The EuroLeague Women 2006-07 season opened in exciting fashion as UMMC Ekaterinburg stunned defending champions Gambrinus Brno.
Audrey Sauret Gillespie's basket with 11 seconds remaining lifted the Russians to an 87-86 triumph at home.
|Suzy Batkovic had 18 points for UMMC Ekaterinburg.|
“I’m excited with our victory," said UMMC head coach Milan Veverka.
"It was an extremely important and principal match for us. The game showed that good team chemistry are beginning to take place in our team.”
Cheryl Ford had a performance that will go down as one of the best of the season for UMMC as she finished with 37 points and 11 rebounds.
Ford and her teammates got off to a fast start.
The American forward scored eight points as her team jumped out to a commanding 16-0 lead over the first 5:32 of the game.
Gambrinus got the deficit to single-digits prior to the end of the first stanza following a basket from Deanna Nolan with four seconds remaining which made the score 27-19.
A 10-2 Brno second quarter run in the second tied the game midway through and Gambrinus could consider themselves fortunate to be down just one (43-42) at the half after their awful start.
No team led by more than five points in a fiercely competitive second half.
Ivana Vecerova had put Gambrinus into an 86-81 lead with just under two minutes to play on a lay-up, but the Czech giants were unable to hold on.
Ekaterina Sytnyak and Suzy Batkovic hit consecutive jumpers before Gillespie's game-winner.
Czech international Hana Machova had 19 points in defeat.
The game was a match-up between former colleagues.
UMMC coach Veverka served as an assistant to Gambrinus boss Jan Bobrovsky last year before taking the head coaching job in Ekaterinburg.