|21 October 2013|
|Eshaya Murphy is a major edition to the Perfumerias Avenida roster|
We take a look at the prospects of the reigning Spanish champions and the 2011 EuroLeague Women winners, Perfumerias Avenida.
Last Season: The Salamanca based club had a shocking start last year and lost six of their first eight games. However, after a change of coach and some personnel, they somehow scraped into the final play-off spot in Group C, with a 5-7 record. Only to subsequently lose in the play-offs against Good Angels Kosice.
Significant Summer Departures: Experienced frontcourt trio of Lucila Pascua, Egle Sulciute and Le'Coe Willingham, as well as the energetic Monique Currie and of course the now retired and official club legend Isabel Sanchez.
Roster Review: Victor Lapena and club bosses seem to have turned the page during the summer and have went for a fresh-look, with even more young Spanish players and may also have found some trump cards. Primarily, the addition of shooting guard Eshaya Murphy, who has already made a big-shot in crunch time to seal the Super Cup. American center duo Angelica Robinson and Krystal Thomas also look like good pick-ups. There is a real buzz about a home-grown trio arriving too, with the addition of young Spaniards Tamara Abalde, Leonor Rodriguez and Mariona Ortiz. Abalde is a power-forward who has not quite followed up the huge promise she showed during her teenage years, but this is a great platform for her to remind everyone of her undoubted quality. Ortiz is a long bodied playmaker who impressed for the Spanish youth teams and Rodriguez is a shooter of some aplomb. It was absolutely vital that the club ensured some continuity in the core rotation and that was secured by way of Marta Xargay, Marta Fernandez and Marija Rezan who all remain on board. Xargay was phenomenal at EuroBasket Women and it was her defence that seriously helped underpin Spain's gold medal success. Fernandez is a wily veteran who will contribute in many facets and now is the time for Croatian center Rezan to really start imposing herself on opponents.
Headline Writer: Murphy has already written one major headline so far and it could be the scoring of the Montengrin passport holder which has a big say in how Avenida progress. Murphy has talent but has not quite been able to find a stable home where she can shine. Maybe Pabellon Wurzburg will be the perfect stage for her. So far at least, the early signs are very good.
Sliding Onto The Radar: Leonor Rodriguez will have been bitterly disappointed to have missed out on the Spanish senior squad and a gold medal at EuroBasket Women after failing to make the final roster. Having been on the other side of the pond at college in recent years, she now has a chance to send out a statement to Lucas Mondelo and get back onto the centre of his radar again with some strong displays during her first EuroLeague Women campaign. A big three-point threat and excellent passer of the ball, she needs to demonstrate she can do it at the highest level in coming months.
Scanning The Schedule: Perfumerias Avenida are in a wide-open Group C and have an excellent schedule which raises few concerns or issues and so they will fancy their chances against everyone else and especially at home. They will play Galatasaray odeabank, CCC Polkowice, Kibirkstits-Vici Vilnius, WBC Novi Zagreb and Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje.
‘Twittertastic': Go with @leonorspain @CBAvenida, as well as @martaxargay and @marionaortiz8 who I am sure will both love to practice their English with even more followers to tweet to!
In Just Ten Words: Play-offs if play to full potential, maybe Final Eight.