Sue Bird, Candace Parker Join EuroLeague Teams for Playoff Push
January 14, 2011
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Player of the Week
2010 USA Basketball World Championship Team member Tina Charles posted 25 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots in a loss to Beretta-Famila Schio. Despite the loss, thanks in large part to Charles’ strong play, Nadezhda has come on strong in the second half of the season and clinched playoff spot. Charles had an efficiency rating of 31 points, edging USA Basketball gold medalist DeWanna Bonner’s efficiency rating of 30.
Cha Cha Cha Changes
Two USA National Team players competed for the first time in EuroLeague play this season, while a third saw action with a new club this week.
After taking some time off to rest and relax following the 2010 FIBA World Championship, Sue Bird returned to Spartak Moscow Region for Spartak’s defense of its four consecutive EuroLeague titles. Additionally, Candace Parker, who missed most of the WNBA season due to injury, is back on the court for UMMC Ekaterinburg. Angel McCoughtry, who played the first eight games of the season for MKB Euroleasing Sopron, was picked up by Fenerbache.
In other moves, Sopron picked up Marissa Coleman, Lauren Jackson left Spartak and returned to Australia due to an Achilles injury and was replaced by Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Nicole Powell and Balarussian Yelena Leuchanka joined Wisla Can-Pack, Sophia Young signed with Cras Basket Taranto, and Lotos Gdynia picked up Frenchwoman Paulina Krawczyk.
Janel McCarville took over the weekly Paulball column. Check out what she had to say!
One Playoff Spot Remains
With one week remaining in EuroLeague preliminary play, 15 of the 16 playoff teams are set. In Group A, Cras Basket Taranto (7-1), Wisla Can-Pack Krakow (6-3), Good Angels Kosice (5-4) and Pecs 2010 (4-5) are assured of advancing; Group B’s advancing teams are Fenerbache S.K. (9-0), UMMC Ekaterinburg (8-1), MKB Euroleasing Sopron (4-5) and Rivas Ecopolis (4-5); in Group C Halcon Avenida Salamanca (7-2), Spartak Moscow Region (6-3) and ZVVZ USK Prague are headed to the playoffs. There is a three-way tie for the fourth and final spot and that tie includes Galatasaray Medical Park, featuring Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles. Ros Casares Valencia (7-2) leads Group D, which also lists Beretta Famila Schio (6-3), Bourges Basket (6-3) and Nadezhda (4-5) advancing to the next stage.
EuroLeague All-Star Voting Continues
Cast your ballots daily for any one of the 2010 USA Basketball World Championship gold medalists to play on the 2011 Rest of the World Team in this season’s EuroLeague All-Star Game. You’ll have to chose your own five as we can’t cut it down from the six 2010 World Champs currently competing in the EuroLeague. The list includes Seimone Augustus, Tina Charles, Candice Dupree, Sylvia Fowles and Angel McCoughtry. Listed among the ‘other players’ in the drop down list at the bottom of the page is Lindsay Whalen. All six are having phenomenal All-Star-like seasons so make sure to VOTE NOW! And VOTE DAILY!
Week 9 Recaps
Pécs 2010 75, Good Angels Kosice 72
In a tight game throughout, Pécs 2010 (4-5) solidified its playoff spot with a close, 75-72, victory over Good Angels Kosice (5-4). It was the Hungarian squad’s third period that clinched the win. After a 36-36 halftime score, Pécs trailed Good Angels 46-44 midway through the third quarter, but outscored the visiting team 11-4 to close the third period up 55-50. Good Angels fell behind by 10 points early in the fourth quarter and fought back to within two points, 74-72, with five seconds remaining. However, the clock was not on their side as 2010 USA Select Team member Kelsey Griffin, who scored 17 points and had seven rebounds, hit one of two from the line to ice the win.
“Pecs was a really hard opponent,” Candice Dupree told FIBAEurope.com. “At the beginning we were better but at the end they were full of power. I am very sad because of this game."
Dupree finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists in her side’s loss. Hungarian Dalma Ivanyi scored a team-best 18 points in her side’s win, while American Allie Quigley contributed 10 points.
Wisla Can-Pack 82, TTT Riga 74
Wisla Can-Pack Krakow (6-3) blew past TTT Riga (1-8) 82-74, after trailing halfway through the third quarter. The acquisition of Nicole Powell paid off as she pumped in 18 points, pulled down seven boards and dished out four assists, while newcomer Yelena Leuchanka had 14 points.
Cras Basket Taranto 79, USO Mondeville
Remaining in the top spot of the pool, Cras Basket Taranto (8-1) dashed USO Mondeville’s (3-6) playoff hopes, 79-67. Entering the second half trailing 42-40, by the 5:05 mark in the third quarter Cras Basket owned a 52-51 edge and pulled ahead 62-56 at the end of the third. The final stanza saw Cras Basket, which was led to victory by 18 points from Sophia Young, continue to pull away for the eventual win.
UMMC Ekaterinburg 87, MKB Euroleasing Sopron 68
After going ahead 41-32 at halftime, UMMC Ekaterinburg (8-1) trounced MKB Euroleasing Sopron (4-5) 87-68 with the help of a team-best 23 points from Candace Parker. Parker also contributed four rebounds and three assists, while USA National Team teammate Cappie Pondexter had five points and dished out seven assists. Amber Holt contributed 23 points for Sopron.
Fenerbache 77, Lotos Gdynia 64
With the addition of Angel McCoughtry, Fenerbache (9-0) remained undefeated after downing Lotos Gdynia (1-8) 77-64. Owning a 64-51 lead after three periods, Fener cruised through the fourth for the win. Fener played just seven athletes and four of them scored in double digits, including the Phoenix Mercury’s Penny Taylor, who scored 16 points; Ivana Matovic had a 16-point, 15-rebound double-double; and McCoughtry tallied 11 points, six boards and five steals in her Fener debut. Monica Wright led Lotos with 23 points and eight rebounds. Sandra Mandir led her squad with 22 points and eight boards.
Rivas Ecópolis 99, Gospic Croatia 89
Rivas Ecópolis (4-5) held off Gospic Croatia (1-8), which outscored Rivas 32-18 in the fourth quarter, for a 99-89 victory. DeWanna Bonner led all scorers with 27 points and had nine boards for Rivas, which also received 14 points and 10 rebounds from Courtney Paris.
ZVVZ USK Prague 87, VICI Aistes 60
Lindsay Whalen and ZVVZ USK Prague (5-4) upped its record to 5-4 with an 87-60 drubbing of VICI Aistes (3-6). The Prague club, which had three players score 20 points each, including Whalen, jumped out to a 27-16 lead at the first quarter break and owned a 52-29 lead at halftime and never looked back. In addition to her 20 points, Whalen had five boards and five assists, while Olympic and World Championship gold medalist DeLisha Milton-Jones also posted 20 points and had seven rebounds. Marina Solopova led Aistes with 20 points.
Halcon Avenida Salamanca 81, Galatasaray Medical Park 64
Halcon Avenida (7-2) remained a the top of Group C standings with an 81-64 victory over the see-sawing Galatasaray M.P. (3-6). Halcon jumped in front from the start and led 23-8 after the first period, but Gala fought back and trailed just 37-32 at halftime. However, Hacon regrouped at halftime and won the decisive third quarter, 23-14. Gala never recovered, despite receiveing a team-best 15 points from Seimone Augustus and a 12-point, 12-rebound performance from Sylvia Fowles. Halcon, which had just eight players on the boxscore, had four finish in double digits, including Alba Torrens’ 24 points, while Erika De Souza tossed in 18 points and 11 boards.
Spartak Moscow Region 78, Tarbes Gespe Bigorre 61
The new-look Spartak Moscow Region (6-3) took down Tarbes G.B. (3-6) 78-61. It was never much of a contest as Spartak cruised to a 40-29 halftime lead and upped that to 60-41 after three quarters before cruising in for the win. In her 2010-11 EuroLeague debut, Sue Bird scored 12 points, while Epiffany Prince had a team-high 21 for Spartak. Jelena Dubljevic top-scored for Tarbes with 10 points.
Ros Casares Valencia 86, Gorzow 52
Outscoring Gorzow 51-12 in the second and third quarters, Ros Casares (7-2) had no problems putting away KSSSE AZS-PWSZ Gorzow (2-7) 86-52. Rebekkah Brunson led a well-rounded Ros effort with 16 points, while Katie Douglas added 14. Britain’s Johannah Leedham was Gorzow’s leading scorer with 19 points.
Bourges Basket 77, Frisco Sika Brno 60
Despite a monstrous double-double of 19 points and 21 rebounds from Cheryl Ford, Bourges Basket (6-3) remained in the hunt for the second-place slot with a 77-60 victory over the visiting Frisco Sika Brno (2-7). Endene Miyem led Bourges with 22 points.
Beretta-Famila Schio 74, Nadezhda 66
Beretta-Famila Schio (6-3) remained among the group’s leaders with a 74-66 victory over Nadezhda (4-5), which received a Player of the Week performance of 25 points and 12 rebounds from Tina Charles. Laura Macchi led the Italian side with 17 points, while Janel McCarville added 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists.