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Relief For Shaky Rivas After Late Scare

25 November 2010

Rivas Ecopolis were made to sweat it out at home to Lotos Gdynia but finally edged out the Polish side 70-65 in a tense finale to secure successive wins in Group B after the visitors had briefly threatened to heap more misery on a disappointing EuroLeague Women campaign for the Madrid club.

With just one win to their name after four games, the hosts looked to be cruising to a second victory in as many games with just over three minutes remaining.

A triple by Elisa Aguilar had put them 67-58 ahead while Montenegro National Team star Milka Bjelica had fouled out for Lotos Gdynia after a flawless 1shooting performance of 17 points in 20 minutes including 6 of 6 inside, a big triple and a couple of free-throws.

However just when the game looked to be safe, the visitors launched something of a surprise comeback to get the nerves of the home fans jangling and on a definite knife edge as they rattled off seven unanswered points.

When a pair of free-throws by Latvia guard Elina Babkina made it 67-65 heading into the last 90 seconds, the home side were scrambling to safely get over the winning line and avoid the crushing blow of a fourth defeat in five games.

Much to the relief of Coach Fort and his players, they managed to show their composure from the line via Aguilar and DeWanna Bonner to see out a hard fought success.

Amaya Valdemoro top scored with 22 points for the home team but they were again far from their best shooting wise, only scraping past a rather worrying thirty percent from inside although at this stage of the Qualifying Round, winning ugly won't matter too much.

Aside from Bjelica, Monica Wright had an impressive 17 points and 8 rebounds for Lotos Gdynia who move to 1 and 4 for the season.

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