Ros Casares took the first step towards a place in the Quarter-Finals of the EuroLeague Women with an 81-70 victory over ZVVZ USK Prague in Valencia on Tuesday evening.
Erika De Souza scored 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for Ros, who will go for a 2-0 sweep in Prague on Friday.
|Prague had no answer for Erika De Souza on her way to a double-double|
Prague's defense has leaked points all season and it wasn't surprising that a Ros Casares team that likes to run had scored 52 by half-time.
Amaya Valdemoro and Delisha Milton-Jones each had 10 points and De Souza 11 by the break.
Ros went in front by 19 in the third quarter but Prague maintained their focus and chipped away.
A three-point play by Charde Houston reduced the deficit to 71-62 with 3:41 remaining.
Ieva Kublina's tip-in made it 76-68 with 54 seconds to go.
Belinda Snell put the result beyond doubt, though, with a three-pointer as Ros claimed a valuable win.
With captain and point guard Elisa Aguilar injured and unavailable, Ros got a valuable contribution from Becky Hammon.
The Russia international had 10 points and seven assists in just over 22 minutes of action.
Ros Casares head coach Isma Cantó:
"This is the Eight-Final Play-Offs and it's not easy to win, even at home. We played very well the first two quarters but after we had problems because we didn't play with the same concentration. On Friday we will play a different game in Prague. At home, they are a very strong team like we could see last season when we lost there."
Ros Casares forward Amaya Valdemoro:
"We have played two games in the same game. The first game during two quarters when we played at good level and the second game in the last two quarters".
ZVVZ USK Prague head coach Lubor Blazek:
"Of course I'm not happy with our first half because we had good open shots and we missed them. We lost too many balls in offense and they used it to run. We lost the game but I'm happy because wecompeted with a team like Ciudad Ros Casares in Valencia. At the end they won only by 11 points."