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|Brazilian center Erika De Souza, a former Ros Casares player, led Perfumerias Avenida to victory in the final and was named the Copa de la Reina MVP |
Perfumerias Avenida didn't make it to the Final Eight in Istanbul to defend their EuroLeague Women title, but they won't end the season empty-handed after beating Ros Casares in Sunday's Copa de la Reina (Spanish Cup) Final.
Led by Erika De Souza, the MVP of the event, and getting terrific contributions from several other players, the Salamanca outfit played high-intensity defense and prevailed 68-57 in Madrid's Pabellon Municipal Principe Felipe.
"It's clear that we had to impose a rhythm of pressure from the beginning in order for Ros not to take control," said Avenida captain Isabel Sanchez.
"We played a perfect game from start to finish.
"We thank the fans as they made us feel as though we were in Salamanca."
Ros Casares, who had been on a tear in booking a Final Eight spot themselves, had a 15-11 lead by the end of the first quarter but with De Souza and Dewanna Bonner, the MVP of last year's Copa as a member of Rivas Ecopolis, wreaking havoc, Lucas Mondelo's team battled back and took a 27-23 lead to half-time.
They pressed home the advantage in the second half to clinch a famous win.
Maya Moore had 24 points and Ann Wauters 14, but Ros Casares, who have former Avenida stars Silva Dominguez and Sancho Lyttle, were second best.
Lyttle struggled, making just one of eight from the field and Dominguez was one of seven.
De Souza finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds while Marta Fernandez - a Ros Casares player last season - had 14.
Marta Xargay and Bonner contributed 10 apiece and Sanchez weighed in with eight.
Everyone in the Salamanca outfit was happy, including Spain international Lucila Pascua.
"This is my first Copa de la Reina and it's fantastic," she said.
"We knew we had to be hard from the start and we got the win. "