|New acquisition Nicole Powell had a game-high 16 points for Avenida|
Former EuroLeague Women champions Pefumerias Avenida have had to scale back their budget during the last 18 months and yet are still pulling out big wins after a fantastic 62-56 road success at highly rated ZVVZ USK Prague.
In a first ever EuroLeague Women victory for head coach Alberto Miranda, who took the reins from Lucas Mondelo during the summer, Avenida certainly came up trumps to capitalise on a Prague team who missed the presence of star forward Rebekkah Brunson.
Neither team was able to find any kind of offensive rhythm required since defence reigned supreme. And despite relying on a more up-tempo and transition game, Avenida showed they can still grind it out when required.
For most of the first half, the Spanish club had their noses in front, a three-pointer by Nicole Powell putting them 12-8 ahead in the early stages although by midway through the second quarter, Anna De Forge tied things up at 26-26.
Avenida then again edged ahead and this is where they stayed. Prague just couldn't finish consistently and this meant they were unable to really take a grip of the game, although it was definitely there for the taking.
The visitors protected their slender lead well although they were only 47-45 ahead with five minutes remaining.
But, Roneeka Hodges and Nicole Powell both made big plays and combined for 14 points down the stretch to make the game safe.
Lucila Pascua and Egle Sulciute did the dirty work on the glass by combining for 24 rebounds, while Kia Vaughn impressed for the losing team with 16 points and 11 boards.
Perfumerias Avenida head coach Alberto Miranda Sánchez:
"It was a though game, both of the teams could feel the pressure of the beginning of the season, there were a lot of mistakes in the game. Since the beginning of the game we performed well in defense. We did a good job and stopped our opponents. There was a big fight in offense, but in the end of the game we were more accurate, what was actually the key factor."
Perfumerias Avenida player Lucila Pascua:
"It was a hard job to defend Kia Vaughn, we are still waiting for two more players to go under the basket, I was really tired in the end. But the main thing is that we performed well as a team and won the game."
ZVVZ USK Prague head coach Ivan Beneš:
"We didn´t succeed in playing against good Salamanca defense. We had a minimum of open shooting positions. We did not have such a low shooting percentage in any of our previous games, our shooters were under a constant pressure. We could not play our game and we had difficulties in finding a new one. It was a first game and you could feel nervousness on both sides of the court. But we are happy that the team fought till the last moment."
ZVVZ USK Prague player Kia Vaughn:
"I tried hard to lead the team to the victory even if I was so tired. I tried to shoot and hoped to score. But they performed really well in defense today and that decided the result."