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CSKA Moscow’s ‘Other’ Players

11.02.2008

We have heard about the twin towers of EuroLeague Women powerhouse CSKA Moscow, Ann Wauters and Maria Stepanova.

The team also has the flamboyant, gritty play of EuroBasket Women 2007 MVP Amaya Valdemoro, and it consistently gets solid contributions from Russian internationals Ilona Korstin and Olga Arteshina, and France playmaker Edwige Lawson-Wade.

But you know who the players are who could be the difference-makers for CSKA if they are to win the title

We had a lot of problems in the first three quarters but Nicole Powell and Becky Hammon came up with big baskets.
Gundars Vetra
CSKA Moscow Coach
this season?

Their names are Becky Hammon and Nicole Powell.

CSKA Moscow are so good, and so deep, that sometimes it's easy to lose track of their superstars.

Hammon and Powell decided last Friday to remind everyone of just how many options CSKA Moscow do have.

Hammon buried six three-balls and had a game-high 25 points, while Powell hit some timely jumpers at the end that propelled CSKA to victory.

Halcon Avenida coach Jose Hernandez said: "We have played great defense on Ann Wauters and Maria Stepanova inside, but they have more superstars in Nicole Powell and Becky Hammon."

Avenida actually had a chance to beat undefeated CSKA.

Brazilian international center Alessandra Santos had sunk a jump shot and both Anke De Mondt and Isa Sanchez drilled back-to-back jumpers for a 64-63 Avenida lead late in the contest.

But Powell, who played for the Salamanca team last season when she was voted to the Rest of the World team for the EuroLeague Women All-Star Game, replied with consecutive three-balls to put CSKA back in front for good.

Hernandez wanted to emphasize just how good Hammon had been.

"She destroyed us in the end," he said.

CSKA Moscow boss Gundars Vetra echoed the sentiments of Hernandez.

"We had a lot of problems in the first three quarters but Nicole Powell and Becky Hammon came up with big baskets," he said.

The worst part about this time of season in the EuroLeague Women is that so many great clubs exit the competition.

Salamanca outfit Avenida could hardly have put on a better show on Friday.

"We are proud of ourselves because we played a great game against one of the two best teams in Europe and in the world," Hernandez said.

Vetra wanted to make sure everyone knows just what he thinks about Halcon Avenida.

"We played against a great team with great fans," he said. "This is the best place to play basketball."

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