USA Duo Leads Spartak To Victory In EuroLeague Opener
Oct. 29, 2009
Years ago, players would wait to arrive in Europe until after the holidays. They'd sign a contract with a team that had advanced to the EuroLeague playoffs and try to help win a championship. Times have changed. Today, teams are looking to be strong all season. According to Sue Bird, the importance of home team advantage in the playoffs is becoming increasingly, well, important. That's why USA National Team members Sylvia Fowles and Diana Taurasi were in Russia yesterday to help Spartak Moscow Region in its defense of the EuroLeague title. Taurasi scored a game-best 27 points, while Fowles pitched in 17 points and 10 boards as Spartak continued its EuroLeague winning streak with a 95-71 win to open the season.
Still, not everybody has arrived on the EuroLeague scene. Bird is taking a few weeks off to rest before joining Fowles and Taurasi. Cappie Pondexter had eye surgery and will return to UMMC Ekaterinburg once she's ready to play and Seimone Augustus, who aided Galatasary to the EuroCup title last season, is hoping to return to her squad in 2010 once she finishes rehabbing from her ACL injury. We'll keep you updated weekly through the season on USA National Team members and USA National Team hopefuls who were at the 2009 USA Fall Training Camp and how they're doing over in Europe.
- Shameka Christon: had four points and five boards in 29 minutes as LOTOS Gdnya fell to Fenerbache 76-67.
- Candice Dupree: posted 24 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as Good Angels Kosice fell to MKB Euroleasing 74-63.
- Asjha Jones: had an all-around good effort with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists in aiding UMMC Ekaterinburg to an opening victory over TEO Vilnius, 85-56.
- Crystal Langhorne: helped Rivas Ecpolis post an 85-60 victory over KSSSE AZS-PWSZ Gorzow by tossing in 15 points to go with eight rebouonds and three assists.
- Renee Montgomery: in her EuroLeague debut, Montgomery scored 11 points and passed out a pair of assists, but it wasn't enough as her TEO Vilnius squad fell to UMMC 85-56.
- Lindsay Whalen: scored 12 points and added three boards as ZVVZ USK Prague bested Bourges Basket 60-53.