Branzova Fires MKB To Win Over Phard Napoli


MKB Euroleasing's game at Phard Napoli turned into the Albena Branzova show on Thursday.

Branzova, the veteran Bulgarian center, went into the game averaging just over eight points but she poured in 26 to lead MKB to a 74-61 triumph - their first on the road in the EuroLeague Women this season.

Branzova was 12 of 14 from the floor, including four of five (80%) from three-point range.

The Hungarians were excellent from behind the arc, making 10 of 20 (50%).

They also out-rebounded Napoli 38-28.

Norbert Székely, the winning coach, said: "It has been a very important game. It's our first victory on a foreign court.

"At the beginning, we suffered a lot because of the man-to-man defense but after we changed and started controlling the rebounds, we gained the run that has permitted us to win."

Bernadett Németh (MKB Euroleasing)
Bernadett Németh (MKB Euroleasing)
Phard Napoli could not have asked for a better start. They stormed out to a 12-0 lead, with Adia Barnes scoring six points in that early run.

With just under two minutes remaining in the opening period, however, MKB Euroleasing had tied the contest.

A jump shot by Bernadett Németh made the score 17-17.

Four more times in the first half, Phard Napoli went in front by five points but they never pressed home that advantage and it was the visitors from Hungary who had finished the second quarter stronger.

Trailing 31-28, a Branzova three-ball ignited a 15-2 surge that put MKB Euroleasing in front for the remainder of the game.

Phard did cut the deficit to five on two occasions in the second half, but got no closer.

Barnes finished with 17 points to top the scoring for Phard Napoli, who dropped to 1-7 in Group A.

Sara Giauro of Phard Napoli said: "It has been a pity losing this game because we started well and with a great concentration but then we made a lot of mistakes ...

"The Sopron team also had a super Branzova."

Phard Napoli coach Nino Molino added: "We started well, but then we made too many defensive mistakes, giving too much space most of all to Branzova and they took the advantage.

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