BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|French legend Céline Dumerc was influential in taking Bourges Basket to their 12th French championship|
There was silverware handed out right across Europe in a decisive weekend of action.
BOURGES BACK ON TOP
Despite only managing to come second during the regular season and trailing 1-0 in the Finals after a home loss to Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration, Bourges Basket showed their quality by bouncing back with two road wins to land Championship number twelve.
They won the decisive game 64-56 and fittingly, it was French national team trio Endene Miyem, Celine Dumerc and Emmeline Ndongue who starred in the victory.
They combined for 39 points to make it a night to forget for the home side, although they at least had the consolation of winning a league and cup double during the regular season.
EKAT COMPLETE CLEAN SWEEP
UMMC Ekaterinburg completed a clean sweep in Russia as they added to their Cup, regular season title and EuroLeague Women trophies by routing Sparta&K M.R Vidnoje 84-68 on the road, to complete a 3-0 series sweep against their arch rivals and take the Championship.
French frontcourt ace Sandrine Gruda celebrated recently penning an extension to her deal in Ekaterinburg by scoring a game-high 23 points for the winning side.
Russian duo Marina Kuzina and Natalia Vieru finished their season with a loss, but an impressive dual haul of 29 points for the hosts will be a boost for Russian national team play-caller Alfredas Vainauskas.
However, the coach ended his own club season with a real stomach churner as Dynamo Kursk lost 88-82 in overtime to Nadezhda, the team of his close friend, fellow Lithuanian and former boss, Algirdas Paulauskas.
At least naturalised Russian guard Epiphanny Prince showed how much of an offensive threat she might at EuroBasket Women this year with a mammoth 34 points for Kursk, as well as making the Russian League Team of the Season.
Although on a mixed night, EuroBasket Women 2011 MVP Elena Danilochkina also reminded Vainauskas of what he will be missing when she skips the tournament, with 18 points and a place in the Team of the Year, along with Nadezhda colleague Dewanna Bonner.
The trio were joined by UMMC star Candace Parker and Sparta&K shooter Evgeniia Beliakova, as Diana Taurasi claimed the MVP accolade.
|LeCoe Willingham kept her cool, sinking a pair to win the game with time up for Perfumerias Avenida|
AVENIDA CLINCH TITLE IN THRILLER
Perfumerias Avenida completed a sensational and spine tingling comeback in front of their raucous fans, to claim a famous 67-66 Liga Femenina Championship success.
Le'Coe Willingham showed she had ice running through her veins by sinking decisive free-throws with no time remaining on the game clock to seal a thrilling win.
It was an amazing contest and a heartbreaker for Rivas, who had been dominant for long spells, moving 15 points ahead and initially strangling the life out of the home offence. But, things changed when Spanish national team guard Anna Cruz turned her ankle for Rivas and the balance of the tie shifted.
Still trailing by 12 points in the last period, Avenida produced a devastating finish to get the job done and spark a huge fiesta in Salamanca.
Marta Xargay had 12 points and five assists, showing she may be up for increased minutes with Spain at EuroBasket Women , whilst one of the main hopes for Ukraine, Oleksandra Kurasova, had 17 points in defeat.
SK CESIS TAKE LATVIAN CROWN
Meanwhile EuroBasket Women 2013 hopeful Anda Eibele continued her terrific season by leading SK Cesis to the Latvian Championship with a display typical of her great form this season.
She poured in 20 points to hand her team a 3-1 series victory against TTT Riga, courtesy of a crushing 66-46 victory which was wrapped up by half-time.
Another likely candidate to make the final Latvian roster is forward Dita Rozenberga, and she led TTT Riga with 19 points.