In the 10th game day of the EuroLeague Women competition 2004, Ros Casares pulled off an agonising 71-69 win over Lotos VBW Clima Gdynia in front of 1200 fans in the Fuente de San Luis stadium.
The game started as it meant to go on; with a battle for the inside game between Michele Van Gorp and Margo Dydek. The home team took the early upper hand, however, and after 3 minutes was leading 9-0, forcing Gdynia coach Kozioriwictz to take his first time-out. The Polish champions came back onto the floor strong and hit back at Ros Casares, outscoring the Spaniards 0-5, however a couple of fast-breaks from Trish Fallon and Marta Fernandez soon brought the game back to an even keel.
Nevertheless, a second foul for Van Gorp obliged Domingo Diaz to bring in Lucienne Berthieu, who was swiftly followed by Kedra Holland and Ingrid Pons, but fresh players and good team defence were unable to stop the visitors' impressive inside game. The first quarter ended 21-15 for Valencia.
The second period started with Dydek very strong, backed up Powell and Cuprys who kept finding, again and again, gaps in the Spanish defence. Despite this, a 3-pointer from Valdemoro shot an arrow of doubt into the Gdynia zone defence, although the home side continued to experience difficulties in getting to the hoop. With help from Trish Fallon, Ros Casares managed another run and were able to open up a small gap. At half-time the result looked promising for the locals: 40-30.
At the start ofthe third the Polish defence was so impressive that Michele Van Gorp was only able to open the scoring after 2 minutes - on 2 free throws after a foul by Chastity Melvin. It was the Poles who now took charge thanks to young star Agnieszcka Bibrzycka and a zone so tight that in a few minutes it was able to completely reduce the home side's advantage. Only the fourth foul for Margo Dydek was able to stop this run, however, Domingo Diaz wsa obliged to take a time out as his players suddenly found themselves behind for the first time in the game, 43-45.
From then on, Fallon's skills, along with a 3 from Valdemoro, a steal from Fernandez and another basket from Berthieu and new life breathed through the home side. Only the re-entry of Melvin into the game kept the Poles close, and going into the last 10 minutes the score stood at 53-51.
Iin the final period Elisa Aguilar took control, grabbing a steal and scoring 5 consecutive points to give her team-mates some breathing space. Additionally, better defence from the Valencia side and the emergence of Kedra Holland gave Ros Casares a 60-53 lead with 4 minutes left on the clock. Valdemoro then hit another 3, Fallon made a terrific block and Dydek picked up her fifth foul and the game looked taken care of... almost.
Gdynia, however, kept on chasing, and after a series of errors from Ros Casares and a 3-pointer from Bibrzycka, the score stood at 70-69 with 20 seconds left to play. Holland hit one from 2 free-throws and Gdynia then had 12 seconds to score. Melvin's attempt went wide and Elaine Powell was unable to score on the rebound, handing the Valencia team their 6th win in the EuroLeague, and keeping their Play-Off hope alive.
Game MVP - Agnieszcka Bibrzycka (Lotos VBW Clima Gdynia)