|Anna Cruz made sure her actions matched her words, leading by example for Rivas Ecopolis with 21 points|
Rivas Ecopolis are safely into the EuroLeague Women play-offs after chalking up a comfortable 67-50 win against BK Imos Brno, a result which also gave Uni Gyor and Wisla Can-Pack reasons to smile.
For the victory eliminated Brno and in addition to Rivas progressing to the post-season, it means they will be joined by Uni Gyor and Wisla Can-Pack who will have been grateful for some good news after each suffering resounding defeats earlier in the day.
With Tarsus already well out of contention, the five teams to advance from Group A are now known. It just remains to be seen in which order.
It took Rivas a while to wear down Brno, but by the time the final quarter arrived, they managed to really pick up their play at both ends of the floor and that change of gear was both palpable and telling.
Ahead of the game, Anna Cruz had spoken of the need to get back to winning ways and the Spanish national team player translated her words into action, leading by example with 21 points and five steals to set the tone.
Shortly before the end of the third quarter, it looked like Rivas had finally broken the game open at 46-36, but as Anna Jurcenkova scored four points in a row to cut the gap heading into the fourth, it looked like Brno would continue to be pesky and hang around.
But, the last period was to be entirely different from the first three as Rivas began turning the screw, eventually outscoring the visitors 19-8 to storm to the win.
Aneika Henry supported the contribution of Cruz with 15 points and eight boards.
Tereza Peckova led the way in defeat with 13 points and eight rebounds.
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Rivas Ecópolis Coach Miguel Méndez
"It's been a difficult game, we played against a good team and we wanted to end our bad streak. I think we did a good job overall, but it was hard to face the game, we are lacking some happiness in our game and this win will help us to get it back. We won this one from our defence, we were solid and effective on the fast-break. We've secured a spot for the play-offs and now it's time to get some rest and prepare the upcoming games."
Rivas Ecópolis forward Anna Cruz
"It's an important win for us, after a couple of bad results we wanted to be back on track. We've been good playing hard defence and running the fast-break. We knew who their important players were and we focused on trying to stop them, which I think we did good."
BK Imos Brno Coach Jan Bobrovsky
"We had too many turnovers and bad attacks which penalised us. Some difficult refereeing decisions went against us and that made things difficult. We committed some mistakes attacking the opposite rim."
BK Imos Brno forward Alena Hanusova
"We were not as concentrated in the game as we should have been, and Rivas is a good team that doesn't allow you to have mistakes. We were not able to stop their key players and they knew how to play good when the game was being decided."