|Plenette Pierson and Allie Quigley shone for Good Angels Kosice, combining for 44 points|
A combined 44 points from Allie Quigley and Plenette Pierson fuelled Good Angels Kosice to a convincing 82-68 success against Perfumerias Avenida in their first EuroLeague Women play-off clash.
The home side were always in the ascendancy after a purposeful opening ten minutes, which they won 24-17, having led by double-digits at one stage.
There was a similar pattern to the play in the second quarter as a score by Allie Quigley made it 39-24 to Kosice, although Avenida rallied with 11 of the last 15 points in the half to narrow the gap, helped by Egle Sulciute draining a triple on the buzzer.
Midway though the third quarter, Monique Currie brought the visitors back to within seven points, but it was to be as close as they would get, as Good Angels replied with 10 unanswered points to reassert full control at 62-45.
Bouncing back from their loss to Targoviste on the final day of the regular season, Kosice were back to their vibrant best and didn't give their Spanish opponents another opportunity to come back into the game - especially with Currie fouling out.
The headline duo of Quigley and Pierson were underpinned by a typically productive supporting cast including Tijana Krivacevic who fired an efficient 14 points and five rebounds, whilst Natasha Lacy was her usual energetic self and also managed to hand out a terrific seven assists.
Sulciute and Currie each corralled 15 points for the losing team who spilled the ball an 24 times.
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Perfumerias Avenida head coach Victor Lapena
"Congratulations to Košice - they did a perfect job. Players of Good Angels were angrier than us and that was the key to the game and to victory. We have to work hard in the next game, we have to show the same desire as Košice showed today and try to return here to Košice next Wednesday."
Perfumerias player Marta Fernandez
"It was a difficult game for us - we knew that to play here is very hard and Košice are playing very good basketball this season. We knew that to start the series with a victory is very important for us, but it wasn't possible. We have to think in the next game in Salamanca and come back here next Wednesday. In the next game we have to play as we usually play, we didn't feel comfortable in this game and we should also improve team play and work harder on defence."
Good Angels player Alex Quigley
"We played really good and we started well which was really important, so from then on we kept doing everything we said. We play the best when everyone is doing something - passing, blocking shots, playing good defence etc. In the third quarter [there] was a moment [when] we could feel the shift, but we said ‘come on, relax.' We had to settle down and we kept playing good defence [and] stayed together. That was the point when we just had to turn it up."
Good Angels assistant coach Peter Jankovic
"We both knew what we are playing for and emotions were quite high. I think we managed it and [the] girls showed a superb performance. Our strategy worked well. We are very pleased and I suppose that it is within our strengths to play a victorious game in Salamanca. Once more the game was tough and Salamanca has its qualities."