Ros Casares defended the Copa de la Reina for the fourth time
The 48th edition of the Copa de la Reina went to Ciudad Ros Casares. They beat Perfumerias Avenida (64-62) to lift the trophy for the seventh time.
Ros Casares have held this trophy since 2007 and were last beaten in this competition in 2006, when they lost in the final to Perfumerias Avenida.
The final itself started slowly with nothing much happening offensively with both teams playing aggressively in defense.
Sancho Lyttle from Avenida and Delisha Milton-Jones from Ros Casares were in each other way from the tip-off as they attempted to get the upper hand.
Milton-Jones opened the scoring while Avenida gave a display in missing the unmissable.
Milton-Jones dominated the posts and Lyttle lost her cool as Ros Casares slowly imposed their style.
Le’Coe Willingham managed to interrupt the flow with a couple of three-pointers for Avenida. However a 3-point play by Milton-Jones and a trey by Belinda Snell enabled the defending champions to lead (12-6) halfway through the first quarter.
Avenida needed to change tactics quickly and Alexandra Gorbunova and Isa Sánchez came into the game. Sánchez was soon on the score sheet but it was another trey by Willingham that brought Avenida to within 1 point of the champions (13-14).
Olga Podkovalnikova who had played in France, who came on late in the first quarter to replace Lyttle, combined well with Gorbunova. This enabled Avenida to score 6 unanswered points.
Avenida appeared to have solved their offensive problems when Ros Casares' head coach, Isma Cantó, called for a time-out.
Ros Casares changed tactics and with three-pointers by Anna Montañana and Becky Hammon, they regained the lead briefly (25-24).
The see-saw battle then began, with both sides having their moments.
Avenida were leading by 6 points with the clock running down when Laia Palau hit a buzzer-beater from mid-court. This reduced the Ros Casares deficit when going into the locker room with the lead (32-35).
The Milton-Jones Lyttle saga lasted just 15 seconds at the start of the third quarter, because Milton-Jones picked up her third foul and returned to the bench.
Unfortunately Lyttle was unable to profit from Milton-Jones' absence as she was back on the bench with 3 fouls within 60 seconds.
Lyttle was soon back in action because Podkovalnikova had to leave the game after taking a knock to her head.
Milton-Jones was also back in action and easily won her contest with Lyttle. Snell and Erika De Souza became more involved in the action and Ros Casares regained the advantage.
Ros Casares went into the final quarter ahead (52-50) and the battle in the paint continued. De Souza fired in 6 points for Ros Casares.
However Lyttle countered for Avenida with back to back scores and a trey by Gorbunova.
Scoring was difficult and Ros Casares led (64-60) after 2 points from Palau with the game well into money-time.
Silvia Domínguez scored the last points of the game with 90 seconds left to play.
Both sides had chances to score but failed to convert and the game went down to the very last play.
Avenida had the last play of the match with 10 seconds remaining on the game clock.
By the time Willingham got the ball to Lyttle under the basket, the buzzer had sounded.
Milton-Jones finished with 17 points for the winners, while Snell and Montañana scored 13 and 10 points each.
The 2010 Copa de la Reina MVP Palau (right) scored 12 points, picked up 5 rebounds and dished out 3 assists.
Willingham finished with 18 points which included 4-of-6 from beyond the arc while Podkovalnikova added 10 points for the losers.