|24 October 2012|
|Kristina Vengryte was the top scorer for Vilnius Kibirkstis with 14 points|
The first action of the new EuroCup Women season was witnessed on Wednesday night.
In Group H, there was disappointment for MBK Ruzomberok who performed so well last season, but slumped to a 54-59 home floor loss against a jubilant Vilnius Kibirkstis who were great defensively with Kristina Alminaite managing four blocked shots.
There was also an excellent 69-63 win for Antakya against 2011 champions Elitzur Ramla. The Turkish club were powered by a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds from Shekinna Stricklen although it was an efficient contribution of 15 points and seven boards by Jana Vesela which proved most decisive.
It was a bitter-sweet night for Montengrin teenager Ana Turcinovic. She hasn't enjoyed the greatest of times since signing with Ramla a little over a year ago and was on the losing team in this contest, but did at least re-discover the form which caught the eye at EuroBasket Women 2011 by harvesting an impessive 19 points and 10 rebounds.
As expected, Chevakata proved far too strong for SISU in Group A. They cruised to an 88-63 success thanks mainly to the sharp perimeter shooting of Jasmine Thomas who sunk four triples and Yuliya Kiseleva who finished with 17 points in the same amount of minutes.
Tarbes shrugged off their slow start in the French League by picking up an excellent 80-68 win in Turkey against Mersin in Group C. A 20-7 start always had them on the front foot and whilst the hosts managed to get within a point during the last quarter, the visitors kept their composure, helped by a monstrous double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds by Angelica Robinson.
In Group G, VS Prague probably wanted the ground to open up so they could hide after an eye-wateringly horrific opening period at Dynamo Moscow where they fell 22-0 behind on their way to a crushing 83-40 defeat.
VS Praha head coach Petr Treml admitted it had been a real lesson for his beleaguered team but was trying to be positive after a difficult initiation.
He said, "It was a difficult game for us because it was the first game in a European Cup for a lot of the girls.
"The first half was really bad. The second half we looked better. I hope this gives us experience for the following games."
Meanwhile his opposite number Vladimir Shtam had some sympathy and was quick to offer a consoling comment for the losing team.
"I believe a tough flight schedule for the guest team influenced the physical conditions of their players," insisted the coach.
"We think that the final result doesn't reflect the real balance of the teams' strength."
One of the most impressive performances of the opening night of the season came in Serbia where Partizan Galenika sounded the alarm bells for Basket Landes with a crushing 77-57 victory.
The Belgrade club raced into a 27-13 first quarter lead and never looked back, Landes regretting 21 turnovers as Dajana Butulija inspired the home team with 15 points, five rebounds and four assists.