|24 February 2007|
Spartak Moscow Region coach Natalia Hejkova praised her side's mental strength after their 81-63 EuroLeague Women quarter-final play-off victory over defending champions Gambrinus Sika Brno forced a deciding tie in the best-of-three series.
Spartak were thrashed 73-58 on home soil by Gambrinus on Tuesday after an incredible 33-point performance by Eva Viteckova, but gained revenge with an equally impressive away display to ensure a return to Moscow for a third game.
Hejkova said: "We played a very bad game in Moscow so we mainly had to come back into this series mentally. We played a good defense and improved in the offense as well.
"The only player who looked dangerous for the home team was (Deanna) Nolan and that was not enough against us."
Brno coach Jan Bobrovsky was disappointed with the result but believes his side are capable of repeating Tuesday's performance in Moscow.
He said: "Making the trip to Moscow again will be the most difficult thing. It will be very hard to get my girls in an optimistic mood but I believe we will play a good game there again. Everything depends on how well we defend against their shooters.
"I expected a hard game and that was exactly what happened. Spartak confirmed their power. The most important part of the game was their run of 11 points when they led 14-6 - we never got back into the game."
The winner of game three will advance to the EuroLeague Women Final Four.