An Immacolata Performance


Be warned, EuroLeague Women coaches.

You'd better guard Phard Napoli's Immacolata Gentile. If opponents did not know that before Thursday, they sure know it now after the Italian star bombarded Lietuvos Telekomas Vilnius from three-point range to lead Phard to an 81-69 triumph in Group C.

Gentile buried six of seven from behind the arc on her way to a team-high 20 points.

The Lithuanians would have been stunned because in her first seven games, Gentile had made a total of four three-pointers.

In four of the first seven contests, the 1.75m point guard had not even scored.

She sent out a warning with her first shot from beyond the arc three minutes into the contest, which gave Phard a 5-0 lead.

Her second came with 5:17 left in the opening quarter to give her team a 12-4 lead.

The Italians would go on to build a 23-11 lead by the end of the first quarter, and they held a 44-37 advantage at half-time.

Phard pressed home their advantage in the third quarter, by the end of which they were in front 61-50. The Lithuanians were unable,  despite Katie Douglas' game-high 26 points, to claw their way back.

Poor shooting cost Lietuvos Telekomas Vilnius as the visitors were just 22 of 62 (35.5%) from the floor. They were also out-rebounded 42-31 in the game.

Gentile had four rebounds and five assists to go with her points haul.

The result means there was an incredible turnaround from the first time the two sides played, when the Italians were thrashed 88-44.

The victory has raised fourth placed Phard's record to 4-4, while US Valenciennes now have a one-game lead at the top of Group C over Lietuvos Telekomas.

Phard's next EuroLeague clash is on January 11 when they visit Dynamo Moscow, while Lietuvos Telekomas will attempt to get back on track when they host Wisla Can-Pack Krakow one day later in Vilnius.

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