The one thing that Ros Casares Valencia could not afford in their final home game of the season was a loss. Matched up with Lithuanian side Lietuvos Telekomas Vilnius, that is exactly what they got, losing 60:61. The pill was all the more bitter to swallow due to the fact that Vilnius scored at the buzzer, seriously denting Valencia’s play-off hopes.
For Vilnius, on the other hand, the win was one of the sweetest of the season. Having lost 5 of their 13 games this season by 4 points or less, they were certainly due a victory.
Nerves were undoubtedly a factor for both teams, but particularly for Valencia who shot an anaemic 37.5% from the field and missed all of their seven 3-point attempts. Nonetheless, the Spanish side led almost the entire game.
The high point of the game for Valencia came at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth. They took a 47:40 lead into the final 10 minutes which they began with a 5:0 run, forcing Vilnius to take a timeout. With 3 minutes on the clock, a Lisa Aguilar shot put the Spanish side ahead 60:51 and the game seemed all but over.
As it turned out, Aguilar’s points would be Valencia’s last and Vilnius produced a remarkable final stand. While the home team went into an offensive meltdown, Vilnius were suddenly calm and assured on offense. Guard Rima Valentiene scored 8 consecutive points for the visitors and pulled her side back to win 1-point, 60:59.
Valencia had 2 possessions with which to score but failed on both occasions, leaving Vilnius with a chance to steal the game. 4th quarter rebounding had been a weak point for Valencia and it proved to be their undoing. With seconds to go, Vilnius’ top player this season Jurgita Streimikyte took a shot to put her side ahead. She missed, but managed to grab the offensive rebound and find Sandra Valuzyte under the basket, who scored at the buzzer, sealing a great comeback for her team.
Latonya Washington top scored for Vilnius with 17, but the team’s MVP was Streimikyte who had 13 points and 11 rebounds and provided the necessary leadership for Vilnius to stage the comeback.
Amaya Valdemoro scored 16 for Valencia, but hit just 4/14 shots from the field.