|Jelena Dubljevic had her best game of the season, finishing with 21 points and five assists|
A couple of terrific shooting performances by Jelena Dubljevic and Eva Viteckova catapulted ZVVZ USK Prague to a 79-71 win at Novi Zagreb and an overdue first victory of the season in Group C.
Having lost the first three games of the EuroLeague Women season, the ambitious Czech club finally got to taste the winning feeling after a bright start relieved the pressure and offered a great launchpad.
Just as important as a super 23-12 first quarter was the respective contributions of Dubljevic and Viteckova, who combined for 38 points from an impressive 15-of-22 floor shooting with the latter finding her trademark range from downtown.
Perhaps a fortnight without action didn't suit Novi Zagreb who weren't able to take the momentum of an eye-catching performance in Ekaterinburg into this game and maybe it accounted for a painful and ultimately costly slow start.
They were behind by double digits at 12-2 inside the first five minutes and in the end, trailed from tip to buzzer as they tried in vain to find some much needed offensive rhythm - only the horse had already left the stable.
Absolutely stone cold from downtown all night, it proved to be a long way back for the Croatians who are still searching for their first win, even if Mirna Mazic did her best to rectify this by racking up a stellar 24 points and 14 rebounds.
ZVVZ USK Prague head coach Natalia Hejkova:
"This was a very important game for me since it's my first game as USK Prague's coach, the first game in EuroLegue Women. I'm very happy that we have won this game, and this win is very important since it's the first win of the season. The team was ready to play. If we were more consistent, the end result would have been even better."
ZVVZ USK Prague player Jelena Dubljevic:
"We started unexpectedly bad. We had a great preparation for the game, but for some reason we have trouble keeping our game at the same level. That is our team's main problem. I want to congratulate Novi Zagreb on a very good game."
Novi Zagreb head coach Vladimir Ivankovic:
"We tried a different strategy, a defensive one, with our starting five. We wanted to break their offense with our aggressive defense. We succeeded with that, they didn't score that many points but we struggled with our offense. At the end of the second quarter we managed to pick our game up a bit, thanks to a couple of individuals on the team. Prague is a great team. Their post players scored 61 points, it was impossible to win. I don't think this is a tragical loss. Their team has great players. They obviously have had some internal problems. With a roster like that, they are much respected and should have a good season."
Novi Zagreb player Mirna Mazic:
"From the beginning of the game we followed their rhythm. We reacted very poorly in the first 7-8 minutes of the game, we were slow, they scored way too easily. At the end of the second quarter we picked our game up and that was the reason for a small backlog at the end of the first half. They are a very good team, they have six national team players, two WNBA players. I hope for a better result in Poland. I hope we'll catch our first win there."