BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Perfumerias Avenida celebrating their win at the Copa de la Reina Final on Sunday|
The crowds turned out in force on Tuesday night in Salamanca to honour the latest achievement by Perfumerias Avenida, a club that is making a habit of collecting trophies.
Lucas Mondelo's team, which last year won the EuroLeague Women and Liga Femenina (Spanish Women's League) titles, defeated Ros Casares in the Copa de la Reina (Spanish Cup) Final on Sunday.
The players, after a photograph session with the media in a reception, stepped outside and waved to the many fans down below who packed the city's main square, the famous Plaza Mayor.
They may as well have been inside the Wurzburg arena, their home court, because as each was introduced to the crowd, and there were chants of "AVENIDA!, AVENIDA!"
During the reception, club president Jorge Recio spoke with immense pride.
"There is no one in Europe that can show off as many titles as we can, and there are still 20 days left to show off those titles," he said.
Indeed, there will be a new EuroLeague Women champion crowned on 1 April with Perfumerias having had their title defense ended in the play-offs by Beretta-Famila Schio.
"We have one year to show off the Copa," Recio said.
In his remarks, Recio also recalled how his family became involved with Avenida more than a decade ago.
The city had asked for help and Recio's family, which had been involved with other sports in Salamanca, decided to invest.
Avenida have blossomed into one of the best clubs in Europe.
As for Mondelo, he said: "I am just a coach.
"I want to say thanks to the important people of this club - the players, the technical staff and the administration, my president ... and obviously the city of Salamanca and our fans."
The Mayor of Salamanca, Alfonso Fernandez Manueco, also paid tribute to the club.
"The feeling of the blue shirt that represents the city of Salamanca. Thanks to the good image that you give to the city of Salamanca and of basketball and sport.
"And thank you for not getting bored of winning titles.
"You have the same enthusiasm that you had from the start."
While Ros Casares and Rivas Ecopolis will represent Spain at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight, Avenida, who fell to Beretta-Famila Schio in their play-off tie, will now focus on defending their Liga Femenina title.