Perfumerías Avenida sealed the passport to the Women’s Euroleague Final Four, which will be played from April 16 to 18, after defeating Uni Girona for the second time in three days. The Salamanca team did not need to resort to the eight-point income achieved on Wednesday and again beat their rival with a defensive display (71-65). Tiffany Hayes, Emese Hof, Maite Cazorla and Silvia Domínguez guided the return of the Castilian team to the continental elite 10 years after its conquest in the Ekaterinburg 2011 edition. of the blue tide that were noticed in the stands of the Würzburg pavilion, the Avenida completed the challenge. Their rival in the semifinals will be the Hungarian Sopron who asserted their advantage against French Lyon. On the other side of the table, Yekaterinburg and Fenerbahçe will fight for the final, with Miguel Méndez and Víctor Lapeña on the benches. Both complete with Roberto Íñiguez the shortlist of Spanish coaches in the appointment for the throne. Valencia Basket joins the momentum of national women’s basketball and will also play the Final Four of the Eurocup (from April 9 to 11).
10 years ago, in 2011, after four consecutive Spartak Moscow titles, the then Falcon Avenida touched the continental sky with the Euroleague conquest in Yekaterinburg, with Alba Torrens as mvp at 21 and Lucas Mondelo on the bench. Spanish women’s basketball ended almost two decades where the record at the club level had been a wasteland. Since Dorna Godella became champion twice in a row, in 1992 and 1993, against Dinamo Kiev and Como respectively (in the wake of the Olympic momentum and Perugia gold), no Spanish team had won the title. The apotheosis came the following year, in 2012, with the final between Ros Casares and Rivas Ecópolis, in which the luxurious Valencian project reached the fourth Spanish crown, the last to date. Later, Alba Torrens began her emigrant journey in Turkey and Russia to enlarge her record with four more Euroleagues (three with Yekaterinburg and one with Galatasaray), Ros’s project collapsed and club basketball in Spain entered into crisis and depression while, paradoxically, the national team launched itself to collect medals, breaking all the ceilings.
In the Final Four next month, in a venue yet to be defined, Alba Torrens will try to reach the six titles of the legendary American Diana Taurasi, the tournament record holder. Before the duel between Perfumería and Girona, the first semifinal was defined, the one between Ekaterinburg de Torrens and Miguel Méndez – who swept Kurs with a balance of +48 (80-67 and 94-59) – against Fenerbahçe by Laura Nicholls and Víctor Lapeña – who resisted the push of Galatasaray in the Turkish derby, again with Alina Iagupova in front, and saved the tie thanks to the 17 points of rent in the first game (91-74), despite falling in the second (61-71) -. Pulse between Spanish coaches. Yekaterinburg accumulates as many titles as Torrens, five, the same as the Italian Primigi Vicenza (who dominated the record in the 80s) with which he shares the podium. Light years away is the historic Daugawa of Soviet Riga, governor of the tournament with 18 titles in the first 24 editions, from 1959 to 1982.
In four weeks, Perfumerías Avenida will be the team that fights to write its history after completing a firm match, with a museum defense against Uni Girona. The two contenders strengthened the rear to tame fear. The avenue guided by the double engine formed by Silvia Domínguez and Maite Cazorla, with Emese Hof taking care of the points administration. Girona, resisting the rival onslaught with Julia Reisingerova propping up the fort (18-15, m. 10). The hostesses of the bubble with eight rental points from Wednesday’s game (66-74), but they left without looking in the rear-view mirror, with more tension and better fluidity than the Catalan team. A triple by Leo Rodríguez raised local income to another +8 (23-15, m. 12), although the effervescence took time to set a trend. From patience, Girona reached the concentration it was looking for, removed the plug in attack and signed a resounding reengagement. Frida Eldebrink (11 points in their 12 minutes on the court in the first half) and Giedre Labuckiene unleashed in the face of the basket and built a 2-17 run that turned the score around (25-32, m. 18). Salamanca did not tremble, which saved the delicate moment with the passage to the front of Domínguez and Cazorla (32-34, m. 20). There was the key.
At the resumption, Emese Hof emerged again and her duel with Frida Eldebrink marked the balance in the third quarter. In that section, Girona had the courage to resist the lashes of Cazorla and Hayes from the triple, but was unable to put together the load they needed for the comeback (54-52, m. 30). With Laia Palau, Adaora Elonu and Sonja Vasic controlled by the Salamanca defense, it was María Araujo who avoided the early surrender of her team. The challenge was enormous: to win the last quarter by 10 points. It was not allowed by the voracious defense of Avenida, who only conceded a basket in the first six minutes of that final act. With Silvia Domínguez’s break and Maite Cazorla’s push, Roberto Íñiguez’s team sealed their return to the European elite.