BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Partizan Galenika Tamara Radocaj had 14 points to lead her team to the Adriatic League title|
Hot on the heels of their recent Serbian Cup success, Partizan Galenika added the Adriatic League title to their trophy haul, whilst Kayseri Kaski spor and Dynamo Moscow both suffered minor setbacks ahead of this weeks' EuroCup Women Final first-leg with domestic defeats.
PARTY TIME FOR PARTIZAN
It's been a great time of late for everyone involved with EuroCup Women participants Partizan Galenika, after the Belgrade club sparked another party hot on the heels of their recent Serbian Cup success, by landing the Adriatic League title.
And, there was a sense of déjà vu as the winners locked horns with Radivoj Korac once again in the showpiece game and enjoyed a similarly one-sided outcome, as they cruised to a 70-45 success, having beaten Vojvodina in the semi-finals.
Serbian national team playmaker Tamara Radocaj led the way with 14 points and the result never looked to be in doubt after an electric 27-5 opening quarter for the champions.
KAYSERI CAUGHT OUT IN TURKISH LEAGUE
Kayseri Kaski spor dropped to fourth place in the Turkish League and head into this week's first EuroCup Women Final game off the back of a loss, after they were beaten 76-70 at Antakya as Jolene Anderson produced 27 points and 13 rebounds.
The top three teams cruised to victories, with leaders Fenerbahce routing Samsun 116-57 as Belarus national team center Anastasiya Verameyenka and Turkish national team forward Yasemin Horasan combined for 39 points.
Second-placed Galatasaray showed their defensive prowess once again by storming to a 67-39 win at Canik Belediye as Lindsey Harding added 14 points. Meanwhile, Mersin were propelled to a 99-47 win against Edremit thanks to double-doubles from Erlana Larkins and Shavonte Zellous. The former had 18 points and 14 rebounds, whilst the latter had 14 points and 13 assists.
|Anna Petrakova will be a player to watch at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight, scoring 18 points on the weekend for UMMC Ekaterinburg|
DOMESTIC DEFEAT FOR DYNAMO MOSCOW
It was always going to be a tough ask for Dynamo Moscow to go to Ekaterinburg and gain a positive result against top-of-the-pile UMMC, and so it proved. The hosts continue to roll at the top of the standings after chalking up a 78-58 success. Anna Petrakova had 18 points for the winning team, whilst Crystal Langhorne had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the visitors who fell to their fifth league loss of the campaign, ahead of their pivotal first EuroCup Women meeting with Kayseri.
Dynamo Kursk, Nadezhda Orenburg and Sparta&K remain on four losses with each winning comfortably on home soil. Michelle Snow harvested 19 points and 11 rebounds for Kursk in an 81-60 victory against Chevakata; Natalia Zhedik racked up 20 points for Nadezhda to shoot down Spartak Noginsk 96-59; and Sparta&K reiterated their strength in depth as six players reached double-digits in an 86-56 win against Dynamo-GUVD.
WRITING ON WALL FOR FRENCH STRUGGLERS
Arras and Hainaut Basket may have stepped out in EuroLeague and EuroCup Women this season and yet both clubs now seem destined to be relegated from the top tier of French basketball after a disastrous weekend.
Time is running out for them both to save themselves after they each slumped to losses. The duo now find themselves three wins from safety but with time rapidly evaporating, meaning even an unbeaten finish to the campaign may not even be enough to save the day.
Arras were taken apart 97-77 at Tarbes despite 25 points from Pauline Akonga, whilst Hainaut lost in agonising fashion at home, going down 60-55 to Nantes Reze.
At the top of the standings, Kristen Mann had a game-high 18 points for leaders Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration as they fought off stiff competition from visiting Lyon to win 66-61. That helped to continue staving off main challengers Bourges, who beat Basket Landes 70-58.
NICHOLLS AND ZLATANOVA RETURN TO ACTION
Finally, there was a real reason for Rivas Ecopolis and Spanish national team fans to cheer over the weekend after Laura Nicholls returned to action having recently departed due to personal reasons.
Her comeback will have been particularly welcomed by Spanish head coach Lucas Mondelo who may turn to the center as one of his choices under the basket at EuroBasket Women 2013.
Nicholls was joined by long-term injury victim and Bulgarian national team star Jaklin Zlatanova who played her first minutes for the club since suffering a torn achilles during pre-season. Rivas coasted to a 91-58 success against Gran Canaria 2014 to consolidate top spot with Queralt Casas headlining with 20 points.