BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
UMMC Ekaterinburg sweat on the fitness of Candace Parker ahead of the Russian play-offs, whilst there was a major surprise in the Greek Cup Final.
|Candace Parker had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, before injuring her ankle|
PARKER FEARS FOR UMMC
A week after being crowned EuroLeague Women champions and Candace Parker being named Final Eight MVP, the same court witnessed a less auspicious occasion for UMMC Ekaterinburg as they lost in the Russian League to Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje 80-76 with Parker rolling her ankle.
General Manager Maxim Ryabkov has confirmed that the injury isn't as serious as first thought, "The first impression is that the injury is not serious. Candace sprained her ankle, had first aid and was able to leave the Arena without crutches. We hope she will be ready for the semi-finals."
Whilst UMMC already had first place wrapped up, the win for Pokey Chatman and her team helped secure second place and was even more impressive since it came without the services of Rebekka Hammon. Both Natalia Vieru (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Seimone Augustus (19 points, 12 rebounds) posted double-doubles.
There was also a critical loss for Dynamo Kursk as they were surprised 80-76 at home by Energia Ivanovo to slip into fifth spot and therefore lose home advantage in the play-off quarter-finals against Dynamo Moscow this weekend.
UMMC will face Spartak Noginsk, Sparta&K will take on Energia Ivanovo and third place Nadezhda will match-up against Chevakata.
MAJOR CUP SHOCK IN GREECE
There was a huge surprise in the Greek Cup after second division club Proteas Voulas came out on top. Coached by Greece national team play-caller Alekos Daglas, they won a dramatic game 52-50 against PAOK to take the silverware with Toula Magaliou crowned MVP after harvesting 15 points.
The winners certainly had to do it the hard way, having to overcome Greek top flight regular season winners Panathinaikos in the semi-finals, whilst there was something of a surprise in the other game as PAOK defeated Athinaikos.
BLMA FINISH FIRST
There was joy over Easter weekend for Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration as they sealed first place in the French LFB with 18 points from Fatimatou Sacko the highlight of a 71-62 home success against relegation threatened USO Mondeville.
Main title challengers Bourges crashed 64-56 at Nantes Reze as Isis Arrondo chalked up 16 points for the hosts, whilst Marielle Amant contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Both BLMA and Bourges have secured home-court advantage for the play-offs.
At the opposite end of the table, Arras continue to fight for their lives as they claimed an impressive 77-57 road win at fellow strugglers Charleville. It means Arras are two wins behind both Charleville and Mondeville with two games to play, meaning they need to win and hope their rivals lose if they want to survive.
|Turkish international Nevriye Yilmaz will be sidelined for the remainder, with her participation at the EuroBasket Women being in doubt|
TURKISH PLAY-OFF PAIRINGS CONFIRMED
Despite one last game to be played in the Turkish League before the regular season formalities are completed, the play-off match-ups are now confirmed with league winners Fenerbahce preparing to face Ceyhan Belediye.
Second place Galatasaray will go up against Antakya without Nevriye Yilmaz, after the Turkish star was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.
Yilmaz has still not recovered from her long-term injury which has sidelined her for all but a couple of games. This latest development also throws her participation with the national team at Eurobasket Women into serious doubt.
One of the most sparkling and impressive accomplishments in the Turkish League was Mersin claiming third spot, with their reward in the quarter-finals being a clash with Istanbul University.
Meanwhile EuroCup Women runners-up Kayseri Kaski spor will face EuroLeague Women side Tarsus Belediye who finished fifth.