EuroLeague Women Final Four 2010 hosts and finalists Ros Casares tipped off the new campaign by showing they mean business once again by racking up an impressive 76-68 win in Russia against Nadezhda.
|Jana Veselá, one of the few familiar faces on the Valencia roster could celebrate an opening win over Nadezhda|
Having decided on a comprehensive summer clear-out, the new recruits served the Spanish giants well with Edwige Lawson-Wade and Katie Douglas combining for 33 points.
While the coaching and personnel have changed since last season, the defensive pressure of Ros Casares was still very much in evidence as much to the dismay of a healthy 2,500 locals, they forced the home team into 19 turnovers.
The visitors were on top right from the outset after pouring in 26 first quarter points, twice the amount the home side could muster. A 14-4 run to finish the opening period rounded off with a triple by Douglas leaving Nadezhda very much on the ropes.
Both teams struggled in the second quarter offensively with defences very much on top and for ten minutes the game both teams slugged it out for what were precious points. The home team managed to lock down the visitors to just 8 points to narrow the gap heading into the second half.
However Ros Casares composed themselves during the interval and returned to the floor proving the second quarter was merely a blip as they shifted back through the gears, moving into an unassailable 57-38 lead after a score by Marta Fernandez.
While the home team rallied to get within 7 points in the last ten minutes, Ros Casares were always comfortable and never looked in any serious danger of letting it slip.
Rebekkah Brunson also had an impressive first EuroLeague Women game for Ros Casares with 15 points and 5 steals while WNBA Rookie of the Year Tina Charles was the standout player in the game.
The EuroLeague Women debutante finished on the losing team but posted a magnificent double-double of 24 points and 3 rebounds.
Jordi Fernandez, Head coach of Ros Casares:
"We've visited Orenburg for the first time, we really liked it. The game was very difficult for us because of great support and energy of Russian fans and their great respect of Nadezhda. In Nadezhda we liked Tina Charles, Rebecca Hammon and Anastasia Verameyenka. If we had such wonderful player as Elena Baranova, we'd play different game, as she is a super professional player."
Alexander Yermolinskiy, Head coach of Nadezhda:
"Today's game was very complicated. We've played with a very strong opponent, EuroLeagues's favourite. Our team tried to reach it's great basketball but Ros Casares defense didn't give us an opportunity to implement tact combinations".