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Spanish League Round Two: Spain's financial crunch

A press release from Rivas Ecopolis gives some insight into the financial troubles of Spanish teams as the second set of games gets underway.

Photo by Getty Images.

There's not much rest - three days - before Round Two of Spanish League play begins.  We're in the two-a-week stage of games.  If you're an American player in Spain who doesn't play for Perfumerias, life will be pretty sweet after the first six games of the season.  Games decrease to just one game per week.  There's a nice break in December. It's a good opportunity to experience the beauty of Spain. 

But for now, it will be hectic.  Furthermore, the Spanish league is struggling.  Rivas Ecopolis sent out a press release that was discussed in  Some excerpts: 

* Alfonzo Cabeza, the president of Rivas Ecopolis, joined forces with mayor Pedro del Cura of Madrid to present an initiative on October 17 calling for crowdfunding and microfunding to allow the club to survive. 

* Rivas helps run ten teams at lower levels as well as sports training schools for girls.  Cabeza emphasized that this initiative wasn't merely to improve the club's bottom line.  This was to keep the hopes of 200 kids alive and to help them reach their dreams of playing basketball at the highest level.

* The club is even willing to change its name if the economic contribution keeps it alive.

* Cabeza was blunt.  "The situation of sports in Spain is generally bad.  And the women's basketball side is particularly bad."  Many clubs are in economic shock, which is why Rivas had to abandon a shot at Euroleague and why Perfumerias is the only Spanish club with the resources to take part in European tournaments.

Gran Canaria 76, Rivas Ecopolis 63

Youth is showing for Rivas Ecopolis.  Remember that after their Spanish league championship last year, the Turkish league teams swept in and signed all of the good players.  Now, two games into the season, Rivas has to take that ridiculous flight to Gran Canaria and lose to double digits.  Unless Rivas can make a turnaround, their title hopes are not looking good.

But they are learning.  Gran Canaria gave Rivas problems last season.  It was close early on in the first half until Bri Kulas picked up her third foul on a reach-in in the second quarter, which sent Kulas to the bench and gave Gran Canaria a chance to build some distance, leading by 15 points at halftime.

Rivas came out cold in the third quarter and Gran Canaria built their lead up to 20 points until the visitors finally started showing some defensive intensity.

Bri Kulas at Rivas Ecopolis finished with a disappointing 2 points/3 reb with 3 personal fouls.  She played just 14 minutes.  Spanish star Angela Salvadores - who has given a verbal commitment to Duke - scored 15 points/4 rebounds and had five steals in the loss. 

Gran Canaria went 10-for-17 from the 3-point line on the way to a win.  Amaya Gastaminza led the team with 15 points and 13 rebounds.  Akila McDonald had 3 points but added 7 rebounds in 26 minutes of play, and Robyn Parks started with five points and 3 rebounds in 28 minutes of play.

Watch McDonald finish it off at the basket in this play.

Gernika 69, Zamora 66

After a great start for Gernika last week where Bernice Mosby was given's Player of the Week award for Spain, Mosby had 17 points and four rebounds during a close 69-66 win against Zamora as Gernika starts 2-0 on the season.

This game was fairly close, with both teams in the bonus in the final minute. Zamora's Ella Clark hit a triple to close the gap to 64-63 with just 21 second left.  Mario Lopez of Gernika calls a time out and new player for Gernika out of Romania Claudia Pop get two free throws.  She hits the first one, misses the second but Bernice Mosby gets the rebound *and* gets fouled.  She hits both of her free throws to put Gernika up 67-63.  Natalie Van Den Adel hit a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left to close to 67-66, but this forced Zamora to foul to get the ball.  Pop then hits both of her free throws and Zamora could not get another three.

As it turned out, where free throw were critical for Gernika - they shot 20-for-26 at the line - Zamora only scored three free throw points.

Mirna Mazic had 15 points and 5 rebounds for Gernika, shooting 5-for-5.  Britany Miller had 7 points and 10 rebounds.  For the losers, Maria Ylenia Manzanares had 9 points, 10 rebounds and shot 4-for-4.

Bernice Mosby, however, suffered a little bit with a busted lip.

She got the last laugh.  As she said in a tweet, "When my opponent makes me mad during the game one word BEWARE because you just woke up a sleeping giant!!!!"

Conquero 71, Gipuzkoa UPV 57

The "Black Power" trio of Aja Parham, Adaora Elonu and Chelsea Davis combined for 34 points as Conquero beat Gipuzkoa UPV 71-57 in a home game for their first win of the season.  Lucila Pascua made her own contributions to the win with 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting.

Conquero took a 17-7 early on lead but Gipuzkoa would quickly come back with great three point shooting to temporarily take a 26-25 lead and by halftime, Conquero only led 37-35. Only in the second half did Conquero begin to pull away.  Patricia Soler off the bench has six points and played very well with Elonu in the second half, but it was truly Elonu and Chelsea Davis that did the heavy lifting to get Conquero the win.  Conquero scored 50 of its 71 points in the paint.

Perfumerias 73, Cadi La Seu 50

Perfumerias made up for the loss on Wednesday against Uni Girona by going on the road and dominating Cadi La Seu 73-50 in front of 600 of their fans.

Cadi La Seu actually led 22-18 at the end of the first quarter, but their hopes of a win evaporated when Perfumerias outscored them 21-6 in the second quarter.  All and all Perfumerias shot 58 percent on the floor, but that can be expected when you have three Spanish FIBA medalists as well as Shay Murphy and Angel Robinson playing for you.

If you want a thumbnail explanation of the victory, it was "Cadi La Seu couldn't break Perfumerias's zone defense."  Perfumerias finshed the second quarter with an 11-0 run and their play in the second half might have gone a long way to erase the memory of that bad start.

Angel Robinson had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Perfumerias win.  Shay Murphy added 17 points and 5 rebounds with four steals.  Marta Fernandez was the only other Perfumerias player in double digits with 10 points.

Cadi La Seu only had one player in double digits - Marlou De Kleijn with 13 points.  Tyrese Tanner had 4 points in 19 minutes of play off the bench in the loss.

Ferrol 72, Al-Qazares 57

Play resumed with three games on Sunday with Ferrol getting a 72-57 road win against Al-Qazeres.  Ferrol won or tied every quarter of the game and led all game, and games like this are called "games without histories" in Europe.  Not very much news on this game.  The game was won on the glad with a 

It was DeNesha Stallworth's time to shine with 23 points and eight rebounds for Ferrol.  Haley Peters had 11 points/5 rebounds in the win.

For the losers, Lady Comfort had 16 points/6 rebounds.  Callan Taylor had 11 points/9 rebounds for Al-Qazares.  Afure Jemerigbe had only 2 points in 13 minutes of play.

Uni Girona 60, Bembibre 56

One again, not much news on Sunday of Girona's 60-56 win over Bembibre at home.  Girona didn't have Brittany Chambers in the box score and only seven players saw time.  Ify Ibekwe had 14 points/7 rebounds but the monster game was from Vanessa Gidden with 11 points/18 rebounds.  In particular, Uni Girona won this game on the glass, out rebounding the visitors 42-28

Ariel Edwards let the losing squad with 19 points/5 rebounds.  The only other player in double figures was Rita Montenegro with 15 points.

Mann Filter 59, Campus Promete 58

In the final game of the weekend, Mann Filter squeaked by Campus Promete on the road in a game where both teams shot 34 percent.  Samarie Walker had 12 points and 12 rebounds in a victory where Campus Promete led by four points at the end of the third quarter.

On the other side, LaNedra Brown scored 17 points and 14 rebounds in the loss for the home team Promete.  Leslie Knight scored 3 points in 23 minutes.  Liset Castillo had 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Spanish League 2014-10-19

Round Three (October 22nd)

Al-Qazares (1-1) at Perfumerias (1-1)
Cadi La Seu (0-2) at Bembibre (1-1)
Uni Girona (2-0) at Mann Filter (2-0)
Campus Promete (0-2) at Gipuzkoa UPV (0-2)
Conquero (1-1) at Zamora (1-1)
Gernika (2-0) at Rivas Ecopolis (0-2)
Ferrol (2-0) at Gran Canaria (1-1)