Rivas Ecópolis opened their EuroLeague Women adventure with a bang on Thursday night by rolling to an 85-60 victory over KSSSE AZS-PWSZ Gorzow.
The Spanish outfit, which finished third in the Liga Femenina last season to qualify for Europe's elite competition for the first time, grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck in the opening quarter.
They went on a 14-3 run to lead 19-8 and then extended the advantage to 25-10 with 1:35 left in the opening frame.
Jelena Dubljevic poured in 12 of her game-high 18 points for the home side in the first quarter.
When Catherine Joens buried a jump shot for Rivas with 6:45 to go in the second quarter, the hosts were on top 37-16.
Rivas went to half-time leading 49-27, with Clara Bermejo Moreno pulling the strings on offense and Spain international Anna Cruz pouring in the points along with Dubljevic.
Moreno had 11 of her game-high 12 assists in the first half while Cruz went to the intermission having scored 13 points.
SSSE AZS-PWSZ Gorzow, who arrived in Spain having riding an unbeaten start in their seven games in Poland's top flight, continued to battle.
They, too, were making their debut in the EuroLeague Women.
The Poles chipped away at the Rivas lead and got as close as 66-54 with 6:23 remaining.
The home side then pulled away, though, outscoring the visitors 19-6 the rest of the way.
Cruz finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.
Dubljevic also had eight rebounds and three steals.
Rivas out-rebounded SSSE AZS-PWSZ Gorzow 41-33.
The hosts shot the ball much better, hitting 24 of 44 (54.5%) inside the arc and nine of 19 (47.3%) beyond it.
Gorzow finished 17 of 46 (36.9%) on their two-pointers and seven of 21 (33.3%) from long range.
Liudmila Sapova led them in scoring with 13 points.
Darius Maciejevic, Gorzow coach:
"Congratulations to Rivas, they played a strong defense. It has been difficult to nonothers to enter the match and when we did it was too late. We have to become strong at home to have more chances. I believe that if we show the level of the second part we will have more options."
Sidney Spencer, Gorzow player:
"It has been a match that gave us some difficultlies from the beginning, and we were not finding good shots in attack. In the second half we improved especially on defense but we do not approach the sufficient thing, Rivas found again the way and we could not brake them."
Javier Fort, Rivas Ecopolis coach:
"We are very satisfied with the realized work, the defense worked very well and we scored on attack. The beginning was very comfortable for us, but after the rest they have risen in level and it cost us a lot of circular work in attack."
Clara Bermejo Rivas Ecopolis player:
Very important to begin the competition with victory, is going to give us a good morale to confront the new challenges. The today match was an unknown, the two were making debut in the competition and it was very important not to lose today. We played very well on defense and we could hurt them at all times.