Another Big Win For Ros Ahead Of Final Four

22 March 2010

This is the most important year of basketball for Ros Casares.

The club finally has a chance to host the EuroLeague Women Final Four, something it has coveted since losing to Spartak Moscow Region in the 2007 title game.

The only way Ros will be able to look back and say it was a success, however, is if they win it.

The way they came from behind to stun Perfumerias Avenida in the domestic league on Saturday shows they possess a never-say-die attitude, and that bodes well with a Semi-Final match-up in Europe coming up against Wisla Can-Pack Krakow.

Having beaten Avenida in the Copa de la Reina and in the EuroLeague Women Quarter-Finals, the Valencia club trailed 46-32 at half-time in Salamanca but hit back and prevailed, 72-68.

"It was important for us to win but even more so, it was important to do it as we did it by coming from 14 points down," said Isma Canto, who coached Europe at the recent EuroLeague Women All-Star Game in Gdynia.

"The team was willing to show a lot of sacrifice and that became clear in the second half."

A Club With A Big Name

Not many teams have the spending power of the Spanish giants, and the fact that the players get to live in a city on the Mediterranean helps the club attract some of the biggest stars in the game.

One of those is Delisha Milton-Jones, who had 22 points in the win over Avenida.

Canto says Ros are at the top of the game for other reasons as well.

"The key to the success of Ros Casares is the structure of the club and the existence of a sponsor as reliable as the one we have," he said.

"These two things are crucial. Also, we have created a winning mentality.

"In the past four years, the club has dominated all national competitions and also has became one of the best teams in Europe."

It remains to be seen if hosting the Final Four will be a positive for the outfit, or a burden.

They will take on Wisla in the last four and the winners will advance to take on either Spartak Moscow Region or UMMC Ekaterinburg.

"The challenge of the Final Four is difficult but we are nevertheless confident," Canto said.

"The Russian teams, Spartak and Ekaterinburg - we have managed to beat them at home and that means that we have options of beating them in Valencia.

"The important thing is to arrive to the event with all the players available and to avoid injuries. We will try to play with the style of play that Ros Casares has."

That style is up-tempo.

Canto's Appeal

"I think that we will be helped by the 9,000 fans that will go to the Fonteta, that will give us confidence," Canto said.

"The magic of the stands will be a connection with our play."

Canto has appealed to everyone in the city to back the club in the coming weeks.

"The club is making a big effort so that Valencia has the best team in Europe and in order to achieve that we need the support of everyone, from the media to the fans," he said.

"It's not easy for any Valencia club to be champion of Europe in anything and now we have that opportunity."

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