After the rosters in the Liga Femenina had remained fairly consistent for the first nine game of the seasons, we suddenly saw a lot of movement.
* The first change was that Lady Comfort of Al-Qazeres had her contract picked up by Rivas Ecopolis. Rivas was last year's champion but they've had a very bad start. Afere Jemerigbe also got dropped from the squad. I suspect that Al-Qazeres has come to terms with their 2-8 start and figure that if relegation is a real possibility, there's no sense in loading up a lot of contract money.
Comfort was averaging 11.9 ppg and 9.0 rpg for Al-Qazeres. Certainly, Rivas needed some help and signing Comfort gave them the chance to move Ajanovic to the power forward spot.
* Karla Gilbert, formerly of Texas A&M, comes to Al-Qazeres. she started the season in Taiwan and then moved to the Israel league with Elitzur Holon. Gilbert was briefly a free agent in training camp with San Antonio in 2014 but did not make an WNBA team. She'll join new acquisition Fatou Dieng from Senegal who led the second league in France (Liga Feminina 2) in assists last season.
* Do you remember Chanel Mokango? The #1 draft pick from Atlanta in 2010 that didn't play a minute for the Dream and only played 72 minutes for Los Angeles? She got picked up by bottom-dweller Campus Promete. After her brief WNBA career, she played in Turkey (where she was named one season to the Turkish league second league second team) and Belgium. Due to Spanish nationality rules, Mokango is not considered to be a foreign player.
* Conquero ended up with a sponsorship from the car dealership Huelva Motor Wagen. They stated that they hoped that the sponsorship would last for several years and the club's name was officially changed to Conquero Huelva Wagen.
Conquero 68, Al-Qazares 47
Conquero (9-1) continued to stay near the top of the Spanish league by walloping Al-Qazeres (2-8) on the road 68-47.
It was a great game to see on LigaFemenina.tv. Most of the games on LigaFemenina.tv either only have ambient sound - the sound of the bouncing ball or a whistle blowing - or no sound at all. Even though the announcer spoke Spanish you could get a lot of impressions just by tone of voice.
We got to see Karla Gilbert play for Al-Qazeres. They didn't have her on court long. Let's just say that Gilbert...uh...really isn't in game shape right now. Fran Cortes said it best:
@JBowman_ATL She needs to improve a lot to achieve her Texas A&M level. Slow, heavy and non fit.— Fran Cortés (@Groucheste) November 29, 2014
Reporters complained that Al-Qazeres had swapped one overweight player for another, but even with the result, Al-Qazeres's fans hung with them until the end.
The result was that Conquero dominated inside, forcing Al-Qazeres into a lot of bad shots. They won every single quarter and the outcome wasn't in doubt. Conquero has now won their last nine games.
Adaora Elonu had 18 points on 8-for-15 shooting with 7 assists. Maria Asurmendi had just two points but 7 steals and four assists. Aja Parham had 10 points and Chelsea Davis added eight for the winners.
For Al-Qazeres, Yaiza Garcia had the best game with 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting. Callan Taylor, struggling with injuries, had six points on 3-for-10 shooting with 7 rebounds.
You can catch Yaiza Garcia of Al-Qazeres getting rejected by Lucila Pascua of Conquero in this Vine loop. (Sorry, we seem to be unable to embed it.)
Ferrol 77, Gernika 68
Gernika (6-4) goes on the the road and loses its third game in four tries, this time to Ferrol (4-6). The only win Gernika has in its last four games is against Al-Qazeres. With Perfumerias coming up in Round 11, it might be four losses out of five.
The game was tied 32-32 at halftime but Gernika put its foot into a bucket with a 25-13 third quarter. Ferrol only needed eight players to secure the victory, led by Cristina Pedrals with 26 points. Haley Peters added 20 points and 7 rebounds, DeNesha Stallworth had 17 points on 7-for-16 shooting...and they really didn't need anyone else. Gernika just faded away at the end.
For Gernika, Bernice Mosby was as dominant as always. 24 points on 10-for-12 (!!) shooting with six rebounds. If I read this right, this was only over 26 minutes of play as she had received five fouls by the third quarter. Britany Miller had 13 points and Rachel Vanderwal had 11 points in the loss.
Haley Peters got an extra treat after the game:
Great team win tonight and Spanish Thanksgiving tomorrow all prepared by @denesha11 and yours truly... What a wonderful weekend!— Haley Peters (@HaleyPeters) November 30, 2014
Trivia: Total crowd size for this game? About 250.
Cadi La Seu 63, Campus Promete 54
Campus Promete (1-9) remains at the bottom of the league, losing to Cadi La Seu (7-3) which holds the important fourth place position in the league.
Mokango didn't play in this game. Sadly enough, Campus Promete lost despite outshooting Cadi La Seu 41 to 34. Part of the problem was that Campus Promete couldn't hang on the ball - they had 23 turnovers in this game. Cadi La Seu pretty much controlled the game from tip-off.
Cadi La Seu's Ana Maria Suarez led all players with 13 points in 23 minutes of play. Marlou de Kleijn had 12 points and Ben Abdelkader hind had 12 points. Tyrese Tanner scored four points in 12 minutes of play.
For Campus Promete, Adrijana Knezevic had 16 points and 9 rebounds, but 7 turnovers. LaNedra Brown had 12 points and Leslie Knight scored 6 points in 11 minutes of play.
Perfumerias 67, Rivas Ecopolis 59
With Rivas Ecopolis (3-7) heading to Salamanca to take on Perfumerias (9-1), it looked like last year's champ might knock off the front runner. It could have happened - Perfumerias upset Fenerbahce in Euroleague on Wednesday.
It looked like Perfumerias was going to come out of the gate sluggish. At halftime, Rivas led 41-29. But then the third quarter turned into a slog where both teams combined for just 12 points, which was exactly what Perfumerias needed - in the fourth quarter, Perfumerias slid into fourth gear and found what it took to beat Perfumerias 29-15 in the last ten minutes and take the victory. At one point in the fourth, Perfumerias outscored Rivas 21-2.
The key to the win was rebounding. Perfumerias out-rebounded Rivas 42-26 despite Lady Comfort's addition to the roster.
Shay Murphy had 24 points and nine rebounds and Angel Robinson had six points and 13 reobunds. Vanessa Blue had 2 poitns and 11 rebounds. Clearly, the rebounds were not evenly distributed.
Ines Ajanovic had 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting for Rivas. Lyndra Weaver added 13 points and six rebounds. Lady Comfort, in her first game for Rivas, had five points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes of play.
A little look at the game by Radio Televisión de Castilla y León with Perfumerias coach Alberto Miranda interviewed at the end:
Bembibre 75, Zamarat 61
This was a game between two evenly ranked teams. In games like that, the home team usually gets the upper hand and that's the way it was on Saturday with home squad Bembibre (6-4) getting the upper hand against Zamarat (4-6).
Bembibre started off hot, taking a 20-9 lead over Zamarat at the end of the first quarter. After that, it was Zamarat playing catch-up. Both teams came into this match with being good 3-point shooting squads, and it was Bembibre beating out Zamarat in that category, hitting 9 of 21 compared to Zamarat hitting 6-for-17.
Five players scored in double figures for Bembibre: Anna Gomez (14), Rita Montenegro (22), Roso Buch (12) and Dita Liepkalne (12). Ariel Edwards had 12 points in 20 minutes of play for Bembibre.
Maria Manzanares had 4 points and 8 rebounds for Zamarat in the loss. Daria Mieloszynska-Zwolak had 15 points and Dragana Svitlica added 13 points.
Girona 81, Gran Canaria 72
Girona (9-1) continued to hold pace with Conquero and Perfumerias in a 3-way tie for first place in the Liga Femenina as they beat visiting Gran Canaria (-37) 81-72.
It could have very easily ended up a win for Gran Canaria. The first three quarters the game was neck and neck but Girona finally got the upper hand in the fourth. The key to the game was undoubtedly Girona's free throw shooting - they went 19-for-22.
Girona only played seven players. Three players scored more than 20 points for Girona - Noemi Jordana with 23, Brittany Chambers with 22 and Vita Kuktiene with 21.
On the side of Gran Canaria, Robyn Parks did the job again with 27 points. Yurena Diaz was the only player from Gran Canaria other than Parks to score more than 10. Akila McDonald only scored four points in 14 minutes of play.
Gipuzkoa UPV 83, Mann Filter 74
Both of these teams have had their problems this season. Two weeks ago, Gipuzkoa UPV (4-6) had a horrible 89-27 performance against Perfumerias. Mann Filter had lost four straight and five of its last six. This time, Mann Filter (3-7) suffered their fifth straight loss at home by an 83-74 score.
Mann Filter got off to a great first quarter start, leading 30-18 after the first 10 minutes. But it began slipping away from the, and in the fourth quarter Gipuzkoa UPV outscored the home squad 27-12. Fouls really hurt Mann Filter, as Gipuzkoa UPV was sent to the free throw line 29 times in the game.
Miriam Foraste led Gipuzkoa UPV with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Onintza Aduriz had 18 points in the win.
Mann Filter's Maria Arrojo led her team with 13 points and 6 rebounds. Two players scored 10+ rebounds for Mann Filter. Laura Herrera with 8 points/10 rebounds and Samarie Walker with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Round 11 Games (December 5th-7th)
Al-Qazeres (2-8) at Campus Promete (1-9)
Cadi La Seu (7-3) at Girona (9-1)
Gipuzkoa UPV (4-6) at Gran Canaria (3-7)
Mann Filter (3-7) at Zamarat (4-6)
Bembibre (6-4) at Rivas Ecopolis (3-7)
Perfumerias (9-1) at Gernika (6-4)
Ferrol (4-6) at Conquero (9-1)