Reporting scores and results is one thing, but finding out what it's actually like to play overseas is another thing. WNBA players are never asked in detail what overseas play is truly like. You'd have to know a WNBA player to really know. The occasional social media post might give you a hint of the flavor, so to speak, but you never really taste the meal.
There are some websites like dreallday.com where if you look in the right places, Dre Baldwin will go into detail about what the life of an overseas player is like. But what about the experience of women's basketball players?
Luckily, Chelsea Davis at Conquero does share some details of what it's like playing in Spain. Davis graduated from Florida State in 2013. Her YouTube video is worth watching; she answers ten questions about basketball.
Among the highlights:
* Free throw lines are slightly different overseas. The distance from the baseline to the free throw line is 15 feet in the United States and in NCAA basketball; in Europe it's 15.07 feet, basically one extra inch. That extra inch is enough to throw some American players.
* Whenever the ball goes out of bounds, the clock is reset to 14 seconds when the team with the ball is in the defender's half-court. This means that if the ball ends up out of bounds with 3 seconds left on the shooting clock, the clock will be reset to 14 seconds.
* Players cannot call time outs, at least not in the Liga Femenina. Only the coach can call time outs.
* Practices are slightly different. In a lot of practices in the United States when a new play is introduced to a team the team will first "walk through" the play. In the Liga Femenina ew plays are introduced at full speed, as least according to Davis. This leads to some initial disorientation. Davis also mentions the time when her team introduced three new plays all on the same day.
* At least in Davis's experience, plays are not drawn up for her or any of the Americans. However, as playmakers, Davis and other imports are expected to step up their game when a drawn play breaks down.
If you have any questions you'd want to ask Chelsea Davis, you can always drop her a comment. I'll keep my eye out for further YouTube posts from Davis or other Americans playing in Spain.
Bembibre 52, Al-Qazares 49
This one took place on Friday with Al Qazeres (1-3) losing its third straight game and Bembibre (2-2) moving up to .500 by winning on the road and snapping a two-game losing streak. This was definitiely a low shooting affair with Al-Qazares shooting 33 percent and Bembibre shooting 35 percent. Despite Bembibre's horrible 3-for-9 free throw shooting, the key to the game was holding on to the ball. Bembibre had just 10 turnovers to Al-Qazares's 19.
Lady Comfort of Al-Qazares had a good second quarter and Bembibre was actually up 48-36 with six minutes left when Al-Qazares decided to launch a comeback. Too little, too late. Callan Taylor tried three shots in the final seconds for Al-Qazares but the ball would not fall.
Rita "Monty" Montenegro led Bembibre with 13 points/11 reb/4 assists. Ariel Edwards contributed 9 points on 4-for-6 shooting. For Al-Qazares, Lady Comfort had 4 points/9 rebounds and Callan Taylor had 7 points/8 rebounds, but both players combined for 4-for-14 shooting.
Gernika 72, Gran Canaria 55
Gernika (4-0) remains undefeated in the Spanish league, beating Gran Canaria (2-2) at home. The home squad led this game for all four quarters. Gran Canaria was held to just 31 percent shooting.
Gernika led the game with an 11-0 run, and the only down turn was that Bernice Mosby had two fouls five minutes in. Canaria managed to get to 42-37 in the third quarter, but Gernika was out of reach for most of the game.
For Gernika the leaders were as expected. Bernice Mosby scored 19 points/12 rebounds in just 29 minutes on 7-for-14 shooting. Britany Miller had 15 points/7 rebounds in just 27 minutes. Claudia Pop had 11 minutes, but had to shoot 2-for-10 to get there.
If you want to watch Gran Canaria coach Domingo Diaz's frustration, look here.
Vega Gimeno led Gran Canaria with 15 points and Yurena Diaz had 10 points. Robyn Parks had 13 points, but it wasn't a great game for her with four turnovers. Akila McConald had 5 points/14 rebounds, but shot only 25 percent from the floor.
Conquero 80, Rivas Ecopolis 55
conquero (3-1) put distance over defending league champion Rivas Ecopolis (0-4) with an 80-55 home win, boosted by a third quarter where they held Rivas to just four points. Once again, Rivas was held under 40 percent in shooting and were whipped 49-26 on the boards.
Rivas should have known it was going to be a bad game when Conquero opened up with a 10-0 lead.
It was Conquero's third straight win as "Black Power" scored 44 of Conquero's 80 points. Chelsea Davis had 20 points/11 rebouns, Adaora Elonu had 18 points/6 reebounds (on 9-for-9 shooting!) and Aja Param added 6 points/8 rebounds. Maria Pina would also have a double-double for Conquer with 11 points/12 rebounds.
Aleksandra Vujovic had 15 points, the only player to score in double figures for Rivas Ecopolis. Bri Kulas did not play. No hint as to whether she has an injury or not, although her Twitter account might indicate otherwise.
Cadi La Seu 64, Mann Filter 48
Cadi La Seu (2-2) won a home victory against Mann Filter (2-2) in a bizarre early see-saw of a game. At the end of the first quarter, Cadi La Seu was up 22-3 -- that's not a typo, Mann Filter had been held to just three points in the first quarter, on the losing end of a 15-0 Cadi La Seu run. But in the second quarter, Mann Filter won 19-9 to close it to 31-22 at halftime. Mann Filter would close the gap to just three points at the end of the third quarter and early in the fourth would close to 41-40. Unfortunately for Mann Filter, Cadi La Seu answered with a 14-4 run as the home squad was on their way to their second victory.
If there was a key to Cadi's victory, it was the 23 turnovers from Mann Filter. Marlou de Kelijn led Cadi La Seu with 18 points and Ben Abdelkader has 14 points. Tyrese Tanner only played nine minutes and only scored two points.
In a losing effor, Samarie Walker had 14 points and 10 rebounds on 6-for-13 shooting. The only other player for Mann Filter to score in double digits is Elena Dieste who hit a pair of 3-pointers.
Perfumerias 74, Ferrol 66
Perfumerias (3-1) has launched itself back into playoff contention with a 74-66 road victory. Last year's playoff finalists managed to get the win despite 22 turnovers against Ferrol (2-2).
Ferrol managed to get to being down 58-55 going into the fourth quarter and was down 65-61 at one point in the fourth quarter, and after a steal and fastbreak by DeNesha Stallworth it looks like Ferrol might have had Perfumerias on the ropes. But the refs called off the play and that undermined Ferrol's confidence as Perfumerias went on an 8-0 run late in the games.
Of course, it helps if you have players like Angel Robinson (19 points/10 rebounds) and Shay Murphy (14 points/6 rebonds). But the real performance was from Marija Rezan, with 13 points/14 rebounds/5 asists.
Part of the reason Perfumerias could win was its depth. Ferrol had four players in double figures. Haley Peters had 17 points and 12 rebounds (but also had five turnovers). DeNesha Stallworth had 13 points and 7 rebounds. But beyond those four players, the rest of Ferrol's bench had just 10 points combined.
Uni Girona 78, Gipuzkoa UPV 59
The final two games took place on Sunday with Uni Girona (4-0) winning by 19 over visiting Gipuzoka UPV (1-3). This was a game won by rebounding, with Uni Girona holding a decisive 44-29 edge. Uni Girona won every quarter of the game.
Vanessa Gidden had a game for the ages. She had 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting, 14 rebounds and committed only one foul. She only played 29 minutes, probably because she wasn't needed for much more. Brittany Chambers had 17 points and 9 rebounds for the winners as well. Ife Ibekwe had 13 points and 7 rebounds.
For Gipuzkoa UPV, Maria Gomez had 17 points/8 rebounds, but had five turnovers. Iulene Olabarria had 11 points. Jeanise Randolph only played for 14 minutes, scoring six points.
Zamora 85, Campus Promete 83 (OT)
Zamora (2-2) gets the overtime win on the road and Campus Promete (0-4) remains winless in the first overtime game of the regular season.
Promete had managed to keep the lead for most of the game when Zamora took a 9-0 run in the middle of the fourth to take over the lead 58-57. From there on, it was a struggle and the game went to overtime tied 69-69. Zamora got a 6-0 run that helped them put distance ahead of Zamora. Paula Estebas made some shots late for Promete but it wasn't enough to give them the win.
Zamora got a well-balanced win led by Marina Delgado with 21 points on 7-for-9 shooting. Daria Mieloszynska-Zwolak had 16 points and five rebounds and Natalie Van Den Adel had 12 points. Caroline Durbin had 9 points in 26 minutes of play.
Promete was supported by Licet Castillo (28 points/7 rebounds) and Paula Estebas (21 points/6 rebounds/7 assists). LaNedra Brown contributed 8 points and Leslie Knight added 6 points/6 rebounds in an effort to stem the loss.
Round Five (October 29th)
Perfumerias (3-1) at Gran Canaria (2-2)
Ferrol (2-2) at Bembibre (2-2)
Al-Qazares (1-3) at Mann Filter (2-2)
Cadi La Seu (2-2) at Gipuzkoa UPV (1-3)
Uni Girona (4-0) at Zamora (2-2)
Campus Promete (0-4) at Rivas Ecopolis (0-4)
Conquero (3-1) at Gernika (4-0)