Dynamo Champions Following Drama

14.03.2013

EUROCUP WOMEN

Ilona Korstin (Dynamo Moscow)
Ilona Korstin stole the ball in the final seconds to score the decisive basket for Dynamo Moscow

Dynamo Moscow are the 2013 EuroCup Women champions after inflicting heartbreak on Kayseri Kaski spor and their 11,000 fans in one of the most dramatic Finals in the history of the competition.

The Turkish hosts looked to be firmly on course to make up for losing last years' showpiece game, but inexplicably pressed the self-destruct button in the dying seconds to gift-wrap their opponent the silverware.

Down by five points after the first leg, Kayseri were ahead 74-65 with just 36 seconds remaining of the second game, and seemingly safe in the knowledge they had the considerable cushion of it being a two-shot game.

But, there was to be a gut-wrenching late twist for the hosts as they came out on the wrong side of a jaw-dropping turnaround.

Kristi Toliver stepped up for Dynamo to sink a three-ball from deep and then Nuria Martinez spilled the ball for Ilona Korstin to gleefully convert a fast-break score and make it 74-70.

Whilst Kayseri still had a chance to win the trophy with the last play of the game, they blew their chance by throwing the ball away to spark scenes of wild celebration from the visitors, who had been on the ropes and almost down on the canvas when 14 points behind at 61-47 during a poor third quarter.

The fact that Kayseri kept their unbeaten home record intact was of no consolation, as the players and packed house held their heads in hands on the final buzzer, distraught at having literally handed Dynamo the title.

The result was particularly tough to take for Greek duo Evanthia Maltsi and Zoi Dimitrakou who were both impressive for the home side, whilst Lara Sanders had even more reason to be aggrieved after a stellar 19 points on nine-for-ten floor shooting. Dimitrakou had 17 points whilst Maltsi chipped in 14.

Whilst Toliver had a game-high 23 points and Korstin came up with the pivotal play in crunch time to get Dynamo home, it was Russian forward duo Nadezhda Grishaeva and Tatiana Vidmer who also saved the day during the third period when the tie was in serious danger of slipping away. Grishaeva had 14 points and six boards whilst Vidmer finished with eight and eight.

 


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