Avenida equals the final against Valencia with a solid exercise

Perfumerías Avenida defeated Valencia Basket in La Fonteta (74-76) with an exercise of strength and mettle and equaled the final of the Endesa Women’s League (1-1). After their respective triumphs on someone else’s court, the two teams will play the title in Salamanca, next Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Silvia Domínguez, Leo Rodríguez, Tiffany Hayes and Katie Lou Samuelson stopped Raquel Carrera’s flight and forced the tiebreaker after another vibrant duel that was resolved in the final moments. Katie Lou’s triple with 20 seconds to go allowed the Euroleague runner-up to seal the win against the Eurocup champion, who dominated from the start and then proudly stretched his resistance. The series between Avenida, which played 45 of the 60 possible finals in national competition in the last 20 years and has won 26 titles, and Valencia, heir to the historic Ros and engine of the rearmament of the League, will have a third and final episode in the Würzburg pavilion.

This time the taronja team was not enough with another notable performance by Raquel Carrera (14 points and four rebounds) and the delivery of Cristina Ouviña and Queralt Casas. Valencia accelerated in search of the first league in its history with a fast-paced start. The impulse of the 1,500 fans of La Fonteta, the vertigo of Queralt Casas, and the power of Marie Gulich, served the taronja team to appear in the second round of the final with a resounding 17-8 run in five minutes. The defensive intensity and the dominance in the rebound cemented the demarcation with which the local team marked territory. But I was expecting a long morning. The Avenida momentarily escaped the quagmire with patience and experience. He began to move the ball more fluidly and straightened the course with a sequence of 2-10, although he could not consolidate his inertia.

With greater determination and physical vigor, Valencia resumed their match plan and regained dominance and advantage (31-22, m. 14). Cristina Ouviña (7 assists in nine minutes) and Trahan Davis (10 points in that section) led another turn of the screw taronja. Tiffany Hayes and Emese Hof were slow to escape the Valencian shackles and the perimeter became an obsession for the Perfumerías. But Katie Lou Samuelson released Avenida when her team was having the worst time. By dint of class and marksmanship, the American signed the first triple after four failures, reached 13 points before the break and rebuilt Salamanca’s confidence. The character shake of the visiting team reached a partial of 8-22 until 39-42 with which the rest was reached. Perfumerías met again and Valencia had doubts.

Another triple, this time by Silvia Domínguez, propped up the reengagement of the Avenida towards a new, very equal pulse. It was the fourth meeting between the two teams so far this season and in the previous three games, the two regular league games and the first in the final, the duel was resolved in extra time. On the one hand Raquel Carrera and on the other Leo Rodríguez were in charge of managing the most tense minutes of the resumption. And, despite the Salamanca stretch midway through the third quarter, Valencia returned to settle accounts before entering the finish line (56-56, m. 30). Raquel Carrera’s influence grew as responsibility for decision-making increased. The Orense center first minimized the appearance of Hayes and then activated Valencia’s attack towards another agonizing outcome (67-67, 1m 40s from the end). But a triple by Katie Lou Samuelson, 20 seconds from the end, silenced La Fonteta and allowed Perfumerías to regain the home court factor and take the resolution of the title to Salamanca.

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