Cappie Pondexter and her Rest of the World team-mates turned on the style to beat Europe in the second EuroLeague Women All Star Game on Thursday that was staged in Valencia.
Looking to bounce back from last year's defeat in the gala event, Pondexter and Co got hot from three-point range early on and rode their excellent perimiter play to a convincing 93-80 triumph.
|Cappie Pondexter receives the MVP award from Nar Zanolin (left) José Luise Saez (right).|
Nicole Powell, the Halcon Avenida sensation who sank 37 off her 74 three-ball attempts during the year, also made a pair in the first quarter as the team coached by Natalia Hejkova of Spartak Moscow Region and Zafer Kalaycioglu of Fenerbahce built a 28-23 first-quarter advantage.
For her excellent performance, Pondexter was voted as the game's most valuable player and she was elated.
"It's a great experience to be among the best players in the world," she said. "This All Star Game is a good stepping stone for the Year of Women's Basketball."
The religious Pondexter then added: "God gave me the ability to play and perform the way I did tonight."
|Amaya Valdomoro had eight points and six assists for the European team.|
Players, as is usually the case at all star games, played with a lot of freedom on the court, although there were moments from each side when the pressure was turned up on defense.
The Ros Casares players, past and present, received some of the biggest cheers, including Elisa Aguilar, three-point shooting contest participants Laia Palau and Alison Feaster-Strong, and former Ros star Amaya Valdemoro who now plays for CSKA Volgaburmash.
As for the top performances, Katryna Gaither came off the bench in the first half and was terrific for the Rest of the World, scoring all 14 of her points as they built their commanding lead.
"We were all really happy to be here, and I'm glad that Cappie won the MVP," said Fenerbahce coach Kalaycioglu.
"It was a typical all star game," Aguilar said. "We have a good atmosphere because of our fans."
"This was my first all star game and I'm really happy to be here," said Svetliana Volnaya of USK Praha. "It's too bad we lost. We came out too relaxed while they came out more aggresive and won."
Fenerbahce's Nevriye Yilmaz was Europe's leading scorer with 12 points.