Riga Reflect On Moscow Mauling

10 November 2007
TTT Riga were thrashed 82-56 in their opening game of the Euroleague Women this week. That's the bad news.

The good news is they will not have to meet the team that thumped them, CSKA Moscow, again until December 12.

"CSKA's big players - Maria Stepanova and Ann Wauters - created a lot of problems for us on the court," said Riga coach Ainars Cukste.

"I don't think that anyone in Europe can stop them."

Riga certainly couldn't stop them.

Wauters, who shone for Belgium this summer at the EuroBasket Women in Italy, had 24 points and 13 rebounds while Russia's gold medal winning center Stepanova finished with 16 points and five boards.

The game was effectively over three and a half minutes into the second quarter after an 8-0 CSKA run gave them a commanding 33-19 lead.

Then, with 16 seconds remaining in the half, the lead ballooned to 48-24.

Cukste was able to console himself with the fact that CSKA, the winners of this year's FIBA Women's World League, did not deliver an even bigger beating.

"I was afraid that the result will be even worse," Cukste said. "My team has no EuroLeague experience.

"But we reached our main aim - not to concede 100 points and not to lose by more than 30."
Next up for Riga is a home game against ESB Lille Metropole, who were convincing winners over MKB Euroleasing in their opener.

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