BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|The UMMC Ekaterinburg and Lithuanian Head Coach Algirdas Paulauskas has stepped down from his current role at Nadezhda Orenburg, citing health reasons|
Nadezhda Orenburg head coach Algirdas Paulauskas has stepped aside and Perfumerias Avenida suffered a sucker-punch in Liga Femenina to fall to a first domestic loss.
PAULAUSKAS STEPS DOWN
There was a sense of déjà vu in Orenburg over the weekend as play-caller Algirdas Paulauskas resigned from his position due to health issues, less than a year after the same fate fell upon his predecessor Aleksandr Kovalev.
Paulauskas has presided over an inconsistent start to the season, losing at home to Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration in their EuroLeague Women opener and then suffering a heavy defeat at Rivas Ecopolis. Those results came either side of a 30-point hammering in the Russian Premier League at the hands of Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje.
He's the second Lithuanian coach to leave a head coaching post in recent weeks, with his former assistant Alfredas Vainauskas being dismissed from Dynamo Kursk.
Alexander Ermolinsky will take up the reins for Nadezhda on an interim basis and the club got back to winning ways with a 70-61 Premier League win against Dynamo Novosibirsk, to move to an encouraging 4-1 domestic record for the season.
AVENIDA STUMBLE IN SPAIN
The last unbeaten record in Liga Femenina has been broken after Perfumerias Avenida slumped to a shock 62-59 defeat at CB Conquero. Double-doubles from Angelica Robinson and Eshaya Murphy could not prevent the champions slipping to a surprise loss.
It means Avenida are now locked with their title rivals Rivas Ecopolis, who squeezed out a valuable 64-59 win at Cadi ICG Software thanks to 21 points from the hand of Queralt Casas.
Elsewhere in Spain, there is no stopping U20 European Championship Women MVP Astou Ndour, who continued her rich vein of form with 24 points and 16 rebounds in an 86-63 win against Mann-Filter Zaragoza to keep Gran Canaria 2014 in third place.
SOPRON HAND GOOD ANGELS FIRST LOSS
There was an all-EuroLeague Women match-up in the Middle European League and it resulted in a first defeat of the campaign in any competition for Good Angels Kosice, as they fell 70-66 at UE Sopron.
Down by double-digits, the home side rallied in an exciting finale, with the hot-hand of Slovak Republic national team wing Katarina Tetemondova turning things in favour of Sopron with 17 points whilst team-mate Zsofia Fegyverneky had an eye-catching eleven assists.
Belarusian center Yelena Leuchanka added 18 points and eight rebounds for Good Angels Kosice.
Elsewhere in the MEL, 22 points from Serbian veteran Milica Dabovic propelled WBC Novi Zagreb to a 72-65 against EuroCup Women participants Aluinvent Miskolc.
STATUS QUO MAINTAINED IN TKBL
|Shavonte Zellous' hot streak for Galatasaray odeabank continued over the weekend with 21 points in domestic action|
All the leaders in the Turkish League came away with weekend victories as Galatasaray odeabank and Kayseri Kaski spor both extended their unbeaten runs to seven games.
A combined 34 points from Tanisha Wright and Turkish rising star Aysegul Gunay catapulted Kayseri to a 71-64 win against Mersin, whilst Shavonte Zellous continued her hot streak with 21 points for Galatasaray in a 69-48 success at Canik Belediye.
The chasing pack all won their games, with Fenerbahce claiming a tight 76-71 win at home to Adana Botas, with Angel McCoughtry, Cappie Pondexter and Isabelle Yacoubou all returning double-digit scores.
Istanbul Universitesi followed up their terrific EuroCup Women win against Dynamo Moscow with a 69-49 victory at Ceyhan Belediye, as Crystal Langhorne produced a monstrous 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Tarsus Belediye slumped to a sixth loss of the season after a gut-wrenching 75-73 home court defeat to Homend Antakya, despite 17 points from Belarus national team star Katsiaryna Snytsina.
MEESSEMAN KEEPS VILLENEUVE IN CONTENTION
Tango Bourges are yet to taste defeat in the LFB this season with eight wins from as many games after beating Charleville 68-59, but three teams including Villeneuve d'Ascq are hanging onto their shirt-tails - even if they almost threw victory away at Arras.
Villeneuve completed a 63-59 success in a game they had controlled, but needed Belgian center Emma Meesseman to deliver in crunch time. Olayinka Sanni also had a major hand in the win with 18 points and six assists.
Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration and Lyon are the other two teams pushing the leaders hard, with the former storming to a 70-53 success at Toulouse after a stunning final quarter and the latter imposing a crushing 88-59 loss on struggling Tarbes Gespe Bigorre.
Nantes Reze eased the pressure of their own struggles by taking an 84-65 win at home to Angers, thanks mainly to 14 points and 10 rebounds from Marielle Amant.
Basket Landes continued their fruitful season with 18 points from Marion Laborde handing them a 76-59 win at USO Mondeville.