Ros Casares Captures EuroLeague Women Title

Ros Casares Valencia struggled to find the deadly offensive rhythm but stepped on the other end of the floor to grab the 2012 EuroLeague Women title with a convincing 65-52 win over Rivas Ecopolis on Saturday night in Istanbul.

Obviously pumped up by three consecutive victories over superior teams in the Final Eight, Rivas Ecopolis came out sharp and took control of the game early, while Ros Casares seemed to be a team in disarray.

Rivas took control of the second period to build a 37-33 lead at the half, but they looked like a tired squad that ran out of gas in the second half as Ros Casares slowly took momentum.

Ros Casares, who came into the game as the heavy favorite to win the title, compensate their offensive struggles with a superb defensive effort in the second half. The Spanish powerhouse limited their local rivals to just 15 points in the second half, including a measly 4-point performance from Rivas in the final period.

“I think we won this championship with our defensive play,” said Ros Casares first-year coach Roberto Iniguez. “Today we were not comfortable in the offence but we played harder defensively. I am very proud of my team and I think we are the best team in Europe this year.”

Sancho Lyttle had a huge night as she finished with 18 points and six rebounds, Sylvia Dominguez added 13 points, while veteran Ann Wauters chipped in 12 points and grabbed six boards for Ros Casares, who dominated the battle of the boards with a 42-33 advantage.

Asjha Jones, who was named as the Final Eight Most Valuable Player was the lone bright spot for her team, scoring 14 points to go with seven rebounds, but her lone effort was not enough to win the title for Rivas.

“I am definitely honored to be the MVP. But basketball is a team sport. We played as a team and lost as a team,” Jones said. “We came out and played aggressive but just had not enough for the last five minutes and they pulled it out.”

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