Final Three Teams Gain EuroLeague Quarterfinals Berths
Feb. 11, 2010 - 2009-10 EuroLeague Results
On Wednesday six teams duked it out for the right to advance to the EuroLeague quarterfinals and the winners were: late EuroLeague addition Wisla Can-Pack Krakow, 2009 Final Four participant Halcon Avenida Salamanca and Frisco Sika Brno.
Quarterfinals Bracket Set
2009-10 EuruLeague quarterfinals action, a best-of-three series, begins on Feb. 23, continues on Feb. 26 and, if necessary, concludes on March 3. The match-ups are:
- Spartak Moscow Region (12-0) vs. Fenerbache (9-3)
Spartak and Fener have already played twice this season with Spartak earning an 88-74 win at Fenerbache early in the season and then took a commanding 103-59 victory at home in mid-December. Spartak, with the USA trio of Sue Bird, Sylvia Fowles and Diana Taurasi, and a very deep and talented roster is just too good and will advance in two games past the Penny Taylor-led Fenerbache squad.
- UMMC Ekaterinburg (11-1) vs. Good Angels Kosice (8-4)
We think the series between UMMC Ekaterinburg and Good Angels Kosice will be very good and could possibly go to three games due to Good Angels' dynamic duo of Candice Dupree and Angel McCoughtry. However, in the end Ekaterinburg, a team featuring USA National Team members Candace Parker and Cappie Pondexter, along with Celine Dumerc and Sandrine Gruda of France, Deanna Nolan and Russia's Maria Stepanova, has more depth and will win the series.
- Wisla Can-Pack (11-2) vs. Frisco Sika Brno (8-5)
Wisla Can-Pack, which only got into this year's EuroLeague season due to CSKA folding, has had a very strong season. Behind the powerful play of Janell Burse and Spain's Marta Fernandez, Wisla should be able to take the series against a very well-balanced Brno club that includes DeWanna Bonner, Hana Horakova and Taj McWilliams-Franklin.
- Ros Casares Valencia (10-2) vs. Halcon Avenida Salamanca (10-3)
Both teams are very strong and this should be a great series. Halcon was runners-up in last year's EuroLEague Final Four and Ros finished second in 2007. Ros' roster includes seasoned international veterans like two-time Olympic gold medalist DeLisha Milton-Jones, Spain's two-time Olympian Amaya Valdemoro and 2004 Brazil Olympic Team member Erika de Souza. They will be pitted against the likes of Sancho Lyttle and Le'Coe Willingham. It's anyone's guess as to who will pull this one off, but due to their veterans, we're going with Ros.
Wisla Can-Pack 69, MiZo Pecs 2010 57
It took until the fourth quarter, but Wisla Can-Pack, using an extra boost from its fans, got out front and pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 69-57 victory over the visiting MiZo Pecs 2010. In a tight game throughout, Wisla trailed 49-48 heading into the fourth quarter. With the score knotted at 55-all, Czech national Katarina Zohnova netted a three to take the lead for good and spark a 14-2 game-ending run. In the final 1:13 Wisla hit a perfect 6-of-6 from the line to ice the victory.
Spain's Marta Fernandez led Wisla with 17 points, Zohnova pitched in 13, Israel's Liron Cohen and Poland's Ewelina Kobryn each added 12 points, while Janell Burse hauled in a game-high 16 boards and chipped in seven points, two assists and two steals.
Hungary's Dalma Ivanyi, who came up big for her team with in Game 2 with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, was held to just four points, but still managed a double-double in the loss with 10 rebounds and 11 assists to go with six steals. Hungarian Anna Vajda scored a game-high 18 points, Nicole Ohlde scored 11 poitns and Allie Quigley posted 10.
Halcon Avenida 64, Bourges Basket 55
After falling behind 32-22 at the half, Halcon Avenida stormed back to life in the third quarter and finally surpassed Bourges Basket in the fourth for the eventual 64-55 victory. Halcon came out of the locker room to win the third quarter 18-9 and trailed by one point, 41-40, heading into the final stanza. The first two minutes of the fourth quarter saw six lead changes and two tied scores and with eight minutes to play the hosts trailed 47-46. S. Dominguez hit a jumper at 7:44 to put her team in the lead for good, 48-47. With three minutes to play the hosts still held a one-point edge, 54-53, when Le'Coe Willingham hit a pair of jumpers and Sancho Lyttle made good on all four tries from the line in a 10-2 game-ending run.
Lyttle posted a double-double of 22 points and 15 boards and Willingham added 16 points and seven rebounds for Halcon Avenida. France's Endene Miyem was her team's only double-digit scorer as she finished with 15 points.
Frisco Sika Brno 77, Rivas Ecopolis 63
Frisco Sika Brno ran out to a 24-12 first-quarter lead and held on for the eventual 77-63 victory over host Rivas Ecopolis. -It was a good victory for the team," said 1998 USA World Championship Team member Taj McWilliams-Franklin. -The keys to that were the defense and that we shared the ball with each other. I did play a great game but it's very easy for me to play with the team we have.'
DeWanna Bonner led Brno with 19 points, Czech national Hana Horakova finished with 16 points, McWilliams Franklin posted 13 and Czech Eva Viteckova had 13 in the win. Crystal Langhorne came close to a double-double with 11 rebounds and nine points as her team bowed out of EuroLeague play.