BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Candace Parker and Sandrine Gruda were the top scorers in UMMC's win over Sparta&K that clinched a 3-0 sweep in the finals.|
UMMC Ekaterinburg clinched their fourth consecutive Russian women's basketball league title with an 89-64 triumph at Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje on Friday.
The win clinched a 3-0 victory in the play-off finals for the third straight season.
Sandrine Gruda had 23 points and Candace Parker added 20 for UMMC, who claimed a 23-19 lead by the end of the first quarter and stretched that to 50-30 by half-time.
"I'm glad it's over," UMMC coach Algirdas Paulauskas said.
"A tough season is behind us.
"Of course, the victory wasn't easy.
"And the last game - it is generally always the hardest.
"Although we have won with a big score, we were not as fresh physically."
Sparta&K certainly were not at full strength for the game.
They lost Sonja Petrovic to a thumb injury before the finals and neither Irina Osipova nor Jelena Milovanovic were able to play in Game 3.
Wisla Edge Polkowice
Wisla Can-Pack Krakow are just one victory away from defending their Polish PLKK title after edging CCC Polkowice in Game 3.
Competing in the play-off finals for the first time away from home, Wisla appeared to be headed for defeat but they outscored Polkowice 16-7 over the last 10 minutes and scraped a 59-58 win.
Jose Hernandez's side will now try to sweep Polkowice in Game 4 on Saturday.
Italian Semi-Final Deciders
Cras Basket Taranto and Pool Comense both won the fourth games in their Italian play-off semi-final ties to set up all-or-nothing deciders.
Taranto, the Coppa Italia winners, fell 59-54 to Lucca in Game 3 but rebounded with a 72-66 victory.
In their six-point triumph, Kia Vaughn poured in 17 points and Simona Ballardini 12.
Beretta-Famila Schio, who played at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight in Istanbul, took a 2-1 series lead against Comense with a 71-64 victory and were within touching distance of the title series with a big lead in Game 4.
But they were outscored 21-7 over the last 10 minutes and slumped to a 64-53 defeat.
"We couldn't close the game," Schio coach Maurizio Lasi said.
"And we allowed them to come back: this has galvanized them and we lost solidity and clarity.
"I can only repeat, with greater vigor and strength, we want to get the final and we need everyone to get involved."
New Zealand international Jillian Harmon scored 21 points for Comense in the Game 4 win.
The deciders will be played on Sunday.