 42-23.

Pays D´Aix held their nerve and scored the last six points of the first half to go to the changing rooms behind at 42-29.

The closest they would get the rest of the way would be 67-57 with less than five minutes to play after a three-pointer from Catherine Elizabeth Joens.

Sadly for the home side, Spartak would outscore them 13-8 the remainder of the contest.

Spartak and Pays D´Aix are set to play the second leg of this tie next Tuesday in Moscow.


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