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Basketball - 27. February 2009.

EURLEAGUE WOMEN – Spartak, UMMC, Avenida and Sopron Final Four bound


MOSCOW (EuroLeague Women) - Spartak Moscow Region remained on course for a third straight title in the EuroLeague Women but only after surviving a tense Game 3 in their play-off Quarter-Final with Ros Casares.

USA international Sylvia Fowles had 23 points and 13 rebounds to lead Spartak to a 79-70 win in Vidnoje in the Moscow Region on Wednesday.

Fowles' fellow Team USA star Diana Taurasi poured in 22 points.

Spartak joined surprise packages Halcon Avenida and MKB Euroleasing Sopron and Russian juggernauts UMMC Ekaterinburg in the Final Four.

Taurasi paid tribute to Ros Casares for putting up a huge fight.

"We played hard against a worthy opponent and it's a shame that both of us can't go to the Final Four," Taurasi said.

"We had to give our best to beat Ros Casares."

The game was close until the end.

Spartak were struggling to score points in the fourth quarter when Fowles drew a foul and made one of two free-throws.

That started a 9-2 Spartak run for a 72-64 lead with 3:32 remaining.

The closest Ros would get the rest of the way was 73-69 after Delisha Milton-Jones drew a foul and went to the line to make both attempts with 1:42 to go.

In other Quarter-Final action, Avenida, who knocked off CSKA Moscow in the last 16, swept MiZo Pecs 2010 2-0.

The Salamanca club won the opener at home 85-63 and then prevailed 81-76 in Game 2, which was played in Hungary.

Donnette Snow had 17 points and 14 rebounds for Avenida in the victory that put them in the last four.

After edging Bourges 68-65 in France, Sopron prevailed 70-63 in Game 2 with emerging Serbia superstar Jelena Milovanovic scoring 21 points.

Milovanovic scored 25 points in the opener.

Ekaterinburg blew out Fenerbahce 94-62 in Game 1 but then escaped with a 70-68 Game 2 triumph in Istanbul.

Deanna Nolan hit the go-ahead lay-up with 3:39 remaining for UMMC, who got 17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from former Fenerbahce star Cappie Pondexter.

Pondexter is one of many USA Olympic gold-medal winners playing in Europe.

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