Welcome back to this week's Euroball update - where professional women's basketball is going on, just not here.
First, where would we be without a summary of Week 2 in Euroleague?
UMMC won the bid to host the Euroleague Final Eight. That means that UMMC automatically earns a spot in the Euroleague quarterfinals regardless of their record in group play. Something tells me that Ekat will try to win games anyway.
Perfumerias have really been sweating it out. In Euroleague and domestic games combined, they're an umimpressive 2-2. Perfumerias hoped to pick up Jessica Adair but failed three medicals due to a knee injury. Therefore, they need Roneeka Hodges to stay with the for a couple of weeks. Hodges was scheduled to head off to Brazil to play there at the beginning of December, so we'll see how that works out. Croatian player Iva Sliskovic will join Perfumerias for two months due to the Adair situation.
A game today between Orvieto and Umbertide was cancelled at halftime today. Why? Apparently, heavy rain caused a lot of condensation on the roof which dripped to the floor. Players were slipping, and Orvieto was up 29-25 at halftime when the game was cancelled. The game will be replayed at a later date.
Lindsey Whalen won't be starting at point guard right away. According to Galatasaray's general manager Muraz Ozyer's Twitter account, he thinks that Whalen's left hand injury might take more time that he expects it to. He is open to maybe new plans (could Whalen be let go?) because obviously he needs someone who can play in Euroleague right now. However, he's waiting for a final doctor's report before he makes his decision.
He is still waiting about 2-4 weeks for Sylvia Fowles's thigh injury to heal up. So you can guess that team health is a big concern for Gala.
USK Praha, one of the premiere teams in the league and a participant in Euroleague, just booted their head coach Ivan Benes. Natalie Hejková, a coach with Euroleague and Russian experience, takes over. According to Marke Kucera in club management, they did it now so that Hejková could get more familiar with the team.
This was after USK Praha beat VS Praha 97-67 on Saturday. Pro coaches aren't safe no matter what continent you're on.
ROW Rybnik's game against AZS Rzeszow has been postponed until November 9th and their postponed game against Pabiance is scheduled for November 11th. A message on the ROW Rybnik website states that "KK ROW Managment continues to work to restore the liquidity of the club." The PLKK really doesn't want to drop ROW Rybnik - a team in severe financial distress - if it doesn't have to.
In the meantime, Gydnia has changed its sponsorship. The team was formerly "BI Gydnia" as in Basketball Investments, their sponsor. They are now something like "Center Hill" Gydnia, named after a sponsorhip deal with Maryland Real Estate, which is building a new indoor shopping mall in Gydnia and has named the team after the mall. It is a three year deal for Gydnia worth approximately $100K (300K zlotny) to the team.
The LFB - the Ligue Féminine de Basketball - must be very happy in the Eurocup showing. All four teams in Eurocup (Lattes Montpelier, Union Hainaut, Tarbes, Nantes) not only have 2-0 records in their respective groups but of the three that played Russian teams this week, all of them won. The LFB might be a stronger league than anyone gives it credit to be, me included.
It appears that there was a cup game in Israel. Remember about Elitzur Ramla bowing out of a pre-season match with Elizur Netanya, forcing Netaya to cancel their game? Well, it seems that Ramla had no problem playing for the Winner Cup against Ramat Hasharon. Elitzur Ramla won that one in overtime, 89-84. Unfortunately, there's no box score but if you want to look at pictures of Natasha Lacy, just follow the link.
The regular season begins tomorrow in Israel.
Top Twelve List
1. Spartak Vidnoe Moscow (RUS): 2-1 D, 2-0 E
* Beat Bourges (FRA) 84-62 at home in Euroleague. An interesting match on paper, but Spartak had control of things pretty much the way through. Bourges collapsed in the last quarter, outscored 23-9.
Spartak Vidnoe Moscow: Candice Dupree 22/7 reb, Isabelle Yacoubou 13/7 reb, Evgeniia Beliakova 12/7 reb.
Bourges: Endene Miyem 14/8 reb, Zoi Dimitrakou 14, Celine Dumerc 12/4 ast/5 TO, Frida Eldebrink 10.
* Lost to Dynamo Moscow (RUS) 80-62 on the road. A sure sign that Spartak V MR isn't what it used to be, but they'll stay at #1 anyway. As Dynamo Moscow writes (translated): "It is worth mentioning that, for various reasons, the game did not participate the recognized leaders of the Moscow Dynamo - Ilona Korstin, Catherine Sytnyak Sokolovskaya and Irina, who played only a small segment of the meeting. The more valuable was the victory of the team."
Pokey Chatman's team was outscored 22-4 in the final quarter. Wow.
Dynamo Moscow: Snezana Aleksic 16/12 reb, Nadezhda Grishaeva 14/11 reb, Tatiana Vidmer 14/9 reb, Laura Harper 12, Ekaterina Fedorenkova 10, Kristi Toliver 6.
Spartak Vidnoe Moscow: Elisa Aguilar 12, Candice Dupree 10/6 reb, Becky Hammon 10.
Next: Nov 8 at UNI Gyor (HUN) in Euroleague, Nov 11 vs. Nadezhda (RUS).
2. UMMC (RUS): 3-0 D, 1-0 E
* Beat Novi Zagreb (CRO) 83-77 at home in their Euroleague opener. Novi Zagreb managed to get a 43-43 tie at one time, but this game had too much Diana Taurasi for Novi Zagreb's liking.
UMMC: Diana Taurasi 25/8 reb/7 ast, Sandrine Gruda 17, Anna Petrakova 14/10 reb, Silvia Domingues 12 (Candace Parker 6, Deanna Nolan 2).
Novi Zagreb: Sandra Mandir 10/8 reb/7 ast, Matea Vrldojak 15/10 reb, Mirna Mazik 15, Sena Patevic 10, Courtney Vandersloot 9/6 reb/6 ast (LaToya Williams 2).
* Beat Dynamo-GUVD (RUS) at home 81-58. Another game without a history where Ekat won every quarter.
UMMC: Sandrine Gruda 16/6 reb, Diana Taurasi 16, Deanna Nolan 12.
Dynamo-GUVD: Yvonne Turner 11, Natalia Myasoedova 8, Ksenia Kolosovskaia 8 (Sidney Spencer 5).
Next: Nov 7 at USK Praha (CZE) in Euroleague, Nov 11 vs. Spartak Noginsk (RUS)
3. Fenerbahce (TUR): 3-0 D, 1-0 E
* Beat Targoviste (ROM) 73-48 at home in Euroleague. A game without a history, Fener led from start to finish.
Fenerbache: Ivana Matovic 22/7 reb, Cappie Pondexter 16, Anastasiya Veremeenko 14/7 reb, Angel McCoughtry 13/9 reb.
Targoviste: Gabriela Marginean 16, Jillian Roberts 7/8 reb, Chioma Nnamaka 6.
* Beat Antakya (TUR) 67-60 on the road. Fener and Kayseri are now the only teams in the Turkish league that are undefeated. Angel McCoughtry had a double-double in the win. Fener's next game is against a surprisingly strong Istanbul Univ team.
Antakya: Jana Vesela 16, Jolene Anderson 14, Dubravka Dacic 12/10 reb (Naile Cirac 8/8 reb).
Fenerbahce: Angel McCoughtry 27/14 reb, Cappie Pondexter 13, Anastasiya Veremeenko 9/9 reb.
Next: Nov 7 at Nadezhda (RUS) in Euroleague, Nov 10 vs. Istanbul Univ (TUR).
4. Perfumerias (ESP): 2-1 D, 1-1 E
* Lost to CCC Polkowice (POL) 68-59 at home in an Euroleague upset. It all came down to the best team in the final quarter, and that was Polkowice. Nneka Ogwumike had a monster game.
Perfumerias: Nicole Powell 14/8 reb, Roneeka Hodges 13, Egle Sulciute 11.
CCC Polkowice: Nneka Ogwumike 22, Laia Palau 11/5 assists, Valeriya Musina 11/6 reb, Belinda Snell 6.
* Beat Hondarribia (ESP) 74-56 at home. Perfumerias led 46-24 at halftime. Combined, both teams attempted 42 3-pointers.
Perfumerias: Marta Fernandz 19, Roneeka Hodges 10, Egle Sulcuite 9/9 reb, Nicole Powell 8/6 reb.
Hondarribia: Tatiana Gomez 15, Lica Karcic 12, Mandisa Stevenson 12 (Lindsay Harris 4).
Trivia note: Mandisa Stevenson wears "MANNIE" as the name on the back of her jersey.
Next: Nov 7 at Mondeville (FRA) in Euroleague, Nov 11 vs. UNI Girona (ESP).
5. Athinaikos (GRE): 6-0 D (up from #6)
Beat Kronos AD (GRE) 64-53 at home. This is their 103rd consecutive domestic league victory, but who's counting? (Oh that's right! Athinaikos!) But it was close, with Kronos AD ahead 47-46 at the end of three quarters. Jasmine Smith graudated from St. Mary's CA in 2012
Athinaikos: Afroditi Kosma 16/9 reb, Lolita Lymoura 16, Sofia Kiriakopoulou 14.
Kronos AD: Jasmine Smith 17/8 reb, Nena Nokolaidou 12/9 reb.
Next: Nov 10 vs. Panathinaikos (GRE) in what is sure to be a barnburner.
6. Wisla Can-Pack (POL): 7-0 D, 0-2 E (down from #5)
* Lost to UNI Gyor (HUN) at home 67-62 in overtime. Anke De Mondt threw a long bomb as the buzzer sounded to send the game into overtime (see below) but it wasn't enough and Wisla lost their second Euroleague game in two tries.
Wisla Can-Pack: Dora Horti 25/13 reb, Justnya Zurowska 11/10 reb, Cristina Ouvian 8/6 ast.
UNI Gyor: Natalie Hurst 14, Chay Shegog 12, Ieva Kublina 11, Nora Nagy-Bujdoso 9/9 reb.
* Beat Energa Torun 80-69 (POL) on the road. For your typical small European gym, the place looked packed. Was it because Wisla is leading the lead or because Tina Charles finally made her debut with Wisla?
Energa Torun: Martyna Koc 21, Nicole Michael 20/10 reb, Paulina Misiek 10.
Wisla Can-Pack: Petra Stampalija 14/11 reb, Anke De Mondt 14, Tina Charles 13/6 reb, Justyna Zurowsk 12/7 reb/6 ast, Paulina Pawlak 11, Adrianne Ross 9.
Next: Nov 7 at IMOS Brno (CZE) in Euroleague, Nov 10 vs. PTK Pabianace (POL)
7. Dynamo Kursk (RUS): 3-0 D, 1-0 EC (up from #8)
* Beat Nadezhda (RUS) 65-60 at home. Dynamo Kursk moves to the top of the Russian League, in a tie with Ekat.
Dynamo Kursk: Temeka Johnson 17/7 reb/6 ast, Shay Murphy 12, Ekaterina Lisina 9/7 reb (Epipphany Prince 2, Michelle Snow 2).
Nadezhda: Renee Montgomery 23, DeWanna Bonner 16/11 reb, Ivan Perovanovic 9 (Liudmilla Sapova 3/11 reb.
Next: Nov 8 at Dunov 8806 (BUL) in Eurocup, Nov 11 at Energy Ivanova (RUS).
8. Bourges (FRA): 5-2 D, 1-1 E (up from #9)
* Lost to Spartak Vidnoe Moscow (RUS) in Euroleague (See above).
* Beat Tarbes (FRA) 63-49. Bourges outscored their vistors 14-4 in the second and 16-6 in the fourth quarter.
Bourges: Emmeline Ndongue 15, Frida Eldebrink 10, Celine Dumerc 9/9 ast, Zoi Dimitrakou 9/9 reb (Nwal-Endene Miyem 8/8 reb, Stephany Skrba 7/8 reb).
Tarbes: Jovana Rad 14, Paoline Salagnac 12 (Naura El Gargati 6/14 reb).
Next: Nov 7 vs. Rivas Ecopolis (ESP) in Euroleague, Nov 11 at Landes (FRA).
9. Rivas Ecopolis: 4-0 D, 1-0 E (up from #10)
* Beat Tarsus (TUR) 79-48 in Euroleague at home. Not as close as it looks. Rivas led 22-4 after the first period and cruised on to its first Euroleague win.
Rivas Ecopolis: Anna Cruz 18, Aneika Henry 14/8 reb, Olexandra Kurasova 11/6 reb, Laura Nicholls 9.
Tarsus: Melisa Can 18, Delisha Milton-Jones 6/6 reb, 1-for-11 shooting.
* Beat Cadi ICG (ESP) 86-83 on the road. A close game, with Rivas behind early on.
Cadi ICG: Astou Traore 21/6 reb, Jazz Covington 15, Cristina Garcia 12, Aja Parham 11.
Rivas Ecopolis: Anna Cruz 22/7 reb, Katalin Honti 18, Laura Nicholls 14, 10-for-11 from FT line, Oleksandra Kurasova 12/9 reb, Queralt Casas 10.
Next: Nov 7 at Bourge (FRA) in Euroleague, Nov 11 vs. undefeated UNB Obenasa (ESP).
10. Galatasaray (TUR): 2-1 D, 2-0 E (down from #7)
* Beat USK Praha (CZE) 58-56 at home in Euroleague. Gala stunk up the joint in the first half, with Sancho Lyttle and Ann Wauters keeping the team alive until everyone else woke up. The game ended with the ball in USK Praha's hands, but a bad pass by Kia Vaughn with three seconds left killed USK Praha's hopes of an upset on the road.
Galatasaray: Sancho Lyttle 17/12 reb, Ann Wauters 14/10 reb, Isil Alben 9/8 ast.
USK Praha: Kia Vaughn 17/12 reb, Jelena Skerovic 9/10 ast
* Lost to Kayseri (TUR) 70-64 in an upset at home. Gala has really struggled this season. A 19-7 run sealed it for Kayseri, and Gala only scored 7 fourth quarter points.
Galatasaray: Bahar Caglar 17, Ann Wauters 15/11 reb, Sancho Lyttle 15/8 reb.
Kayseri: Evanthia Maltsi 14, Begu Dalgalar 13, LaToya Sanders 12/14 reb (Nicky Anosike 7).
Next: Nov 7 at CCC Polkowice (POL) in Euroleague, Nov 11 at Edremit (TUR).
11. Taranto (ITA): 3-1 D
Beat Priolo (ITA) 69-68 on the road. There were a lot of close games that took place in the Italian league today. Turnovers seemed to be the difference, with Taranto forcing 19 Priolo turnovers. According to lovewomensbasketball.com, Giulia Gatti hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left to win the game.
Priolo: Marija Eric 18, Valentina Donvito 16/6 reb, Monica Veselovskij 14, Kelley Cain 9/8 reb, Tanio Seino 7/11 reb.
Taranto: Gintare Petronyte 15/8 reb, Megan Mahoney 14, Ilaria Zanoni 10 (Liron Cohen 8).
Next: Nov 11 vs. Famila Schio (ITA).
12. Good Angels (SLV): 10-0 D, 1-1 E (new)
* Defeated Sopron (HUN) 89-78 in Euroleague play. Shenise Johnson and Zsofia Fegyverneky combined for 50 points, but the Good Angels were 17-for-20 at the free throw line.
Good Angels: Riquna Williams 18, Miljana Bojovic 16/12 ast, Plenette Pierson 13/6 ast, Allie Quigley 13, Petra Kulichova 10/12 reb.
Sopron: Shenise Johnson 29/13 reb, Zsofia Fegyverneky 21 (Sara Krnjic 7/8 reb).
* Defeated Cassovia K (SLV) 98-38 on the road. Another easy win for Good Angels in the top-heavy Slovak Extraliga. Kosice led 50-14 at halftime.
Cassovia K: Beata Janoscikova 10, Katarina Timkova 7, Andrea Kulcsarova 7
Good Angels: Helena Sverrisdottir 18, Tijana Krivacevic 16, Allie Quigley 11
Next: Nov 7 at Arras (FRA), Nov 11 at Poprad (SLV).
Fell out: Nadezhda (RUS).
Wisla Can-Pack gets a little crowd participation going during their match with UNI Gyor in Euroleague.
One Wisla fan blamed the cheers for distracting Wisla. The second of the two comments on this link were not kind, translated out of Polish, blaming the fans for concentrating more on their own cheers and antics than on supporting the team. (Me, on the other hand, I like this kind of stuff.)
All of Fenerbahce vs. Targoviste in Euroleague. Get your fill of Angel McCoughtry and Cappie Pondexter.