Phard Napoli Register First Win


Phard Napoli got off the mark in EuroLeague Women Group A at the fourth time of asking as a gallant second-half revival helped them to an 80-73 victory over ESB Lille Metropole on Thursday.

Mariangela Cirone (Phard Napoli)
Mariangela Cirone had 20 points for Phard Napoli
The Italians looked dead and buried when they went in at half-time 46-33 down but, aided by strong showings from point guard Mariangela Cirone (20 points) and forward Adia Barnes (15 points and seven rebounds), they recovered to take the spoils.

The hosts, who now have a 1-3 record, were 18 of 18 from the charity stripe while Lille were also 100% (11/11) in that department.

The French side had 14 points from Serbian forward Ljubica Drljaca but they succumbed to join Phard on a 1-3 record.

After an even start, an 8-0 run at the beginning of the second quarter put ESB - beaten 99-48 by CSKA Moscow last time out - 29-22 ahead.

With 2:45 left in the half, the Frenchwomen had stretched the lead to 42-31 and they drained the final four points of the second quarter to take a 46-33 cushion into the locker room.

Phard did not know they were beaten, though, and they reduced the gap to five points (56-51) by the start of the final 10 minutes.

By halfway through the final quarter, the crowd knew they had a game on their hands when the Italians closed to 63-61 behind with just over five minutes left on the clock.

Kedra Holland-Corn poured in a three-pointer then a pair of free throws to put Phard in the lead at 72-71.

Barnes nailed a jumper to give her side a three-point lead (76-73), and then added the coup de grace with a pair of free throws as the clock ran down to seal the victory.


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