MADRID (Liga Femenina/Euroleague Women) - Rivas Ecopolis fans probably didn’t go into the new campaign believing the club could move mountains after losing several high-profile players from the 2011-12 team that finished runners-up in the EuroLeague Women.
One terrific performance after another in this year’s Liga Femenina, however, shows that the players think anything is possible.
Rivas equaled their best-ever start on the domestic front with their ninth straight victory over the weekend, a 63-42 romp against C.B. Bembibre.
Anna Cruz and Laura Nicholls, key players in last season's side and vital components of a Spanish national squad that will next summer play at the EuroBasket, shone again.
Cruz scored a game-high 16 points while Nicholls had 10 rebounds and three steals to go with her seven points.
Rivas is a club that has been committed to developing young Spanish internationals, and two up-and-comers were given a lot of minutes against Bembibre.
Queralt Casas had eight points while Marina Lizarazu poured in seven.
Success has found Rivas Ecopolis in one way or another in each of the last four seasons.
In their first-ever EuroLeague Women during the 2009-10 campaign, Rivas won their first seven games and advanced to the play-offs.
The following season, after the signings of Spanish greats Elisa Aguilar and Amaya Valdemoro, and WNBA star DeWanna Bonner, Rivas won the Copa de la Reina.
In 2011-12, with USA Olympian Asjha Jones leading the way, Rivas reached the EuroLeague Women title game.
Now, the club is just a win shy of having its finest-ever start in the Liga Femenina.
Coach Miguel Méndez's team has a break with a bye in the EuroLeague Women this week.
His team will go after a 10th triumph on the domestic front on 22 December when it hosts Hondarribia-Irun.