Vibrant Valencia Basket coast past Carolo Basket to reach first Final
SZEKSZARD (Hungary) - Valencia Basket Club will contest their maiden EuroCup Women Final after they proved too hot to handle for Carolo Basket by posting an 80-68 Semi-Final success.
The Spanish team were too slick for their French opponents who were swamped by a first-half deluge as Valencia showed why so many people have labeled them as a title frontrunner for much of an impressive campaign.
Turning point: Arguably there wasn't one, since underdogs Carolo Basket gave themselves a mountain to climb right from the buzzer as they missed 12 of their first 15 shots. It didn't take long for the slick Valencia Basket to capitalize as they built a lead of more than 20 points. Carolo cut it to single digits at eight points but never looked like really putting the outcome into question.
Game hero: This was all about Raquel Carrera who set the tone in the early stages with some stellar work at both ends of the court and continued in the same vein. She finished with 22 points, shot the ball brilliantly and did the work defensively with 8 boards and 2 steals.
Stats don't lie: Carolo Basket knew that Valencia shot the ball well from downtown and yet couldn't stop them topping 40 percent again. So in this event, they had to stop them inside, but gave up 56 percent in the paint. They made it look a little bit too easy, while the 24 assists for Valencia was very impressive.
Bottom line: If Carolo Basket were to defy the favorites in this contest, they needed a strong platform to build on so they could ask questions and give themselves a chance of an upset. But they blew an opportunity to test Valencia by not showing up in any meaningful way during a nightmare opening, which witnessed their hopes go up in smoke almost immediately. To their credit, they did work hard to try and recover after half-time, but too much damage had been done.
Valencia Basket played with the energy and purpose that has become their trademark, building that first-half cushion and then keeping their opponents at arms' length to deliver the Final against Reyer Venezia that so many people had predicted.
They said: "I think we started the game really badly. We didn't put in the energy or intensity needed for this type of game. We were surprised at the start and needed time to adjust. But at this level, you just don't get the time you need to adjust." Carolo Basket forward, Endy Miyem.
"It was the gameplan to come out and give it all we have. This is what we live for. We have prepared for moments like this all season. We have experience and also young players who can step up. We have a lot of weapons on this team" Valencia Basket center, Celeste Trahan-Davis.