Hernandez Baffled By Avenida Collapse

11.01.2007

Halcon Avenida coach Jose Ignacio Hernandez was at a loss to explain his side's capitulation during Wednesday's EuroLeague Women match against Group B strugglers Dexia Namur.

Hosts Avenida looked on course for their fourth win of the tournament when they fought back from a 17-6 deficit to lead 31-27 midway through the second period.

But it was all downhill for the reigning Spanish champions after that as visitors Dexia scored 55 of the next 77 points to claim an emphatic 82 53 victory - only the Belgian side's second win in nine attempts.

The defeat was the second in a matter of days for Avenida, but Hernandez refused to blame last weekend's Copa de la Reina loss to mighty Ros Casares for Wednesday's performance.

"It has been a ruin. In the last two minutes of the second quarter we disappeared from the court," he said.

"I don't know exactly what happened. It's true that we played the Copa de la Reina last weekend, but we rotated the bench and I think that's not an excuse."

Hernandez was not keen to dwell on the Dexia match too long though, and he is already looking to this weekend's clash with USP-CEU MMT Estudiantes as an opportunity to get back on track.

"I prefer to turn the page and think about the next game in the Spanish league. We wanted to win four or five games in our fist season in EuroLeague so next week we'll try to beat Pecs in order to keep our fans happy."

Dexia coach Marc Silvert knew the game was in the bag midway through the third period with his side in rampant form.

"After coaching 1500 games you can never know how they are going to develop," he said.

"(But) we won very easily. In the fifth minute of the second half I saw that we could win with a good score."

"We knew that Avenida came from the cup and they could be very tired, we defended tough in order to take advantage of that situation," added Silvert, whose side play bottom club ZVVZ USK Prague in their final group match next week having leapfrogged the Czech team with Wednesday's win.

Dexia point guard Marjorie Carpreaux, who contributed 10 points and four assists in the win, said: "I'm excited because we played well. We've won easily in the second half because we didn't make any mistakes and they couldn't score thanks to our press defense."


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