Roundup: Big Guns Dodge Bullet

14 October 2013

EUROLEAGUE WOMEN

9. Queralt Casas (Rivas Ecopolis)
Queralt Casas is in good form for Rivas Ecopolis

As the curtain was raised on more domestic leagues over the weekend, the various EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women big guns survived relatively unscathed. 

BIG TWO CRUISE IN LIGA FEMENINA

Both Perfumerias Avenida and Rivas Ecopolis are expected to fight it out on all fronts for silverware in Spain and the duo got off to a flying start during the first round of Liga Femenina action.

Swedish ace Frida Eldebrink racked up 22 points to fire Rivas to a comfortable 88-58 road win at CD Zamarat, with Spanish national team guard Queralt Casas also on-song with a useful 17 points and five steals.

Fellow title favourites Avenida found success on home soil, cruising past Beroil Ciudad de Burgos 72-54 with four players reaching double-digits.

Elsewhere, one of the most notable performances of opening weekend came from Astou Ndour. The U20 European Championship Women MVP secured a mind-boggling 22 points and 19 rebounds, to take Gran Canaria to a fine 73-62 win at Gipuzkoa UPV.

SCHIO MAKE A STATEMENT

It could be another year of dominance for Beretta Famila Schio after they reiterated their class and ability to impose themselves on the Italian League this season with a brutal 87-38 demolition of CUS Chieti during the opening round of the competition.

Schio showcased their huge veteran experience with an array of strong performances from the likes of Jenifer Nadalin who had 19 points and seven rebounds, whilst Raffaella Masciadri, Elodie Godin, Laura Macchi and Kathrin Ress also impressed.

SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR ZVVZ USK PRAGUE

With only a month of the season gone in the Czech ZBL, it looks like ZVVZ USK Prague are already in danger of bolting out of sight after taking a seventh straight win to stay perfect.

The EuroLeague Women competitors welcomed back frontcourt star Kia Vaughn and she made an instant impression with 14 points in an 88-45 romp at Valosun KP Brno.

There also notable efforts by the experienced Eva Viteckova who had 12 points, seven rebounds and five steals, whilst Montenegrin center Milka Bjelica is enjoying life at her new club after accumulating a creditable 13 points and eight rebounds.

Meanwhile BK IMOS Brno dealt with the pressure of facing the in-form Slavia Prague who had won five games straight. Brno posted an electrifying opening and led by 17 points from Czech forward Alena Hanusova, they took a morale-boosting 75-65 victory.

15. Eva Vitecková (ZVVZ USK Prague)
Eva Vitecková and ZVVZ USK Prague are red-hot at the beginning of the season

BIG TWO CONTINUE TO ROLL IN POLAND

Both Wisla Can-Pack and CCC Polkowice are yet to taste defeat in the Polish League after achieving wins to keep their unbeaten records intact, although Polkowice had to work hard to eventually see off a plucky Riviera Gdynia.

Australian Opals' Belinda Snell was the biggest factor in a relatively uncomfortable night of action for the visitors. She contributed 19 points and eight rebounds in a 65-53 away win. Fellow shooter Valeriya Musina also played a vital cameo with 14 points and five assists.

Center Jantel Lavender made easy work of Basket ROW Rybnik in the paint with 19 points and nine rebounds for Wisla Can-Pack as they wrapped up a 74-37 rout of their opponent in Krakow.

Both clubs are competing with Energa Torun who are also perfect with three wins from as many games, although it was the sensational 35 point and 18 rebound performance by Chineze Nwagbo of Gorzow in a frist win against Widzew Lodz which truly captured the headlines of the third round in Poland.

YOUNG STARS SHINE BRIGHTLY IN FRANCE

Both Valeriane Ayayi and Olivia Epoupa are viewed as the future of women's basketball in France and the pair showed why as they turned on the style for Basket Landes in a 70-54 win at Nice, with a combined 35 points on an excellent shooting night.

Paoline Salagnac led Tango Bourges with 15 points in a 64-52 success at Lyon and there was some home comfort for Tarbes who stormed to a 90-66 win against Arras, riding on an impressive 21 points and six assists from Serbian Jovana Rad.

After being blasted away on their debut in the top-flight by Bourges, there was almost a huge shock caused by Angers who pushed Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration to the wire. BLMA eventually squeezed out a 66-62 success thanks mainly to 19 points and six assists from Gaelle Skrela and a big shot in the last sixty seconds by Gunta Basko-Melnbarde.

Elin Eldebrink kept ESBVA-LM unbeaten after an eye-catching 20 points in a 73-56 win at USO Mondeville, whilst Nantes Reze were left rocked by a 73-56 reverse at home to Charleville Mezieres.


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