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Spanish League Round One: How the mighty have fallen

All teams in the Spanish league have played their Round One games and the two teams that were favorites to win it all both go down.

Photo by Getty Images.

Round One for all Spanish teams completed this Wednesday.  It looks like the FEB channel on YouTube is going to have stored archives of every single game.  However, it might be a few days before the games are posted so I'll just have to point you to the channel for the time being for the games I don't have video for.

(Furthermore: the videos are without sound.  Ugh.)

Initially, it looks like there will be two games a week, one on Wednesday and one on Saturday with some slight variations.  This two-games-a-week stretch lasts until November 1st - then it changes to one game every weekend, undoubtedly to accommodate Perfumerias so it can go off and play in Euroleague on Wednesdays.  So by November 1st, we'll have six games under our belt and the season will almost be a quarter over.

Between December 20th and January 10th, the regular season takes a break.  Then it's back to once-a-week until March 14th-March 28th, where the league will play its last five games on a two-a-week basis.

Bembibre 80, Campus Promete 64

The Spanish League got an early start on Monday with home team Bembibre overcoming Campus Promete 80-64.  Bembibre was actually down 20-12 at the end of the first quarter but they then won the next three quarters.  The game was tied at 34-34 at halftime and the home side began to open the gap with 3-point shooting.  It was a sad opener for Campus Promete in their very first game in the top division of the Spanish league.

Promete shot 48 percent but it was 3-point shooting that got Bembibre the win.  Bembibre went 14-for-28 from behind the arc and led 17-7 in assists.  Bembibre's Ariel Edwards got her feet wet playing 23 minutes, but she shot 1-for-9 in an inasupicious debut in her first meaningful overseas game.  Bembibre spread the scoring round with three players in double figures, including Berta Chumillas with 10 points and eight rebounds.

Notes: There were 500 fans in attendance during the game.  Fan attendance overseas is generally lower than those of WNBA teams, but the arenas aren't very big.

More Video: Just the highlights.  Bembibre is in the red, Campus Promete is in the white. At 5:14 the coaches hold a press conference.

Campus Promete's American players LaNedra Brown and Leslie Knight led the team.  Brown had 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting and Knight had nine points and six rebound with 4-for-5 shooting. Even so, here's hoping that Edwards can adjust.

Al-Qazeres 67, Gran Canaria 56

Al-Qazeres got their very first win ever in the upper league, and got in on the road - not bad for a team that's only been around for a couple of seasons!  Lady Comfort led Al-Qazeres with 14 points and eight rebounds on 7-for-9 shooting.

Callan Taylor threw in another 16 points and eight rebounds, and she had 7 pts/4 rebounds in the final quarter with both teams tied 44-44 going into the final quarter. Akila McDonald led Gran Canaria with 14 points and 12 rebounds, carrying the load for her team.  Robyn Parks had 12 points and four steals in her first overseas pro game but was 3-for-6 from the free throw line.

Video: A Spanish TV interview with Akila McDonald after the loss by Gran Canaria.

Ferrol 60, Cadi La Seu 49

Cadi La Seu attempted 26 3-pointers but it wasn't enough to overcome home club Ferrol. It was a big day for two players from big name college programs.  Not only was it their first pro game in Europe, but Haley Peters out of Duke had 28 points/9 rebounds, joined by DeNesha Stallworth our of Kentucky with 16 points and 10 rebounds.  Cristina Fedrals had eight assists for Ferrol.

Tyrese Tanner scored 7 points in 17 minutes in the loss.  Laura Gil had 9 points/11 rebounds with six steals in the losing effort.

Uni Girona 64, Perfumerias 56

This was the real shocker of the season.  Perfumerias is participating in Euroleague and finished 18-4 in the regular season last year on the way to a LFB Finals appearance, but they get upended - at home! - by Uni Girona.  Up 29-28 at halftime, they fell into a third quarter hole that they never were able to crawl out of.  Angel Robinson had 6 points/6 steals for Perfumerias but also had five turnovers.  Shay Murphy only had five points and only played for 18 minutes. 

The press conference with Alberto Miranta (Perfumerias coach) and Ramon Jordana (Uni Girona coach):

Ife Ibekwe had a monster game for Uni Girona with 20 points and 10 rebounds and shooting 8-for-9 at the line.  Vanessa Gidden added 20 points and 11 rebounds.  Not a great game for Brittany Chambers - she had just two points with seven turnovers in 29 minutes of play.

Mann Filter 79, Conquero 66

Home team Mann Filter had a big final quarter, outscoring visiting Conquero 21-10 to seal a 79-66 win.  It was a tight game and Conquero had chances to win, but when Mann Filter defended the lane in the fourth quarter Conquero couldn't find their outside shots. 

Adaora Elonu came up big for Conquero with 24 points and 10 rebounds, but the only other player to score in double-digits was Aja Parahm with 10 points.  Chelsea Davis had 6 points but shot just 3-for-9 from the floor.

On the winning side, all five starters scored in double figures.  Samarie Walker was a super sixth woman, scoring 23 points and scoring 8 points/8 rebounds in just 23 minutes of play in her very first overseas pro game.

Gernika 65, Gipuzkoa UPV 43

In a "Battle of the Basque", Gernika started out with a 20+ point win in the LFB after playing in the lower division the previous season.  Gipuzkoa UPV shot an miserable 26 percent from the field and an astonishingly bad 3-for-24 from 3-point range. Let's look at some numbers:

Maria Gomez: 0-for-7 from 3-point range
Laura Arroyo:  0-for-5 from 3-point range
Onintza Aduriz:  1-for-3 from 3-point range
Iulene Olabarria:  1-for-3 from 3-point range

The only Gipuzkoa player that scored in double digits was Miriam Foraste with 10 points.  Jeanise Randolph scored four points and 8 rebounds in a losing effort.

As for Gernika, Bernice Mosby blew up with 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Britany Miller was right behind her with 17 points/8 rebounds.  At one point during the game the scoreboard froze up at 45-21 (if I'm reading my translated Spanish right) but it didn't really matter.

Zamora 64, Rivas Ecopolis 55

This is the second big shocker of the first round.  It was expected that Perfumerias and Rivas would finish in the top two in the LFB this season and the only big question this year might be which team finishes first.  Instead, both teams lose, with Rivas dropping a 64-55 game on the road

We knew that Rivas had a young team, but Zamora managed to win every quarter.  (Granted, by only 2-3 points each time, but still.) Blame Rivas and their 32 percent shooting.  Rivas could also blame an injury to Gaby Ocete, who got hurt in the third quarter but provided a lot of value with 6 points/6 rebounds/4 assists in he4 22 minutes of play.

Bri Kulas scored nine points but came up only 1-for-4 from the 3-point line for Rivas in her overseas pro debut.  Maria Delgado led all Zamora scorers with 13 points.  Caroline Durbin scored 9 points/6 rebounds, but only played for 19 1/2 minutes.

Spain 2014-10-15

Round Two schedule (October 18th-19th)

Gran Canaria (0-1) at Rivas Ecopolis (0-1)
Zamora (1-0) at Gernika (1-0)
Gipuzkoa UPV (0-1) at Conquero (0-1)
Mann Filter (1-0) at Campus Promete (0-1)
Bembibre (1-0) at Uni Girona (1-0)
Perfumerias (0-1) at Cadi La Seu (0-1)
Ferrol (1-0) at Al-Qazares (1-0)