Pre-Season Flows, Czech League Begins

24 September 2013
21. Natasha Lacy (Good Angels Kosice)
Natasha Lacy pictured here playing for Good Angels Kosice last season has made an instant impact for new club Adanas Botas, scoring 46 points in a win over Fenerbahce

There has been an palpable raising in the intensity of the pre-season schedule for EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women clubs, whilst the Czech League has already swung firmly into action.



There was a shock opening day defeat in the ZBL for EuroLeague Women competitors BK Imos Brno, who went down 73-61 at Slovanka MB, despite an encouraging double-double debut by Swedish frontcourt player Danielle Hamilton, who claimed 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Defending Champions ZVVZ USK Prague tipped-off their season in style with a 97-67 success against Kara Trutnov as Lenka Bartakova and Jelena Dubljevic recorded 19 points each.



Having signed off their EuroLeague Women participation last season in disappointing fashion at the Final Eight, Galatasaray fans will be hoping they can still challenge and make a return to the season finale in 2014.

Undergoing something of a transformation and with a re-alignment of finances, supporters of the Istanbul club will at least be heartened by their success in winning the Mustafa Erkoc Tournament with victories over TED Ankara and EuroLeague Women rivals Kayseri Kaski spor.

Continuing their usual practice of inviting players to join them on short-term deals ahead of the season, Galatasaray handed court-time to Serbian duo Dajana Butulija and Marina Mandic, as well as Montenegrin Natasa Popovic.

But, it was Turkish national team stars Nevriye Yilmaz and Isil Alben who led the way, helping their team to a 76-48 success against TED Ankara and a 65-53 win against Kayseri who claimed one win over Orduspor, 88-53.

Gamze Takmaz led Kayseri in the victory with 22 points and there was a nice contribution from Italian national team forward Sabrina Cinili, who had 18 points and eight rebounds ahead of her debut season in EuroLeague Women.



Whilst Galatasaray celebrated, arch rivals Fenerbahce had to settle for second place behind Adana Botas in the Galenos Cup.

Adding salt to the wounds of Fenerbahce, they lost their final game with an astonishing buzzer beater from guard Natasha Lacy who let fly from inside her own half to help Canik Belediye win 86-83.

The former Good Angels Kosice player was unstoppable and came up with an eye-popping 46 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

Adana Botas wrapped up a good few days of work with a similarly narrow 68-65 success against Istanbul University to make it four wins from their four games in the competition.



7. Barbora Bálintová (Slovak Republic)
Risng Slovak Republic star Barbora Bálintová could be set for a bigger role with Good Angels Kosice this summer, sinking a dramatic buzzer beater to take her team to victory over DVTK Miskolc

Host club Good Angels Kosice took the Kosice Grand Prix Trophy after defeating past EuroCup Women entrants DVTK Miskolc 85-62, having previously snuck past ZVVZ USK Prague thanks to a dramatic buzzer-beating shot by Slovak Republic rising star Barboara Balintova.

The highly rated guard continued her good work against Miskolc with 17 points. There were also strong contributions from other young players too, with Slovak forward Martina Kissova and recent acquisition Magdalena Zietara both firing 12 points each.



There have also been a number of other match-ups in recent days right around Europe, including a number of EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women clubs clashing against each other.

There were mixed fortunes for Novi Zagreb, who were bitten 65-58 by PEAC Pecs as Diana Furesz amassed 20 points for the winning team, but Novi did manage to dig out a dramatic 91-88 win against Atomeromu. Croatian national team center Luca Ivankovic excelled in both games, having made her summer switch from Jolly Sibenik, sinking a combined 33 points.

MBK Ruzomberok were pipped 60-56 by Wisla Can-pack as former head-coach Stefan Svitek inflicted disappointment on his former employers, with Zane Tamane showing her prowess in the paint with 16 points.

Elsewhere, Geraldine Robert could be the player to carry the EuroLeague Women hopes of returnees Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration this season and she underlined why, with 24 points as her team romped to victory against Lyon.

Jolene Anderson played in EuroCup Women last season, but she will step up this time with Famila Schio and she showed her potential impact with a 20-point haul in a narrow 60-57 win against fellow Italian club, Gesam Gas Lucca.

Frida Eldebrink was one of the stars of EuroBasket Women during the summer and she could be the player to propel new club Rivas Ecopolis. The guard top-scored with 16 points in a convincing 75-49 against Mann Filter, whilst Kelly Schumacher added 12 points, with the veteran center having returned to the game after playing professional beach volleyball.

Perfumerias Avenida are likely to fight it out with Rivas Ecopolis for domestic superiority in Liga Femenina and Victor Lapena led his team to a 61-60 win against CB Conquero, with Croatian center Marija Rezan in particularly good form with 17 points.



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