Friday, January 30, 2009
How big was this game? See that man in glasses? That's Ivan Gašparovič, President of the Slovak Republic. After a 98-53 blowout of Kosice in Valencia, you couldn't blame Slovak fans for hoping that Kosice might have a better showing on their home court in front of an announced crowd of 1500 spectators and the president himself.
No dice. Ros Casares ran Kosice right off the floor, winning 81-48 and winning the first two games of the best-of-three series to move on to the Euroleague Quarterfinals in February.
El Ros started slowly...they were behind 8-2 early on, but then went on an 11-0 run and never looked backwards, leading by 19-10 and holding Kosice to 11 second-quarter points to led 37-21 at halftime. Ros Casares won both of the remaining quarters, and held Kosice to 12 third quarter points to extend their lead to over thirty points.
Ros Casares shot 50 percent from the field. Kosice shot 30 percent. That alone tells the story of the victory. Kosice lost on the offensive boards, in total rebounding, turned the ball over 19 times and sent Ros Casares to the free throw line 18 times, where they hit 14 shots.
The Euroleague candidate for player of the game was Atlanta's own Erika de Souza, who scored 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting and had nine rebounds. Four players would score in double figures for Ros Casares, including Amaya Valdemoro with 16 points of her own and Delisha Milton-Jones with 10 points. Candace Wiggins would only score three points in her 18 minutes of play, but would have five rebounds.
Cathrine Kraayeveld was considered Kosice's top performer, with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Sidney Spencer also reached double digits with 10 points, and Liron Cohen added 10 points of her own.
(* * *)
So far in the quarterfinals, we only know one of the four matchups. The matchup will be Ros Casares against Spartak Moscow in a best-of-three series with the Russians having the home court advantage. The first game takes place on February 17th in Vidnoje, Russia.
Sue Bird. Diana Taurasi. Sylvia Fowles. Lauren Jackson. This is going to be the big test for Ros Casares, and Spartak Moscow might provide a hurdle that El Ros can't jump.