BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Only 23 days after lifting the EuroLeague Women trophy, Ros Casares have again reason to celebrate|
Title celebrations are underway at Ros Casares one again.
Just three weeks removed from their EuroLeague Women championship-winning triumph over Rivas Ecopolis at the Final Eight in Istanbul, Roberto Iniguez's side remained unbeaten in the Liga Femenina by sweeping through the domestic play-offs.
They romped to an 86-68 victory at rivals Perfumerias Avenida on Tuesday night for a 2-0 victory in the play-off finals.
The Valencia club has now captured eight Liga Femenina titles.
This season is without a doubt the greatest in club history.
"We have made history by going unbeaten in the league and this is very complicated to achieve," Iniguez said.
"This just proves that in this team, there is not only a lot of talent but that it has values like effort, consistency and work."
Ros Casares had what many considered to be a ‘dream team' with Ann Wauters, Maya Moore, Lauren Jackson, Sancho Lyttle, Eshaya Murphy, Kata Honti, Silvia Dominguez and Isabelle Yacoubou joining Jana Vesela and Laia Palau for this season.
Before American star Moore's arrival, however, all was not going according to plan.
Ros Casares were winning games under then coach Natalia Hejkova but were not always convincing.
Management took the hard decision to remove Hejkova before Christmas and hand the reins to Iniguez.
"In December there was a change of dynamics and this has translated into results," Iniguez said.
Even so, Iniguez wasn't able to lead the club to victory in the Copa de la Reina in March as they were upset by Salamanca.
That result put him, and his players, under added pressure to capture their first EuroLeague Women crown and they responded beautifully, beat UMMC Ekaterinburg, Sparta&K Moscow Region and Wisla Can-Pack Krakow to reach the title game where they knocked off upset-minded Rivas.
Ros Casares rode the momentum to victory in the league.
"In this team there are no egos, they play to win and the work begins from the back (defense)," Iniguez said.
"I am very happy to coach this team.
"It's going to be difficult to surpass what this team has achieved this season but this club has a great structure.
"The players have worked so hard and they deserve this."
In Tuesday's game, Ros were in control by half-time with a 47-32 lead.
Moore ended up pouring in 20 points to lead Ros.
The result has meant that Spain national team point guard Dominguez has enjoyed another glorious season.
|Silvia Dominguez has won two EuroLeague Women and Liga Feminina titles in a row with two seperate teams|
A linchpin in the Perfumerias side, she left Salamanca for Valencia after last season's EuroLeague Women and Liga Femenina Double.
Winning the 2011-12 league title in front of her old fans was extra sweet.
"The truth is to be able to win here is amazing," she said.
"I give thanks to be able to experience this.
"For us it's a good end to the season. For Salamanca it's great to have these fans."
The Perfumerias faithful applauded their team on Tuesday despite the setback.
"I experienced that for five years and it's incredible that they give their team this farewell," she said.
Dominguez will now get a taste of the WNBA and play for the Seattle Storm, the club her Ros Casares teammates Lauren Jackson and Jana Vesela have played for.
The season in America is during the summer.
"I'm delighted because it has been a year where things have gone really well and now I feel like experience in Seattle," she said.
Iniguez will be able to take a break.
It's likely he'll remain in charge of Ros Casares.
"I have a contract until May 15 and then we shall see," he said.