New Faces Lead Prague

30 September 2008

A new-look USK Prague won the 24th Krasznai Ferenc International Women Basketball Tournament in Hungary at the weekend.

Hosts MKB Euroleasing Sopron finished runners-up, Maxima Broker Kosice third and MiZo-Pécs 2010 fourth.

All four teams will be competing in this season's EuroLeague Women.

Opening Day

Prague, behind two of their big summer signings Sonja Kireta and Evanthia Maltsi, won their first game over MiZo-Pécs, 67-61.

Big center Kireta exploded for 24 points and Maltsi, fresh off her excellent and successful EuroBasket Women 2009 qualifying campaign with Greece, chipped in 14.

The game was knotted at 33-33 at half-time, but Lubor Blazek's Prague edged into a three-point lead by the end of the third quarter and ended up winning by six.

Anna Vajda, the Hungary international who averaged better than 16 points and 11 rebounds as her country booked a place in next year's EuroBasket, scored 23 in defeat for MiZo.

Also on opening day, MKB Euroleasing hit back from a two-point deficit at half-time to win 76-66 over Slovakians Kosice.

The Sopron outfit got 18 from Dóra Horti while Kosice received 21 and 17 points, respectively, from Liron Cohen and Linda Fröhlich.

Day Two

On the second day of games, Prague beat hosts Sopron 80-66 with Maltsi pouring in 19 and Kireta 17.

Serbia sensation Jelena Milovanovic finished with 16 and Horti 14 in a losing effort.

Kosice overcame a 25-point effort from Vajda to win 71-64 over MiZo-Pécs 2010.

Day Three

The third and final day saw Sopron recover to win their battle against fellow Hungarians MiZo-Pécs 81-72 with Milovanovic pouring in 19 and Horti 24.

Prague remained unbeaten after scraping an 86-85 win over Kosice as Maltsi scored 21 and Kireta 15.

Kireta was voted as the tournament's MVP.

Prague did not have much time to rest as they returned home, only to fly to Istanbul for another pre-season tournament.

"In Istanbul, we have three games and will play against Spartak Moscow, Fenerbahce Istanbul and Lukoil Sofia," Blazek said.

"In addition, there we will also train. We plan on having three trainings.

Prague star Michaela Ferančíková is carrying a knee injury and did not start against Kosice but Blazek does expect the player to take part in Turkey.

The 30-year-old Czech power forward is a key player for Prague. She averaged 9.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game last season.

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Istanbul, TUR
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Moscow, RUS
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