Even though there was a gap between the end of Round 13 and the beginning of Round 14, there was a lot going on during the "mid-season".
Zamarat: With the team 6-7 going into the break, head coach Juan de Mena resigned unexpectly, citing an undisclosed health problem. his assistant coach Lucas Fernadez will take over the team for the rest of the season. The 36-year old Fernandez was previously a head coach and an assistant at Space Tanit Eivissa in the Liga Femenina 2.
Al-Qazeres: In last place in the league, they made a housecleaning. Carla Nascimento left the team with a four-point note:
"4. Finally for those who may be cause for disappointment or disillusionment I apologize. During these years I have worked and I've sacrificed. I think being a good professional and I gave everything he had for this club but I really feel that I must go."
They picked up two players, Nina Bogicevic and Jennifer George. George graduated from the University of Florida in 2013 and was the third-round draft choice of the Indiana Fever that year. She has played for teams in Puerto Rico and in Spain.
Mann Filter: Mann Filter was 3-10 at the break and in 12th place. With the 13th and 14th place teams in danger of relegation, something had to be done.
So they let go Samarie Walker. Replacing Walker, they signed Yvonne Turner who graduated from Nebraska in 2010. Turner played a couple of preseason games for San Antonio in 2013 and made it to the Chicago training camp in 2014. She's played for teams in Turkey, Russia, Germany and Australia.
Gran Canaria: Now that Samarie Walker was a free agent, Gran Canaria signed her up. She'll join Robyn Parks in a 4-9 team that faces the same kind of danger that Mann Filter faces, with Gran Canaria in 11th place in the league. Walker can replace Akila McDonald, who left Gran Canaria earlier in the season to play in the Italian league.
Ferrol: Ferrol, at 5-8, is in 10th place in the league. They might be safe enough to avoid any relegation danger. They get some further good news: Star Center, a chain of appliance stores in Spain, has agreed to sponsor Ferrol. No news of a name change as of yet, but the uniform will be changing to prominently display the Star Center logo.
So what actually happened in Round 14 this week?
Al-Qazeres 68, Gran Canaria 66
And for those who like a much shorter version with sound:
Play started on Friday with this one. This game was a very tough one and Al-Qazeres (3-11) was dead last in the league. Playing at home, they managed to hang on and squeeze out a win against visiting Gran Canaria (4-10). This would be a test of new players for both sides.
Jennifer George, new player for Al-Qazeres, had 10 rebounds in the first half amd led 31-28 at halftime. In the third quarter, they managed to build up a nine-point lead but lost it. Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Gran Canaaria had managed to tie.
A good spot to pick up the game is from 1:24:34 of the attached clip, with Al-Qazeres down 64-63. Gran Canaria is in pink, Al-Qazeres in green. Gran Canaria hits a shot to go up by three, but Al-Qazeres answers with two baskets to go up 67-66 with 21 seconds left, the second of the two shot by new acquisition Nina Bogicevic.
Gran Canaria has the ball for the final possession, but commit a foul that gives Al-Qazeres two free throws. They hit the first shot but miss the second. Al-Qazeres recovers the ball on the offensive rebound, attempts a shot, gets another offensive rebound, and hits the second shot - which is waived off after time expires. It doesn't matter, Al-Qazeres has the victory anyway.
(Much of the above can be seen at the end of the second video, starting at 3:24.)
Bogicevic led Al-Qazeres with 24 points. Yaiza Garcia had 12 points and Jennifer George finished with 0-for-8 shooting but had 11 rebounds. Karla Gilbert added 9 points and Callan Taylor added four points.
Robyn Parks had to carry the load for Gran Canaria with 20 points. Vega Gimeno had 15 points and Yurena Diaz had 11. In her debut, Samara Walker had 4 points/6 rebounds in 27 minutes of play.
Girona 75, Perfumerias 53
This was a match between the top two teams of the league. This time, it would take place at Girona, where Perfumieras (12-2) wanted to avenge a loss in Round 1 against Girona (13-1). Instead, Girona flattened Perfumerias by 22 points, winning both games against Perfumerias in the regular season and moving to the top spot in the Liga Femenina.
This was a game without a history, as they say - Girona won every single quarter against Perfumerias, including a 18-8 third quarter. Was it fatigue? Perfumerias beat Famila Schio 75-58 on Wednesday in Euroleague, but they didn't have to leave Spain to do it.
Perfumerias coach Alberto Miranda called it the worst game of the season for Perfumerias. Perfumerias sent Girona to the free throw line 24 times and they hit 20 shots. ( Perfumerias's Vanessa Ble only played 15 minutes, fouled out, and scored zero points.)
Five players scored in double figures for Girona, including Vanessa Gidden with 10 points/10 rebounds and Ify Ibekwe with 11 points/8 rebounds. Brittany Champters added 11 points and 7 assists in the victory.
Shay Murphy and Angelica Robinson came up short handed. Robinson only scored 7 points (but had 9 reobunds) and Shay Murphy just had eight points. Without the Americans, the leading scorer was Marta Xargay with 14 points on 3-for-6 shooting at the 3-point line. Unfortunately, the rest of the team when 2-for-18 from behind the arc.
Robinson tweeted the following after the game:
Despite the loss, I am so grateful to see my Girona family once again. They always welcome me with open arms y "besos" . Back 2 Salamanca— Angel Robinson (@angelrobinson33) January 10, 2015
Ify Ibekwe was happy.
So proud of my team! GREAT win tonight!! #Girona— Ify Ibekwe (@ifyibekwe) January 10, 2015
Conquero 63, Mann Filter 46
It was another big win for the home teams today as Conquero (12-2) had no problem with visiting Mann Filter (3-11).
Conquero got off to a good start with a 21-9 lead in the first quarter, and Mann Filter never caught up. Mann Filter was held to just 27 percent shooting, undoubtedly the chief cause of their loss.
Aja Parham had 13 points and 5 rebounds for the victors, and Chelsea Davis added 4 points and 9 rebounds. Adaora Elonu had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Melisa Gretter led Mann Filter with 12 points. Kristine Vitola has 10 points/11 rebounds in the loss. Yvonne Turner had 5 points and 6 rebounds on 1-for-5 shooting in 34 minutes with Mann Filter in her debut.
Cadi La Seu 77, Ferrol 52
The new era for Ferrol (5-9) under the sponsorship of Star Center had an inauspicious beginning as they visited Cadi La Seu (10-4) and lost by 25 points.
This was another "game without a history". Cadi La Seu won every single quarter. It was an extremely ugly game as both teams combined for 50 turnovers. Cadi La Seu basically won because they got more shots, both on the court and at the free throw line.
Cadi La Seu's Georgina Bahi had 19 points to lead all scorers, and Marlou de Kleijn had 18 points. Tyrese Tanner had 3 points in 18 minutes.
Ferrol's DeNesha Stallworth led her team with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Haley PEters added 12 points and 4 rebounds, and Cristina Pedrals had 9 points and 7 assists.
Gernika 79, Gipuzkoa UPV 70
The two teams from the Basque region of Spain played each other, and the run of home team victories in Round 14 continued, with Gernika (8-6) getting the upper hand on Gipuzkoa UPV (5-9) with a big comeback in the fourth quarter.
It was a close first half, with Gernika having a 35-34 lead at halftime. After third minutes, Gipuzkoa UPV was up by four points, but they were swamped in the fourth quarter by Gernika who won the last 10 minutes by a 28-15 margin.
Gernika had a huge game from Bernice Mosby, who had 26 points/13 rebounds. Britany Miller had 23 points and 8 rebounds.
For Gipuzkoa, Maria Gomez had 22 points and 6 rebounds (but eight turnovers). Iulene Olabarria had 14 points. Lenita Sanford finished with 9 points/5 rebounds.
Rivas Ecopolis 78, Zamarat 68
Rivas Ecopolis (6-8) figures on turning their horrible start around, and they're almost at .500 this season after a home win over Zamarat (6-8).
Not much information on this game yet, but the game looks like it went back and forth a lot. Zamarat led after the first 10 minutes 24-17, but Rivas staged a comeback in the second quarter and led at halftime 40-37. They extended their lead to 18 points by a 27-12 third quarter but they
slacked a bit in the fourth quarter. Between the second and third quarters, Rivas scored 50 points in 20 minutes.
Rivas Ecopolis shot 56 percent of the game, holding the visitors to just 31 percent shooting. Zamarat stayed in it with their foul shooting, shooting 18 for 22 at the line. It is their fifth win in their last seven games.
Lady Comfort shot 10-for-11 and scored 22 points for Rivas. Angela Salavtores had a great game with 17 points and Lyndra Weaver had 14 points. Gabriella Ocete had 9 points and 11 rebounds.
Daria Mieloszynska-Zwolak had 22 points in 36 minutes of play for Zamarat. Sandra Pirsic added 12 points and Natalie Van Den Adel had 11 points and 7 assists. Maria Manzanares had only 3 points but had 12 rebounds for Zamora. Caroline Durbin only had 2 points in 18 minutes of play.
Campus Promete 59, Bembibre 55
In the final game on Sunday, the home teams in Round 14 completed its sweep of the visiting teams, with Campus Promete (3-11) holding off Bembibre (8-6) in the final minutes for a 59-55 win.
Campus Promete led 48-38 after three quarter, but Bembibre mounted a final quarter comeback. They managed to lead by one point, 55-54 with less than a moment left, but Bembibre picked up a couple of baskets to grab their third win of the season. Campus Promete had a 44-31 rebounding edge over Bembibre.
Licet Castillo led Campus Promete with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Amina Njonkou had 5 points and 14 rebounds. Leslie Knight had 5 points and 5 rebounds in 18 minutes.
For Bembibre, Ariel Edwards had 18 points and 5 rebounds but only played 22 minutes. Dita Liepkalne had 10 points and Rita Montenegro had nine.
Round 15 Games (January 17-18)
Rivas Ecopolis (6-8) @ *Gran Canaria (4-10)
*Gernika (8-6) @ Zamarat (6-8)
*Conquero (12-2) @ Gipuzkoa UPV (5-9)
Campus Promete (3-11) @ *Mann Filter (3-11)
*Girona (13-1) @ Bembibre (8-6)
Cadi La Seu (10-4) @ *Perfumerias (12-2)
Al-Qazeres (3-11) @ *Ferrol (5-9)
* - indicates winner of previous game between teams