Pallacanestro Ribera, Arvi Marijampole, Athinaikos Win Openers

01 October 2008

Experience beat youth as Pallacanestro Ribera won their opening EuroCup Women clash at 08 Stockholm, 77-59.

The Swedish outfit, with numerous players who are 20 years old or younger, gave the visitors from Italy all they could handle in the first half with the teams knotted at 31-31 at the break.

Francesco Paolo Anselmo's team took charge after the interval, though.

Great Britain international Megan Moody began the third quarter with a three-pointer and Pallacanestro Ribera increased the intensity on defense, forcing the young 08 Stockholm team into consecutive turnovers that the visitors converted into transition baskets.

Kaayla Monet Chones provided a spark on offense, pouring in eight of her game-high 20 points and corralling five of her 11 boards.

By the end of the frame, the lead was 52-45 and the Italians pulled away over the final 10 minutes for a decisive win.

"I'm happy for the win but I'm also happy to see the young 08 Stockholm team play," Anselmo said.

"I like to coach young players and it was impressive to see how they constantly tried to challenge us one-on-one without fear. In the second half, we were able to adjust our game and change the tactics, giving us a comfortable win thanks to our greater experience."

Jami Montagnino had 19 points for the Italian side and she said: "We didn't know what to expect before the game. We knew we had to adjust during the game and I think we were able to do that.

"I think we played with more calm in the second half and that gave us some easy transition baskets."

The home team got 14 points and nine boards from Anette Johansen, while 19-year-old Martina Staalvant scored 10 and grabbed six boards.

Farhiya Abdi, who is just 16, was among the other Swedish youngsters who played. The 1.86m forward/center came off the bench had had four rebounds to go with her three points.

The coach 08 Stockholm, Anders Härd, said immediately after the game: "Right now, I'm disappointed that we couldn't keep the score closer.

"In the second half we could see that we were lacking experience and they were able to capitalize on our mistakes."

Lithuanian outfit Arvi Marijampole also enjoyed a flying start on the road, winning 86-52 at BBT Letzebuerg.

Tetyana Shchypakina tore apart the Luxembourg side 23 points and 15 rebounds.

Arvi Marijampole never trailed and took control of the game for good after holding their hosts to just four points over the last 6:38 of the first quarter. The Baltic side led 21-12 at the end of the frame and had a stranglehold on proceedings at half-time with a 46-26 advantage.

They effectively sealed their progression to the next round by outscoring Letzebuerg 20-7 over the last 10 minutes.

In other action, Athinaikos BC romped to a 78-45 triumph at CAB Madeira.

Latoya Davis erupted for 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Greek team, which was 24 of 34 (70.5%) inside the arc and eight of 26 (30.7%) from long range.

Afroditi Kosma weighed in with 11 points and Maria Manoli 10 for the visitors.

By comparison, the Portuguese were only 12 of 36 (33.3%) from two-point range and made a mere four of 21 (19%) from three-point distance.

Ebony Twiggs had 15 points and Danielle Hood 13 in defeat.


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