BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Turkish international Nevriye Yilmaz made a surprise return for Galatasaray on the weekend |
News is good for Turkish national team plans looking ahead to summer, UMMC keep on winning in Russia, whilst CCC Polkowice and UE Sopron take control in Poland and Hungary respectively.
YILMAZ BACK ON THE COURT FOR GALATASARAY
Turkey have been handed a significant boost ahead of EuroBasket Women after Nevriye Yilmaz made an unexpected return to action with Galatasaray in the Turkish play-offs.
Reports just a couple of weeks ago had suggested the star would be ruled out for the remainder of the club season, but she stepped out for the Turkish giants as they edged nearer to a play-off Final showdown with arch rivals Fenerbahce.
Both clubs are 2-0 ahead in their respective semi-finals, with Yilmaz having scored an efficient eight points in a little over ten minutes of action, as Galatasaray routed Istanbul University 74-50. In fact, the entire frontcourt was dominant with Sylvia Fowles claiming 18 points on eight-of-ten floor shooting.
Fenerbahce needed a buzzer-beating triple from Angel McCoughtry to dodge a bullet against Kayseri Kaski spor and take a 77-75 success. McCoughtry and Cappie Pondexter had 40 points for the winning team, whilst Asjha Jones and Lara Sanders combined for 49 points in defeat.
UMMC KEEP SWEEP DREAMS ALIVE
Having already won EuroLeague Women, the Russian Cup and Russian regular season title, UMMC Ekaterinburg punched their ticket for the Play-Off Final with a comfortable 84-63 success at Dynamo Kursk to advance with a 2-0 series win.
It was once again Candace Parker who did the business, finishing with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, whilst Deanna Nolan and Diana Taurasi both weighed in with 17-point hauls.
There could be another famous heavyweight rivalry re-ignited in Russia too, since Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje responded to the pressure of losing their first semi-final game with Nadezhda by taking a precious 80-69 win in Orenburg.
DeWanna Bonner poured in a game-high 28 points for Nadezhda, but Sparta&K played better, with Candice Dupree harvesting 23 points and 10 rebounds. The deciding game will take place on Friday in Vidnoje.
|Valeriya Musina had her biggest offensive night of the season for CCC Polkowice on the weekend|
CCC POLKOWICE IN CONTROL
CCC Polkowice are out to conquer everything in the Polish League after they followed up their Cup success and regular season win by moving 2-0 ahead in the Play-Off Final against Wisla Can-Pack.
After a nail-biting first match-up which was only decided in the last seconds, Polkowice strolled to victory 73-52, in a bad-tempered contest littered with an array of unsavoury unsportsmanlike fouls.
Valeriya Musina produced her best shooting night of the season with a superb 23 points including four triples for the rampant hosts.
FIRST BLOOD FOR SOPRON
UE Sopron have taken the initiative in the Hungarian Play-Off Final by moving 1-0 ahead against defending champions Uni Gyor, with a crushing 74-55 success.
The victory was claimed thanks mainly to 23 points from Serbian forward Jelena Milovanovic and a scorching second-half when they outscored their opponent 44-27 to ease their way to the win.
DYNAMO KIEV CHAMPIONS OF UKRAINE
Despite the considerable presence of FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year and the recently drafted Alina Iagupova, Elizabet Basket couldn't prevent Dynamo Kiev from completing a 2-1 series victory and climbing to the top of the podium in Ukraine.
Kiev won the third and decisive game 73-60, despite 20 points from Iagupova, who added to her list of personal accolades by being named as MVP of the Ukrainian League.
For the winning team, the American trio of Juanita Ward, Jessica Canady and Tyra White took on most of the workload, scoring 19, 18 and 14 points respectively.