The Grand Occasion


The EuroLeague Women Final Four was the main event in Valencia over the weekend so it was no surprise that many prominent figures were in the audience to soak up the atmosphere.

The Mayor of Valencia, Rita Barberá, sat at midcourt on Sunday beside Ros Casares president German Ros and watched as Spartak Moscow Region beat Ros Casares in a thrilling title game, 87-80.

The boss of EuroBasket gold medalists France, Pierre Vincent, took in both games and chatted with two of his national team stars, Celine Dumerc and Sandrine Gruda, after they helped UMMC Ekaterinburg beat Wisla Can-Pack Krakow in the third-place game.

Spartak's first two title-winning bosses, Slovakian Nata Hejkova (2007 and '08) and Hungarian Laszlo Ratgeber (2009) took in the action.

Ratgeber unexpectedly parted ways with Spartak early in the season.

He admitted on Sunday that he had been in talks with different clubs about coaching next season.

An announcement on his next job should be made in the coming weeks.

He was also proved right because before the Final, Ratgeber said: "Spartak are going to beat Ros Casares.

"Any team that has Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi is going to win."

Taurasi had a game-high 29 points and was voted MVP of the Final Four while Bird had six assists and three rebounds to go with her five points.

The players of Valencia's men's team, who beat Bizkaia Bilbao basket on Saturday night in La Fonteta, also showed up to watch.

Australian power forward Matt Nielsen and his family were on hand for both of Sunday's games while the rest of the Power Electronics Valencia players poured into La Fonteta shortly before the title game between Ros Casares and Spartak Moscow Region.

One of the heroes in this year's Power Electronics Valencia team, Rafa Martinez, sat with his teammates.

It was put to him that maybe he'll get a shot to make Spain's team for the FIBA World Championship after helping the team reach the Eurocup Finals.

"It's very difficult because we have players like Juan Carlos Navarro," he said.

"I'd be honored just to be named in the preliminary squad."

McCarville's And Pokey's Tweets

One of the EuroLeague Women players who loves to get on Twitter is Janel McCarville of Spartak.

The American was arguably the best player on the floor in Sunday victory over Ros.

It was put to her in a post-game interview with FIBA Europe that she might Tweet about her performance after she scored 20 points and pulled down 13 rebounds.

McCarville did not disappoint "twitterville".

Her Tweet said: "we, back from Valencia.. what a trip it was. on cloud nine still and loving it. thanks for the love twitterville! day off, bck to office tom."

Spartak coach Pokey Chatman, meanwhile, showed that she's always got something to do when it comes to getting her team ready for the next game.

Spartak edged UMMC in a thrilling Semi-Final and could face them again in the Superleague Women play-off finals.

Chatman said in one of her Tweets: "Think I'm gonna go back & watch semi-final game. After all, it's 'possible' we'll meet again in a best of 5 series. Might as well prepare.'

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