A record EuroLeague Women crowd of 7,125 that turned out to watch Spartak Moscow Region play at Kosit 2013 in Slovakia on Wednesday is still a hot topic on the continent.
|The Steel Arena, Kosice, where the game Kosit 2013 vs. Spartak Moscow Region was played|
Spartak won the game which had to be moved to the magnificent Steel Arena, which normally holds ice hockey games, because demand for tickets was so high.
There were plenty of reasons for fans to show up.
Spartak have a glittering array of players and they are the defending champions, while they
also have a Slovakian coach, Natalia Hejkova.
||That amazing crowd in Kosice is an indication that all our combined efforts to put women's basketball firmly on the European map are now bearing fruit.
FIBA Europe Secretary General
Add to that a string of terrific performances by a Kosit 2013 side and it all added up to a great spectacle.
Here is what people are saying about the game that surpassed the previous record attendance of 5,500 in Pécs, Hungary, three years ago.
Nar Zanolin, Secretary General FIBA Europe
"The city, the club, the people of Kosice, along with the Slovak Basketball Federation deserve every praise for what they have been doing for the women's game.
"That amazing crowd in Kosice is an indication that all our combined efforts to put women's basketball firmly on the European map are now bearing fruit.
"Seeing such a big hall filled with a capacity crowd can convince even the more skeptical minds about the potential for the women's game in Europe."
Yannick Souvré, former captain of France and Bourges Basket, currently Managing Director of FIBA Europe Properties
"As a player I played a lot of times in Pécs, where 5,500 fans always created an amazing atmosphere. But over 7,000, that's different, that is something I believe a lot of European players would love to experience."
Carme Lluveras, Ros Casares general manager
"We want to congratulate Kosice for achieving this record, it's a great merit for women's basketball, especially in a EuroLeague regular game. But we challenge that record, if Ros Casares host the EuroLeague Final Four we will beat that record. That is a challenge that I take upon myself. When we hosted the All Star Game we had an attendance of around 5000."
Rudolf Petrovsky, President of the Slovak Basketball Association
"Something like this has never happend in Slovakia or in Europe, so I am very happy and congratulations to the organisers. We broke a record in attendance thanks to a big interest of people in basketball in Kosice - it is something special for sure."
Slovakian Natalia Hejkova, Spartak Moscow Region coach and former national team coach of Slovakia.
"It was really great to play before so many fans. It was a different feeling - a nice arena. Many people not only from Kosice, they came from other cities, villages from all over Slovakia to look at great players of Spartak! It reminds me of the best times in Ruzomberok - but nothing compares to the arena - it really is beautiful.
"Our players are used to playing before big crowds, they were concentrated well to win the game and on the other side, to show atractive basketball game. Stars - (Diana) Taurasi, (Sue) Bird, (Lauren) Jackson, (Tatiana) Shchegoleva played really well. So the fans could be satisfied, I think. I hope many small girls decided after this game to be basketball players, just like the Spartak stars.
"It was a nice homecoming after five years (for me), so thanks for great organisation,
thanks to the fans, the opposing team and especially my players - everything makes me proud."
|Diana Taurasi was one of many praising the atmosphere in Kosit.|
Edwige Lawson, France and CSKA Moscow point guard
"It's great that Kosit had so many fans at the game. I think the fans are a big part of the success of a team and the success of our sport. I am not surprised that the record happened at a Spartak game because thay have some of the best players in the world and they are very exciting to watch!!! Women's basketball is growing and everybody needs to keep working on its development just as if it was still the Year of Women's Basketball. Step by step,we'll get there!"
Vladimir Karnay, Kosit 2013 and Slovakia national team coach
"We saw a number of the best basketball players in the world in the Spartak team. We tried to do something against them but our fans have to decide if we were successful. I believe they were satisfied with this game."
Diana Taurasi, Spartak and Team USA star
"It was a great atmosphere in front of so many people."
Ivana Jalcova, Kosit 2013 player
"I am happy we played this game in such a great atmosphere."