Rivas Punch Fairytale Final Ticket

30 March 2012

Turning Point: Having made the three-pointer in final minute to bring her team to within a point, Birsel Vardarli went from potential hero to villain as she spilled the ball on what should have been the final possession to who else but the irrepressible Asjha Jones.

Game Heroes: Jones is already being touted as the tournament MVP and that isn't surprising after three monumental displays. She secured another double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds to go with three steals - including the one that won the game.

Stats Don't Lie: Just nine points in the third quarter cost Fenerbahce who were always playing catch-up after this. They did shoot the ball better than Rivas during the game but were burned by 17 turnovers compared to 11 for their opponent.


Rivas Ecopolis wrote another wonderful chapter in their remarkable history when they inflicted a 74-70 loss on heartbroken and previously unbeaten Fenerbahce to reach the EuroLeague Women Final.

Despite being buoyant from their Istanbul derby win, Fenerbahce started slowly although it was at least a thrill for teenager Olcay Cakir who was handed a starting place for the biggest game of the season.

Rivas raced out into a 20-9 advantage with Elisa Aguilar burying a three-ball and they continued to control the game in the second period. At 40-31 after another score for Asjha Jones, it looked a little worrying for Fener.

However, the Fenerbahce fans were feeling a lot better about their prospects during the half-time break when their team headed to the locker room having cut the gap to 42-37 with Zane Tamane scoring on the fast-break right on the buzzer.

Their joy was short lived since it was Rivas who returned to the floor with real vigour and re-established their double-digit advantage once more at 53-40. Fener meanwhile began to struggle offensively and suffered a real drought with just one basket in six minutes.

Their woes continued into the final quarter and at 62-48 it looked to be all over but they gave themselves a glimmer of hope when they posted a 15-4 run sparked by Elina Babkina.

With the game back on a knife edge, Vardarli cut the deficit to 71-70 but next time down the floor, she failed to execute and Fener's chance evaporated meaning the team who nobody gave a chance, were able to book their Sunday date with Ros Casares.



Follow Us On Twitter

Like Us On Facebook

Schio, ITA
Lattes, FRA
Bourges, FRA
Rivas Vaciamadrid , ESP
Taranto, ITA
Polkowice, POL
Istanbul, TUR
Brno, CZE
Istanbul, TUR
Gospic, CRO
Gdynia, POL
Orenburg, RUS
Salamanca, ESP
Valencia, ESP
Tarbes Cedex, FRA
Sopron, HUN
Verkhnyaya Pyshma, RUS
Györ, HUN
Kaunas, LTU
Krakow, POL
Prague 7, CZE