ESP - A great event for women’s basketball
ZAMORA (Copa de la Reina) - There isn't a better weekend in Spanish women's basketball than when the Copa de la Reina is played.
It is always a spectacle, one that adds a spark to the season.
When Tintos de Toro Caja Rural, Perfumerias Avenida, Rivas Ecopolis and Spar Uni Girona run onto the Pabellon Angel Nieto court in Zamora on Saturday, the players and coaches will be fully aware of the rich history in the competition.
The event dates back to 1943, when RCD Espanol defeated Real Madrid in Palma, Mallorca.
Then called the Campeonato de Espana Senior Femenino (Women's Senior Basketball Championship), the competition's name was changed in 1978 to the Copa de la Reina.
The Copa once had eight teams but in 2010, organizers changed the format to four teams.
There have been close games, and blowouts.
The past several years have had some hotly contested encounters.
The past couple editions had surprises.
In 2011, Rivas Ecopolis travelled to Valencia and won the competition after upsetting Perfumerias Avenida in the Semi-Finals and then hosts Ros Casares in the Final.
In 2012, Ros Casares looked to have a team that was unbeatable yet fell to Perfumerias in the Final.
This season, Perfumerias are the holders but Rivas Ecopolis are the favorites.
“I have two wishes,” the point guard said.
“The first, to reach the Final and the second, to win it.
“But above all, that the team arrives well and enjoys this competition and plays well.”
Another Spain international, Anna Cruz, is in the Rivas team that won the competition two years ago.
She and her teammates face Girona on Saturday.
“The Queen's Cup has that special ingredient,” Cruz said.
“No matter how well you have done during the season, if you have a bad game, all the work is wasted. In one game, anything can happen.
“But if we are focused and do everything we have to do, anything can happen and we can make it to the Final and even win it.”