Lotos VBW Clima Gdynia sent a powerful message to the remaining 8 teams in the EuroLeague Women after their 30-point destruction of French side Pays d’Aix Basket in the first game of their quarter-final play-off series.
Gdynia fell one step short of reaching the final four last season after losing to eventual champions Ekaterinburg in the play-offs. Based on their home performance against Pays, they look confident of reaching the final four for the second time in three years (they finished 2nd in the competition in 2002).
Gdynia dominated their French opponents in almost every phase of the game. They outrebounded Pays 46-21 and hit 57% of their 2-point shots. Pays had offensive problems the whole night as indicated by their 33% field goal percentage and the fact that they shot just 3 free throws in 40 minutes.
Gdynia led from the start and 41:25 at halftime. Pays managed to slow down the Polish champions, who have lost just once at home all season, in the 3rd quarter, but Gdynia got back on track in the 4th and cantered to an easy win.
Chasity Melvin top scored for Gdynia with 16 points, while center Margo Dydek had 12 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks.
Lara Mandic was the only Pay player to hit double figures in scoring. She had 15 points.
Abdou N'Diaye, Head Coach, d'Aix Basket 13 Provence:
"Today we played against the team which got its rythm, which played very agressively and we couldn't find a way to face that. I promise we will come back to Gdynia for the third game."
Krzysztof Koziorowicz, Head Coach, Lotos VBW Clima:
"Of course I'm satisfied with the result of the game but this only the first game. But the most important for us is to be focused on the second game. In this series you have to win two times to advance."
Joanna Cuprys, Lotos VBW Clima Gdynia:
"Many people asked me before the game what it would be like. I expected a very tough and close game and our 10 point victory. So this game was not as difficult as I thought it would be. I know that the second game will be much harder."