Spartak Wins 3rd Straight Crown by Beating Halcon Avenida

Avenida and Spartak came out strong, trading baskets during the whole first round, with both teams playing tough defense. After only three minutes Avenida got lucky and Sylvia Fowles was called her second foul which would sit her out until the third. Gunta Basko lead Avenida scoring eight points in the first half of the quarter, while Diana Taurasi was the go-to player in Spartak with 13 points in an even first quarter, with Spartak entering the second 22-21 ahead.

Spartak improved defensively in the second causing struggle in Avenida that couldn’t find open views and Spartak’s stars began the took off with Lauren Jackson in the starting role with 9 pts, helped by 5 pts from Sue Bird. They seem to be shifting the time to score and by the half of the quarter they had got into double digit margin, 37-25 after a trey from Taurasi. Basko reduced the double digit margin for the last time when scored 37-29 but from then Spartak won’t leave the double digit, reaching the interval 46-34 ahead.

After the break the Russian outfit continued controlling the game but Avenida’s defense didn’t let the Russians pull away in the first half of the quarter, when Petra Stampalija made it 55-45 and put Avenida again into ten points. Spartak stroke again with a 9-1 run in the next three minutes to make it 64-46 and appeared to knockout Avenida.

They weren’t right. Isa Sánchez appeared and scored 8 straight points in one minute frame –from 8 to 9- to make it 66-54 at the end of the third.

But Aveida remained scoreless during the first 4:20 minutes of the fourth and Spartak took advantage by scoring a 9-0 run, starting with a trey from Taurasi and completing it Sylvia Fowles with 6 straight points to make it 75-54 and the game was over then. Le’Coe Willingham and all her team tried hard to come back in the game but the American forward was too alone and her 11 points in the last minutes were in vain. The title finally flew to Russia, an to the Spartak Moscow Region, for the third time in a row.


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