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Spanish League Round 13: Coaching change before Christmas

As the American players of the Liga Femenina prepare for a long Christmas break at the halfway point of the American season, one team decides to make a coaching change.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The end of Round 13 marks the half-way point in the Spanish League.  The regular season is 1/2 over and all of the games going forward will be rematches.  Conveniently, the second half of the season will mirror the first half, the games being replayed in exact order with home and visiting teams switching places.

In the meantime, the league takes three weeks off.  Round 13 picks up on January 10th, approximately three weeks from now.  If you follow player accounts on Twitter, the major concerns of American players are packing and catching planes back home.

The teams that aren't doing well have their options. They can look for players to pick up during the winter break, or rearrange the coaching chairs.

The first team to make a move was Mann Filter. On December 15th, coach Jesús Gutiérrez resigned after a disappointing 3-9 start, losing his last seven games and moving the team down to 12th place in a 14 team league, dangerously close to relegation level. 

He was replaced as head coach by Víctor Lapeña.  Lapeña is just 39 years old.  He has coached both at Mann Filter previously and was also the head coach at Perfumerias last season.  After losing to Rivas Ecopolis a couple of times last year, Perfumerias declined to review his contract.  He had been coaching in women's under-18 competitions for the FEB after leaving Perfumerias. 

Now, Lapeña comes back home.  We'll see if he can help Mann Filter avoid relegation.

(* * *)

Before heading home, Shay Murphy of Perfumerias helped organize a raffle on behalf of her Perfumerias teammates to raise money for PYFANO, an organization that helps the families of children with cancer.  They raised 1600 Euros, or almost $2000 to give to the organization.

And now, the final games before the break....

Gran Canaria 87, Zamarat 53

It's a disappointing loss for Zamarat (6-7) at home, as they fall below .500 losing to visiting Gran Canaria (4-9) by 30 plus points.  This broke a 3-game losing streak for Gran Canaria.

Gran Canaria won every single quarter of this game, but it was the second quarter that did it.  Leading 20-18 after the first quarter, they outscored Zamarat 33-9 in the second. Zamarat didn't play any team ball late in the game, shooting just 28 percent overall.

Four of Zamarat's starters scored in double figures, including Caroline Durbin with 10 points/7 rebounds and Sofia Gomes fought through dizziness and vomiting with 12 points/13 rebounds.  Unfortunately, Zamarat only got five points off their bench.

It was a much nicer day for Gran Canaria with Yurena Diaz scoring 26 points and Iris Junio with 14 points/17 rebounds.  Amaya Gastaminza had 8 points/10 rebounds in 27 minutes of play, and Robyn Parks had 17 points/7 rebounds in the win.

Marina Delgado of Zamarat suffered a knee injury during the game.  She went 0-for-2 in just 16 minutes of play.

Trivia:  There were only 300 spectators.  Furthermore, the heating of the stadium conked out and it was a chilly 37 degrees if you were spectator.

Yurena Diaz of Gran Canaria blows by Caroline Durbin of Zamarat.

Rivas Ecopolis 68, Gipuzkoa UPV 60

Rivas Ecopolis (5-8) gets a nice win at home over Gipuzkoa UPV (5-8).  After a rough start, it is Rivas's second straight win and their third win in the last five games.

Rivas cleaned up on the boards against Gipuzkoa UPV, led by Lyndra Weaver with 11 rebounds.  They had a 15 point lead in the third quarter, but Gipuzkoa UPV stormed back, closing the game to 60-56 with just four minutes left.  However, Rivas hung on for the win.

Leading scorer for Rivas was future Duke player Angela Salvadores with 17 points.  Aleksandra Vujovic had 15 points and Lady Comfort added 10.  Lyndra Weaver cleaned up on the boards with 8 points/11 rebounds.

Maria Gomez Novo led Gipuzkoa UPV with 18 points.  Lenita Sanford had 13 points/8 rebouns and Iulene Olabarria has 12 points.

Gernika 92, Mann Filter 72

Víctor Lapeña gets a rough introduction in his second round of being Mann Filter's head coach as Mann Filter (3-10) is outgunned on the road by Gernika (7-6) by 20 points.  It is Mann Filter's eighth straight loss, and two of their wins are against Campus Promete and Al-Qazares, teams at the bottom of the league.

They call games like this "games without a history" at Eurobasket as Gernika won all four quarters.  Mann Filter shot 45 percent, which is pretty good except for the fact that Gernika shot 56 percent.

Bernice Mosby had 27 points in 32 minutes for Gernika.  Britany Miller had 19 points and Claudia Pop had 13.  Gernika was also 19-for-22 at the free throw line.

Mann Filter only played eight players.  Ana Calvo led Mann Filter with 17 points in 20 minutes.  Belen Arrojo had 16 poitns and Samarie Walker added 10 points.  Unfortunately, Mann Filter finished the game with just 20 rebounds.

Conquero 68, Bembibre 54

Conquero (11-2) puts some distance between itself and one of the other contenders for a top four playoff spot, winning at home against Bembibre (8-5).

Bembibre was held to just 32 percent shooting overall.  Conquer was up 42-22 at halftime.  Bembibre managed to close the gap to 12 points after three quarters and an 8-0 run by Bembibre managed to close the game to 57-51 with just three minutes to play.  Unfortunately, Conquero answered with a 7-0 run of their own to put the game away.

Four player scored in double figures for Conquero, led by Adaora Elonu with 16 points/7 rebounds. Chelsea Davis had 13 ponts and Aja Parham only scored 6 points, shooting 1-for-5.

For Bembibre, Rita Montenegro led all players with 13 points/7 rebounds.  Anna Gomez had 7 points/8 rebounds, Dita Liepkalne had 12 points and Ariel Edwards had 10 points/5 rebounds in 26 minutes of play.

Perfumerias 69, Campus Promete 59

In a road game against bottom-dwelling Campus Promete (2-11), you'd think that Perfumerias (12-1) would win by at least 30 points, so the 69-59 score is a bit surprising.

Perfumerias struggled in this one:  Campus Promete hung with them for most of the game.  Five minutes into the third quarter, the game was tied at 41-41 after Campus Promete went on a 12-2 run. 

Perfumerias were actually out-rebounded (33 to 30) and turned the ball over 21 times.  They answered back with another run but Campus Promete closed in again, down 54-50 with just seven minutes to go.  It was Campus Promete's last gasp, as Perfumerias hung on for the victory.

For Campus Promete, Adrijana Knezevic led all scorers with 14 points.  Licet Castillo had 10 points and Leslie Knight added 10 points.

Perfumerias, as usually, was led by Angel Robinson with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Shay Murphy added 19 points, but the only other player for Perfumerias in double-digits was Paola Ferrari with 10 points.

Cadi La Seu 69, Al-Qazeres 51

Cadi La Seu (9-4) leaps into the all important fourth place (only the top four teams go to the playoffs) in the Liga Femenina with a 69-51 home win over Al-Qazeres (2-11).

Cadi La Seu led by just two points at halftime and just six after three quarters.  It was the fourth quarter that won the game, as the held Al-Qazeres to just five points in the last ten minutes.  Al-Qazeres turned the ball over 27 times.

For Cadi La Seu, Georgina Bahi led all scorers with 14 points.  Ben Adelkader Hind scored 12 points and Marlou de Kleijn had 12 points.  Tyrese Tanner had seven points in 16 minutes of play.

Karla Gilbert led Al-Qazares with 17 points and 13 rebounds, but she was the only player in double-digits for Al-Qazeres.  Callan Taylor had nine points in 24 minutes.

Uni Girona 66, Ferrol 47

This was another "game without a history" as Uni Girona (12-1) has no trouble with Ferrol (5-8) in the last game of Round 13 on Sunday.

As stated above, Uni Girona won every quarter of this game.  A 21-11 second quarter put enough distance between themselves and the visitors to assure the win.  Uni Girona outrebounded their visitors 45/31.

Uni Girona almost had three double-doubles.  Brittany Chambers led the team with 20 points/9 rebounds.  Ify Ibekwe had 11 points/12 rebounds and Vanessa Gidden finished with 13 points/13 rebounds.

Haley Peters led Ferrorl with 19 points/10 rebounds and DeNesha Stallworth had 12 points/11 rebounds.  However, those were the only scorers in double-digits for Ferrol.

Spanish League 2014-12-22

Round 14 Games (January 9th-10th)

Gran Canaria (4-9) @ Al-Qazeres (2-11)  (Previous:  Al-Qazeres 67-56)
Ferrol (5-8) @ Cadi La Seu (9-4) (Previous:  Ferrol 60-49)
Perfumerias (12-1) @ Uni Girona (12-1) (Previous:  Uni Girona 64-56)
Bembibre (8-5) @ Campus Promete (2-11) (Previous:  Bembibre 80-64)
Mann Filter (3-10) @ Conquero (11-2) (Previous:  Mann Filter 79-66)
Gipuzkoa UPV (5-8) @ Gernika (7-6) (Previous:  Gernika 65-43)
Zamarat (6-7) @ Rivas Ecopolis (5-8) (Previous:  Zamarat 64-55)