Avenida Punch Play-Off Ticket In Zagreb


5. Marta Fernandez (Perfumerias Avenida)
Marta Fernandez was one of five Avenida players to score in double digits, contributing 14 points

A turbulent season for former champions Perfumerias Avenida took a decidedly upward turn after they completed their mission to make the play-offs with a convincing 86-68 Group C win at Novi Zagreb.

With the hard work having been done by way of a somewhat surprise home success against the previously undefeated UMMC Ekaterinburg a week earlier, Avenida knew they needed to follow it up positively in Croatia to progress.

And, head coach Victor Lapena and his players achieved their aim in style with a rousing victory, built on a 25-15 first quarter which proved the foundation for the win.

Their nerves were settled at the beginning of the second quarter when they began the period with a 7-2 run, a triple by Egle Sulciute getting them underway and helping them into a 32-17 lead.

However, there was a major wobble approaching the interval, as the home side came alive and registered a 12-1 run to reduce the arrears at 42-37.

It was important Avenida regained their superiority in the third period and wrestled the initiative back from Zagreb and they did this with real vigour, Marija Rezan re-establishing the all-important double-digit lead.

Once they had moved 60-44 in front, the result never looked to be in doubt, and so it proved as the Spanish side booked their play-off spot.

Playing back in her homeland, Rezan was impressive for Avenida with 10 points from five-of-seven shooting in addition to seven rebounds.

Latoya Williams and Mirna Mazic both achieved double-doubles for Zagreb who finished bottom of the group.



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