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Spanish League Round 19: Jordana out at Girona

With the last eight regular season games underway, Ramon Jordana walks away from Girona, Campus Promete picks up an American player in hopes of moving up, and there's a scary moment at Bembibre/Perfumerias.

Lyndra Weaver (Rivas) vs. Ify Ibekwe (Girona)
Lyndra Weaver (Rivas) vs. Ify Ibekwe (Girona)
Alba Pacheco

With only eight more regular season games to go in the Liga Femenina coming into Saturday, teams had to make important decisions - namely, do you try to push yourself into the playoff zone, or do you try to push yourself out of the relegation zone?

Girona is currently one of the top four teams in the Liga Femenina, and those top four teams go to the postseason.  You'd think everything would be happy at Girona, but on February 23rd the Liga Femenina got a shock when head coach Ramón Jordana stepped down from his position.  He thought that things would be better off at Girona with a new head coach, someone who was...not him.

Fran Cortés at stated that it had already been known for weeks that Jordana would only be at Girona for one season.  The team had to scramble, but  Roberto Iniguez will now replace Jordana at Girona.

Campus Promete has been stuck in 13th place out of 14 Liga Femenina teams for several weeks now.  The final two spots in the league are candidates for relegation, the process of being moved down to a lower league while the best teams from Liga Femenina two replace them.  Clearly, Campus Promete's current staff wasn't getting the job done and they had to make a move.

Therefore, they signed Devereaux Peters, formerly of Notre Dame and the Minnesota Lynx, to their roster.  She arrived just in time for this week's game against Gernika.   She was scheduled to play for another European squad at the beginning of the season but was still shaking off injuries.

So did Campus Promete win their game?  Or is there still some more work to do?  The weekend writeups follow....

Gipuzkoa UPV 82, Al-Qazeres 52

The first game on Saturday was quite disappointing, as Gipuzkoa UPV (7-12) had an easy home victory against Al-Qazares (4-15).

It's hard to find anything but a box score, but this game doesn't need a detailed explanation.  It was one of those games without a history, which Al-Qazares likened to a disaster on its Twitter feed.  Gipuzkoa UPV started the game 23-8 after the first 10 minutes and extended its lead in every quarter.  Al-Qazares only shot 28 percent for the game.

Maria Gomez led all players with 20 points/6 rebounds/9 assists and 4 steals (to 7 turnovers) and played a full 40 minutes.  Iulene Olabarria had 16 points/6 rebounds.  Lenita Sanford scored 14 points/9 assists in 21 minutes.

Yaiza Garcia led Al-Qazares with 13 points/6 rebounds.  Jennfier George only had 6 points and Callan Taylor and Karla Gilbert combined for zero points on 0-for-7 shooting in the loss.

Gernika 95, Campus Promete 65

Gernika (12-7) game Saturday the second decisive win of the day as they easily triumphed at home by 30 points against visiting Campus Promete (4-15).  Gernika is now contending for fourth place in the Liga Femenina and a playoff position.

Like the game above, this was another game without a history.  Campus Promete kept it close initially, but fell behind in the second quarter by double digits.  It was a turnover-laden game with both sides combining for 40 turnovers, and it was Gernika's long range shooting - they were 8-for-16 from 3 point range and shot 56 percent overall.  Mario López, head coach at Gernika, had the luxury of letting Bernice Mosby only play 27 minutes.

Bernice Mosby led all players with 25 points on 11-for-15 shooting.  Britany Miller had 18 points/13 rebounds on 6-for-8 shooting.  Claudia Pop had 14 points and Yaiza Lazaro added 13.

Devereaux Peters had a nice debut leading Campus Promete with 13 points/4 rebounds.  Adriana Knezevic had 11 points. and Licet Castillo had 8 points/7 rebounds.  Leslie Knight scored 7 points in 22 points in play.

Zamora 67, Cadi La Seu 63

It wasn't going to all be a set of easy home team triumphs.  Zamora (8-11) was down by double digits by halftime but they fought back with a big third quarter and upset visiting 4th place Cadi La Seu (12-7).

At halftime, Cadi La Seu had a strong 38-26 lead over Zamora, but in the third quarter everything turned around - Cadi La Seu went from a 12 point lead to a 2 point deficit. called the team "leaden" and "characterless" in the first half, and that wasn't helped with Daria Mieloszynska-Zwolak and Marina Delgado sitting on the bench with aches and pains, but both players returned to the floor in the second half and sparked the turnaround. 

The referees decided to let both teams play, leading to an ugly game.  Even though Cadi La Seu outscored Zamora in the fourth quarter, it was just by two points and that wasn't enough.

This was a particularly ugly game:  25 turnovers by Zamora were almost matched by the 22 from Cadi La Seu.

Dragana Svitlica had 14 points in the win.  Sandra Pirsic had 11 points/8 rebounds and Maria Manzanares had 11 points/8 rebounds/7 steals. 

Ben Hind led Cadi La Seu with 13 points.  Three other players scored in double digits for Cadi La Seu.  Tyrese Tanner only had two points in eight minutes of play.

Rivas Ecopolis 83, Girona 78

It's been a wild year for Rivas.  After their poor start, they find themselves one game behind .500 with an upset win over first-place Girona (16-3), giving Perfumerias an opportunity to move into first place.

No information yet, but it appears to have been a very close game.  Rivas took a 19-12 lead at the end of the first quarter and that seems to have been all of the lead that they needed.  Girona had 15 turnovers to Rivas's 7, and that's the only place I can find where Rivas had a real edge over the visiting team.

Four players scored in double figures for Rivas.  Lyndra Weaver had 13 points/10 rebounds.  Angela Salvadores had 18 points, Aleksandra Vujovic had 19 points and Ines Ajanovic had 11 points/7 rebounds.  Lady Comfort had 8 points in 25 minutes of play.

Girona had five players in double figures.  Noemi Jordana had 12 points/7 rebounds/5 assists. Vita Kuktiene had 16 points.  Ify Ibekwe had 15 points/12 rebounds and Vanessa Gidden had 12 points/5 rebounds.

Conquero 75, Gran Canaria 60

Conquero (16-3) maintains its hold in the top four places in the Liga Femenina by traveling to the Canary Islands and beating Gran Canaria (6-13).

The visting team had to overcome a few more obstacles on the way to a win.  The game was postponed for an hour and a half due to moisture on the court and the team arrived in the Canary Islands later than expected.  The airline lost some player luggage. 

Conquero got off to a 17-8 start and managed to hold a five point lead at halftime.  That was enough, as Conquero won the successive quarters.  Neither side shot particularly well, but Conquero decided to focus on the long range 3-pointer and hit 11 out of 26 attempts.

Robyn Parks scored 18 points in the loss and Iris Junio had 16 points/6 rebounds/6 assists (but 7 turnovers).  Samarie Walker had 11 points/16 rebounds, a better game for her in the Liga Femenina than usual.

Four players scored in double figures for Conquero.  "Black Power" - the combination of Aja Parham, Adaora Elonu and Chelsea Davis - had 48 of those points.  Parham was 4-for-7 from the 3-point line, and Iciar German scored 12 points on 3-for-6 3-point shooting.

Perfumerias 71, Bembibre 67

The door was wide open for Perfumerias (17-2) to take over the lead in the Liga Femenina after the loss by Girona, and they managed to come from behind and squeeze out a four-point victory on the road against Bembibre (10-9).

It wasn't going to be an easy win for Perfumerias.  At halftime, they were down 33-22 and it was looking like their double-digit loss to Bourges in Euroleague was a loss they hadn't recovered from. 

But in the second half, Avenida dominated the home team, led by Marta Fernandez who put the team on her back.  They retook the lead at the end of the third quarter going from 11 down to four up, and the game between Marija Rezan and Angel Robinson flowed.  In a high-scoring fourth quarter Perfumerias held on for the win.

Bembibre was led by Rita Montenegro with 14 points and 11 rebounds.  Anna Gomez had 13 points and Ariel Edwards had 12 minutes in 19 minutes of play.

Angel Robinson had 15 points/11 rebounds to lead Perfumerias.  Marta Fernandez had 14 points.  Marija Rezan had 11 points/9 rebounds and Marta Xargay had 11 points.  Shay Murphy only played for six minutes and had two points.

The game got ugly near the end.  With two seconds left on the clock and leading 71-67, Perfumerias head coach Miranda Alberto thought his team was only up by three points.  Therefore, with Bembibre having the final possession, he asked for a time out to prepare his squad for a 3-point attempt that he mistakenly thought could tie the game.

The Bembibre fans were very unhappy, undoubtedly thinking that Perfumerias was rubbing it in.  A few fans jumped over the barrier and onto the court to harangue Alberto, and they had to be removed by police.  It was a scary moment.

Why so few minutes from Murphy?  She was under the weather and not feeling well.

Ferrol 69, Mann Filter 62

The last game of the round was played on Sunday with Mann Filter (5-14) continuing to struggle, this time losing to Ferrol (7-12) at home.  Mann Filter falls to 12th place, just one game away from the bottom two places that might face relegation at the end of the season.

Not much on this game on line.  According to the brief write-ups the game was decided in the final three minutes.  Ferrol shot 10-for-18 from behind the 3-point line.

Ferrol was led by two players - Mireia Vila had 20 points and shot 6-for-8 from behind the 3-point line.  Cristina Pedrals had 23 points and 3-for-4 3-point shooting.  Haley Peters had 12 points/9 rebounds and DeNesha Stallworth had 10 points/9 rebounds.

Mann Filter had five players in double figures.  Jelena Antic had 16 points and Kristine Vitola had 11 points/8 rebounds.  Yvonne Turner had 10 points and 5 steals in the loss.

Round 20 (February 27 - March 1)

Gran Canaria (6-13) @ *Bembibre (10-9)
Mann Filter (5-14) @ *Perfumerias (17-2)
*Gipuzkoa UPV (7-12) @ Ferrol (7-12)
*Zamarat (8-11) @ Al-Qazeres (4-15)
Rivas Ecopolis (9-10) @ *Cadi La Seu (12-7)
Gernika (12-7) @ *Girona (16-3)
*Conquero (16-3) @ Campus Promete (4-15)

* - Winner of Round 7 game