BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Eshaya Murphy was on fire for Avenida against rivals Rivas Ecopolis|
A dagger three-pointer by Eshaya Murphy proved to be the game-winning shot as Perfumerias Avenida clinched the Spanish Super Cup in front of their own fans.
A packed and triumphant Pabellon Wurzburg was left ready to party into the night after the home favourites came out on top of an entertaining contest, eventually squeezing past EuroLeague Women and Spanish Liga Femenina rivals Rivas Ecopolis 62-57 and denying Jose Hernandez a sweet victory against his former club.
It was another title for Avenida play-caller Victor Lapena, who guided his team to the Liga Femenina Championship at the end of last season in a similarly intense match-up with Rivas.
However, it wasn't until the decisive action by Murphy with just under 20 seconds remaining, that home fans could actually begin to think about truly celebrating.
There had been little between the teams throughout the encounter, both giving a glimpse of what might be achievable in EuroLeague Women this season and also showcasing several debutantes.
Vega Gimeno almost forced a potential overtime for Rivas with a triple, but it rimmed out and Avenida celebrated, with Murphy adding 21 points and eight rebounds.
Swedish star Frida Eldebrink added 15 points in defeat.
There was also plenty of cheering for veteran Isabel Sanchez too, with the former Avenida player given a great send-off in the wake of her retirement from the court.
Worshipped by the Avenida faithful, Sanchez is an iconic figure within Salamanca, having transformed the club with her leadership in the six outstanding seasons she wore the famous shirt.
Having been almost constant runners-up, the arrival of Sanchez was vital in Perfumerias Avenida becoming a hugely successful team and not least, EuroLeague Women champions.
They won eight trophies with Sanchez on board, and the player was on hand to witness yet another, as she tearfully lapped up the adulation of fans, former colleagues and even the Mayor of Salamanca, who held a civic reception for Sanchez and her family earlier in the day.
Sanchez was also part of the Spanish coaching team who claimed gold at EuroBasket Women 2013 title in France during the summer.
Both Perfumerias Avenida and Rivas Ecopolis will swing into EuroLeague Women action on 6 November.