|Vega Gimeno and her teammates (like Dewanna Bonner, pictured) gave it their all for 40 minutes but could not avoid defeat in overtime|
By Paul Nilsen
Spanish forward Vega Gimeno has praised UMMC Ekaterinburg in the wake of the thrilling overtime game in Madrid which saw Rivas Ecopolis exit the competition.
Home fans watched in agony as their EuroLeague Women campaign finally came to an end in dramatic circumstances as their offence dried up during the extra period resulting in an 83-74 defeat.
Having had time to digest and reflect on the thrilling events in the Spanish capital last Friday night, Gimeno was philosophical about missing out on a place in the last eight after a 2-0 series defeat.
The 20-year-old was also honest enough to admit the quality of Ekat shone through rather than any bad luck being the deciding factor.
"UMMC Ekaterinburg have a very good team and you have to say maybe the best team in Europe."
"They have a lot of very good players whether it is post players, guards, or playmakers."
She continued, "We had played two very good games against them but we had the same problem each time - we didn't finish the game."
"We did a really good job and we played hard, smart and very much as a team."
We fought really hard during in both games and we made important shots."
"I think we also played really good defence but sometimes that is not enough to win against a team like Ekat."
"To win against them you need to do produce a great game - even a perfect game in fact, without any mistakes."
"They are so good you need to play your best for the entire 40 minutes."
"I don't believe in bad luck."
"In both games they knew how to win and we didn't know how to do it."
Despite just coming up short, Gimeno is proud of what her club and team-mates have achieved after a really tough start to the season. In fact, at a time when everyone was doubting the ability of Rivas to light a fire under their season, she always kept faith the team would eventually shine.
"I told everyone I knew that we could find chemistry and that's what we did during the last couple of months."
"We are playing as a team and that is the reason we won the Copa De La Reina and we played so well against one of the best teams of Europe such as Ekat."
"I am glad with the way we have played and with my team-mates since we are a very good team which continues to fight and work hard during every single practice."