BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
Galatasaray odeabank added to their Turkish Cup success earlier in the calendar year by beating arch rivals Fenerbahce to the TKBL regular season title over the weekend.
|Shavonte Zellous and Galatasaray downed arch rivals Fenerbahce to grab the regular season title|
ZELLOUS HANDS GALATASARAY TOP SPOT
The duo, who are also scheduled to meet at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight in Ekaterinburg next week, went head-to-head to determine who finished top of the Turkish League.
And in another intense struggle, Galatasaray prevailed 78-75 - despite a sensational double-double of 27 points and 11 rebounds from Fenerbahce team leader, Angel McCoughtry.
It was her fellow American, Shavonte Zellous who stood out for the winning side. She converted 17 points as Galatasaray came back from a first-half deficit to not only grab victory, but also seal home advantage for the play-offs should they make it to the final series.
In the first game of the post-season, Galatasaray will match-up with Orduspor who upset Final Eight entrant Kayseri Kaski spor 80-74, to clinch a play-off place in their first campaign in the Turkish top flight.
At the other end of the table, TED Ankara and Ceyhan Belediye both wrapped up their season with wins, but it wasn't enough to avoid relegation. Ankara beat Konak Belediyesi 76-71 and Ceyhan triumphed 87-64 over Besiktas.
Lithuanian star and former FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year, Gintare Petronyte fired 21 points for Antakya who strolled past Mersin Buyuksehir 78-60, whilst Natasha Lacy continued her hot-streak with 15 points for Tarsus Belediye as they picked up a comfortable 74-54 win against Canik Belediye.
Istanbul Universitesi iced fourth spot after wrapping up an 84-71 success against Adana Botas, thanks mainly to 17 points from Shenise Johnson.
BITTER-SWEET FOR AVENIDA
There was a decidedly bitter-sweet feeling over the weekend for Perfumerias Avenida. Fresh from celebrating pipping Rivas Ecopolis to the regular season Liga Femenina title, they secured a deal to keep star player Eshaya Murphy at the club - only to then suffer a surprise 76-75 home defeat to Bembibre.
Murphy registered a 22-point haul, but it wasn't enough to deny the visitors as Rita Montenegro garnered a stellar 27 points for the fourth-placed side, who will now lock horns with the champions in the play-offs.
With only the top four able to prolong their campaign and take a place in the post-season, Rivas Ecopolis inflicted heartache on Spar Uni Girona by claiming a hard-fought 63-59 road win to push their opponents into fifth place. Frida Eldebrink was the main tormentor after acquiring 18 points.
Gran Canaria 2014 are the other team in the mix for the Liga Femenina Championship, although they signed off the regular season with a 57-42 loss at Beroil Ciudad de Burgos, despite 15 points and 12 rebounds from Astou Ndour.
|Céline Dumerc led Bourges with a game-high 18 points|
FRENCH LEAGUE LEADERS TIGHTEN GRIP
Defending champions and league leaders, Tango Bourges claimed a 71-58 road win at third-placed Villeneuve d'Ascq to strengthen their grip on the LFB.
A 15-0 tear in the second period set them on their way as Celine Dumerc and Endene Miyem shared 34 points. Greek forward, Styliani Kaltsidou also scored 12 points in what looks to have been her last game this season, with the club now not expected to take her to the EuroLeague Women Final Eight.
Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration are now in outright second spot after they eased to a comfortable 78-68 success against struggling Arras behind 19 points from Ingrid Tanqueray.
Mistie Bass exploded with 27 points for Lyon as they took an 89-70 home win against Mondeville, whilst Basket Landes beat Charleville 65-56 after 18 points from Anais Le Gluher-Cano which helped to maintain the pressure on Villeneuve.
At the other end of the table, Croatian guard Antonija Misura and Canadian forward Miranda Ayim propelled Toulouse to a 65-54 win at Nice in a result which all but guarantees their survival.
Elsewhere, Australian Cayla Francis continued her good form with 19 for Nantes Reze as they edged out Tarbes on their travels with a hard-fought 73-67 victory. Belarusian guard, Tatsiana Likhtarovich claimed 20 points in defeat.
OUVINA TAKES WISLA PAST POLKOWICE
They may have already won the regular season title, but any win for Wisla Can-Pack against their main rivals CCC Polkowice, will always be celebrated and especially when it is secured in dramatic fashion.
Spanish national team guard, Cristina Ouvina was the hero as she nailed a last-gasp triple, to hand Wisla a 45-43 success.
It was a game when both defences reigned supreme and Polkowice failed to score in the last three minutes of the contest, something which proved fatal for them.
Allie Quigley and Jantel Lavender were the standout players, with the former adding 14 points and seven rebounds and Lavender recording her customary double-double of 12 points and 11 boards.
KIBIRKSTIS-VICI VILNIUS RETAIN CUP TITLE
Kibirkstis-VICI Vilnius are the Lithuanian Cup winners once again after collecting an 83-71 win against Fortuna in the final.
Latvian national team guard, Ieva Krastina was the star of the show and was handed the MVP award after a sublime 28-point display, which formed the backbone of the success.
A strong surge shortly before the interval put Kibirkstis on their way and they managed to keep their opponents at arms' length, despite Monika Grigalauskyte and Lina Aglinskaite each scoring 21 points for the runners-up.