Defending Champions Athinaikos Too Good For Zaragoza


Mann Filter Zaragoza battled bravely but defending champions Sony Athinaikos ended their EuroCup Women campaign with a 74-62 second-leg victory in Greece on Thursday night.

The clubs had finished the first encounter 53-53 in Spain, leaving all to play for in Athens.

Mann Filter, who are coached by Victor Lapena, were on top 21-18 in the final minute of the first quarter but then experienced a drought of several minutes when they didn't score a single point.

Athinaikos, meanwhile, poured in 19 in a row for a 37-21 advantage.

Zaragoza clawed the deficit back to 46-38 with 3:41 left in the third quarter after a lay-up by Allison Feaster-Strong.

But Athinaikos went on a 10-2 run to conclude the frame for a 56-40 stranglehold on proceedings.

The visitors from Spain maintained their focus, though.

Ines Kresovic gave them hope in the last four minutes when she hit two shots from the arc to cut the deficit to 67-59.

That forced Sony Athinaikos coach Ioannis Ktistakis to call a timeout.

When play resumed, Aikaterina Sotiriou drilled a three-ball for Athinaikos, only for Kresovic to drive in and make a lay-up for 70-60 lead with 2:38 to play.

Olga Chatzinikolaou split a pair of free-throws and then Dimitra Kalentzou sank two of her own to stretch the advantage back to 73-60 with 1:54 remaining.

Feaster-Strong drilled a jumper but the Greeks added two free-throws and claimed a 13-point triumph.

Marina Kress had nine of her game-high 15 points in the first half for Athinaikos while Chatzinikolaou weighed in with 14 points.

Ruth Riley scored 10, and Latoya Davis added nine points and nine rebounds.

For Mann Filter, Aneika Henry had 14 points and Feaster-Strong 10.

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