BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
PEAC-Pecs and WBC Novi Zagreb have both collected precious pieces of silverware after winning their respective cup finals in the Hungarian and Croatian leagues.
|Nevena Jovanovic was named in the All-Tournament Team of the Hungarian Cup Final Four |
PEAC PECS DENY UE SOPRON FOUR IN A ROW
After three successive domestic cup successes, Uniqa Euroleasing Sopron finally gave up their coveted trophy after being beaten 65-61 by PEAC-Pecs in an exciting conclusion to the Hungarian Final Four.
There was only a point in the game heading into the last six seconds, but Pecs did the work on the boards they needed to safely get over the finishing line.
Aussie forward Abby Bishop was named MVP after scoring 19 points in the title game, a tally matched by Zsofia Fegyverneky of Sopron. Both were named in the All-Tournament team, along with Serbian national team shooter and cup winner Nevena Jovanovic.
KOMPLET TAKES NOVI ZAGREB TO CROATIAN CUP
It has been a roller-coaster year for WBC Novi Zagreb and the Final Four of the Croatian Cup proved to be no different.
They eventually prevailed to add to their list of silverware, with Slovenian shooter Eva Komplet finishing with 15 points as they beat Tresnjevka 2009 by 63-44 in the title game - a 25-4 second quarter proving decisive.
But, it was the crucial work of Komplet in the semi-final which really mattered, as the EuroLeague Women side came within a whisker of what would have been deemed a giant-killing and major failure.
Komplet top-scored again with 16 points as her team narrowly dodged a bullet with a 58-57 triumph against Medvescak.
LIGA FEMENINA LEADERS FALL
Spanish Liga Femenina leaders Perfumerias Avenida have allowed second-place Rivas Ecopolis to close the gap to just one win in the regular season title race, after the side from Salamanca went down 73-63 at Gran Canaria 2014.
The hosts completed a double over the champions after a spectacular 29 points and 15 rebounds from Spanish national team youth star, Astou Ndour. Shay Murphy replied with 14 points and 10 boards in defeat.
With both Avenida and Rivas having lost in the recent EuroLeague Women play-offs, the focus is now on landing the domestic title, with Rivas taking full advantage iof their rivals slip-up by coasting to a 74-56 home win against Bizkaia GDKO. Jasmine Hassell stood out with a game-high 24 points.
|Tina Charles led Dynamo Moscow to a convincing win against Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje|
ROAD SUCCESS IN RUSSIAN PLAY-OFF QUARTER-FINALS
All four visiting teams returned home with huge wins in the quarter-finals of the Russian Premier League.
Full of confidence from their first-leg performance in the EuroCup Women Final, Dynamo Moscow made the short hop to Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje and came away with a rousing 77-55 derby victory.
Once again, it was Tina Charles and Ana Dabovic who did the business, the former competing a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds and Dabovic claiming 17 points and eight assists. Sonja Petrovic and Natalia Vieru shared 24 points for the losing team.
Greek forward, Zoi Dimitrakou fired 17 points for Nadezhda Orenburg as they cantered to an 87-68 success at Chevakata Vologda, with news also emerging that dangerous three-point shooter, Natalia Zhedik will miss EuroLeague Women Final Eight after going on maternity leave.
Dynamo Kursk bounced back from their EuroCup Women disappointment against Dynamo Moscow by strolling to a 74-53 win at Energia Ivanovo, behind double-digit contributions from Rebekkah Brunson, Candice Dupree and Seimone Augustus.
Meanwhile Sandrine Gruda snapped up 18 points and eight rebounds as UMMC Ekaterinburg overwhelmed Dynamo-GUVD with an 82-55 victory.
WISLA SECURE REGULAR SEASON TITLE
A 54-47 loss by nearest challengers CCC Polkowice at Energa Torun handed Wisla Can-Pack the regular season title, after the leaders simultaneously claimed a 69-62 triumph against Artego Bydgoszcz in front of their own supporters in Krakow.
Justyna Zurowska and Jantel Lavender both starred in the paint for Wisla, with Zurowska claiming 16 points, six rebounds and five steals and frontcourt partner Lavender matching her points tally and also adding 15 boards.
CCC Polkowice were always chasing the game against Torun, with a lack of firepower contributing to a fifth defeat of the season as they went down by as many as 18 points, before rallying in the closing minutes.
Jelena Velinovic plundered 16 points for the winning team.
BOURGES BENEFIT AFTER RIVALS BOTH FALTER
Tango Bourges are now within touching distance of the LFB regular season title after both of their nearest rivals crashed to defeats over the weekend and the table-toppers took advantage with a 64-52 road win at Arras.
Second-placed Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration lost 77-73 at Charleville despite 20 points from both Helena Ciak and Gunta Basko-Melnbarde.
Villeneuve d'Ascq were stunned 67-65 at struggling Toulouse, who overturned a 15-point deficit and clinched a thrilling victory via a buzzer-beater from Marie Mane and an 18 points and 14 rebound effort from Miranda Mayim.
Lyon stormed to an 84-65 win at Hainaut Basket and elsewhere, Australian forward Cayla Francis propelled Nantes to a 79-64 win at home to bottom of the table Nice after securing 25 points and eight boards.
|Shavonte Zellous once more has been instrumental to Galatasaray's success|
DRAMATIC TKBL FINALE NOW LIES IN WAIT
Next weekend is set to be a dramatic and passionate one, with Fenerbahce and Galatasaray meeting in the final game to decide who wins the regular season TKBL title.
In the penultimate week of action, Galatasaray odeabank beat another city rival in the form of Besiktas, as Shavonte Zellous claimed 19 points, seven assists and five rebounds to carry her team to a convincing 69-50 success.
In the other derby to be played, Fenerbahce completed an 80-66 win against Istanbul Universitesi, with five players reaching double figures in scoring and Cappie Pondexter finishing with a headline 16 points.
Kayseri Kaski spor were almost upset at home against Ceyhan Belediye, but scraped a 75-73 victory having almost blown a big final-quarter lead. Chilean star Ziomara Morrison had 27 points and 14 rebounds for the visitors, with Tanisha Wright propelling the home side with 18 points.
Mersin Buyuksehir had American center Courtney Paris rack up another monstrous effort of 26 points and 14 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to deny Canik Belediye who won 70-63 after 17 points from Australian guard, Natalie Hurst.
At the other end of the table, a near-perfect line from DeLisha Milton-Jones gave Tarsus Belediye a boost in their bid to escape relegation. She ended up with 26 points from a magnificent 12-of-14 shooting performance and also corralled 11 boards to sink Orduspor 83-63 at home.
Basement-dwellers TED Ankara were shut out 67-49 at Adana Botas and Homend Antakya are now looking nervously over their shoulders at the trap door.
Former EuroBasket Women MVP, Evanthia Maltsi amassed an impressive 33 points for her team, but couldn't prevent an 87-73 defeat on the road at Konak Belediyesi.