Spanish Eyes Smiling In Prague


All the pre-game signs pointed to a tight and exciting contest in Prague and so it proved as Halcon Avenida escaped with a vital 66-65 road win to open up their EuroLeague Women 2010 account in Group B.

While both teams will feel they could and indeed probably should have shot the ball better from both inside and out, it didn't detract too much from the nail-biting clash that had been anticipated.

The visitors made most of the running in the first quarter and that enabled them to take an 18-14 lead into the second period but within three minutes, Delisha Milton-Jones levelled things at 22-22 after she converted from downtown.

Both teams then enjoyed a share of the lead heading towards the interval with a last second buzzer beating and very long two along the baseline by Katerina Elhotova ensuring the home team were only one point behind at 34-33.

When Petra Kulichova tied things back up at 44-44 with three minutes left in the penultimate period, there looked to be little chance of either team putting any daylight between each other but Halcon Avenida then looked to have done so.

Successive three-pointers by Alba Torrens and Belinda Snell briefly opened things up but six unanswered points either side of the break maintained the status quo at 50-50.

It set up a real thrilling finish and with the game still in the balance with just over a minute to go despite home favourites Lindsay Whalen and Eve Viteckova fouling out, it was left to Marketa Bednarova to put Prague in front at 63-62.

However Torrens, who finished with 20 points, stepped up from outside to drain a big triple before a free-throw by Silvia Dominguez was just enough for the Spanish side to squeeze out a victory.

The home team will certainly feel this was the one that got away and particularly Milton-Jones. So often the thorn in the side of Salamanca when donning the vest of Ros Casares, the veteran star suffered mixed fortunes on debut for her new team after claiming a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds but lacked her usual clinical finishing around the hoop.

USK Prague did at least show that even when not at their best, they certainly have a team capable of competing this season to great effect and living up to their tag as one of the dark horses this season in the competition.


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