BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Erin Phillips is back for Wisla Can-Pack, but fans will notsee her suiting up in the EuroLeague Women this year|
Australian playmaker Erin Phillips is back with Wisla Can-Pack Krakow and bidding to land her fourth Polish Championship, whilst Rivas Ecopolis lost their proud unbeaten record in Liga Femenina.
Reigning WNBA champion Phillips returns to Krakow as the club attempts to boosts their prospects of landing another domestic title.
With Alana Beard and Tina Charles occupying the slots for non-Europeans, she won't suit up in the EuroLeague Women, a competition she averaged 13.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists in when playing last season which included an appearance at the Final Eight.
Wisla have recently slipped to third spot behind CCC Polkowice and Artego Bydgoszcz who are having a fine season and who routed Jose Hernandez and his team 65-49 only last week to inflict a third defeat of the season on Wisla.
As for Rivas, their loss to a rejuvenated Perfumerias Avenida was perhaps a little predictable after a poor week which included a defeat at Uni Gyor.
Whilst Queralt Casas poured in 21 points for the Spanish league leaders, it wasn't enough to prevent Rivas from slumping to a 74-63 home-floor loss to their rivals, with some woeful free-throw shooting particularly costly.
Le'Coe Willingham had a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds for Avenida, whilst Marta Fernandez racked up a 16 point haul in what is proving a dream start for recently installed head coach Victor Lapena. By taking victory, the visitors cut the gap between themselves in Rivas in half since they still only have two losses.
Elsewhere in Spain, it hasn't been the greatest of seasons for Gran Canaria 2014, but teenage rising stars Leticia Romero and Astou Ndour (vote for her as Young Women's Player of the Year) continue to enhance their respective reputations with the former claiming 21 points and the latter registering a double-double in a 61-53 success against UNB Obenasa.
TARSUS OFF TRACK IN TURKEY
In the Turkish League Besiktas finally found a win after 13 straight losses, with an 81-64 success at EuroLeague Women side Tarsus Belediye.
Milka Bjelica, who started the season with Municipal Targoviste sparked the victory with a highly efficient 24 points, whilst Turkish youth star Ozge Kavurmacioglu added an eye-catching 19 points.
There was no change in the higher echelons of the standings as Fenerbahce stayed unbeaten after cruising to an 88-64 win against Canik, Galatasaray won 77-72 on the road at Ceyhan and Kayseri Kaski spor locked down Istanbul University 64-54 to stay third.
ARRAS KEEP IMPROVING IN FRANCE
|Olesia Malashenko boosted Arras with 19 points in their win over fellow EuroLeague Women side Mondeville |
There was more delight for Arras over the weekend in France as they followed up last weeks' first EuroLeague Women success of the campaign against Schio with a critically important 75-71 win at USO Mondeville, something which provided a huge boost to their survival hopes.
Ukrainian forward Olesia Malashenko claimed 19 points, with Dawn Evans adding a stellar 11 assists to go with her 15 points.
Bourges Basket overcame their injury woes with recent British signing Johannah Leedham scoring 12 points on debut in a 74-64 home success over Aix en Provence, whilst table-topping Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration had 20 points from Geraldine Robert to thank for a 79-62 home win against Villeneuve.
UNI GYOR FALL TO SOPRON, NAGY-BUJDOSO LEAVES
There was disappointment in Hungary for last weeks's EuroLeague Women surprise package Uni Gyor as they lost yet another player when Nora Nagy-Budjoso, the main architect of their stunning win against Rivas, headed for the exit door.
They also lost to UE Sopron as their arch rivals preserved their unbeaten record at the top of the table with an eighteenth win of the season - Jelena Milovanovic starring in the 76-62 success with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
CLOSE TITLE RACE IN CZECH REPUBLIC
Finally, there were also plenty of double-doubles in the Czech ZBL as the title duel between leader ZVVZ USK Prague and chasing BK Imos Brno continued. The former moved to 18-1 after two terrific performances by Kia Vaughn and Ilona Burgrova who inspired them to a convincing 88-58 win against Kara Trutnov.
The latter sit with a 17-2 record after 26 points and 10 rebounds from Tereza Peckova took them to a 110-66 victory against VSE Prague.