BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Italian Cup MVP Giorgia Sottana shared the prize with her Cras Basket Taranto teammates|
Every club dreams of winning at least one trophy once the season is underway.
While Cras Basket Taranto saw their hopes of EuroLeague Women glory dashed when coming up short of the play-offs, Roberto Ricchini's team met the aim of collecting silverware in the 2011/12 basketball year by winning the Italian Cup Women (Coppa Italia) at the weekend.
Taranto beat Bracco San Giovannni on Saturday and then, going up against Coppa Italia hosts Beretta-Famila Schio in Sunday's Final, Ricchini's squad won convincingly, 78-57.
Italy national team point guard Giorgia Sottana and American center Kia Vaughn had 17 points apiece against Schio.
Sottana, who drilled three shots from long range and also handed out four assists, was named the tounarment MVP.
"This is the merit of Cras and the people that I love," Sottana said.
"It's an award that makes me proud and that repays all the sacrifices I've made this season.
"But it's an award that I share with all my team because it has been our unity, our technique and tactics that has made the difference with respect to our two rivals in the Final Four.
"I'm happy because I play with great players."
Taranto won the Coppa for the second time in their history.
Club president Angelo Basile was all smiles after his team's biggest success of the season.
"Trophies for executives like us that invest in sport are an important thing," he said.
"It's the prize for sacrifice which in this case is of a whole family.
|Reaching the EuroLeague Women Final Eight is more difficult than winning a domestic title. Another case in point is Perfumerias Avenida, who won the Spanish Cup but will not defend their European crown in Istanbul|
"I refer to the players, to the technical staff, with Ricchini heading it, the executives and the fans.
"Thanks to everyone, we have won the Coppa Italia that has an important value."
Winning the Coppa was a huge moment for Ricchini.
"This trophy is very touching because it's the first time in my career that I have won the Coppa Italia," he said.
"We have faced a Final Four of high level, especially with the concentration placed from the first play of the Semi-Final.
"We took advantage of our form, which is the product of our good work done in the gym, and the heart, that I asked my players to bring out.
"I thank them for their basketball that they displayed on the court in the Final."
Beretta-Famila Schio, who defeated Umbertide in Saturday's Semi-Final, will now turn their attention to the EuroLeague Women Final Eight in Istanbul, which gets underway on 28 March.
They will take on Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Rivas Ecopolis in Group A.
The side that comes in first will play in the Final.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
This is not the first time that a side bound for the Final Eight has come up short in a cup competition.
Perfumerias Avenida didn't reach the Final Eight yet recently won the Spanish Cup (Copa de la Reina).
Both Ros Casares and Rivas Ecopolis are headed to Istanbul and they played in the Copa.
In the Turkish Cup, Fenerbahce, who have gone unbeaten in the EuroLeague Women this season, faced Galatasaray.
Gala, who are hosting the Final Eight, beat Fener to win the cup competition.
Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje finished top of Group C in the EuroLeague Women but lost to UMMC Ekaterinburg in the Russian Cup for Women.
UMMC and Sparta&K are in the Final Eight.