EuroLeague Qualifying Round Complete, Sweet 16 Match-Ups Set
January 20, 2011
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2010-11 EuroLeague Women Eighth-Finals Match-Ups Set
Following this week's games, the standings for all 16 teams were set and there will be some interesting match-ups on the road to the Final Four.
No. 1 Fenerbahce (TUR) - No. 16 Galatasaray MP (TUR)
The new-look and undefeated Fenerbache (10-0), featuring recently-signed Angel McCoughtry, will take on Seimone Augustus, Sylvia Fowles and the No. 16 seed Galatasaray Medical Park (4-6) in the EuroLeague Eighth-Finals, what we in America refer to as the Sweet 16. While this is the No. 1 vs. No. 16 seed, Fener is working on team chemistry after the departure of Diana Taurasi and Penny Taylor. That said, this should still be a two-game series since Fener has restocked and Gala has struggled against big teams this season.
No. 2 Ros Casares (ESP) - No. 15MKB Euroleasing (HUN)
Loaded with talent, including Rebekkah Brunson and Katie Douglas, and a number of Spain’s 2010 World Championship silver medalists, Ros Casares (8-2) will have an easy time with last year’s surprise Final Four team MKB Euroleasing Sopron (4-6). Sopron recently lost its leading scorer Angel McCoughtry, who was instrumental in their victories this season.
No. 3 Halcon Avenida (ESP) - No. 14 Pécs 2010 (HUN)
Also listing a good chunk of Spain’s World Championship silver medalists, including Sancho Lyttle, Halcon Avenida (8-2) is further fortified by international talents of Australia’s Belinda Snell and Brazil’s Erika de Souza. The Spanish giants will take on Pécs 2010 (5-5), which won its last three games in gaining its playoff berth. The Hungarian squad has some impressive talent in local hero and longtime Hungarian National Team member Dalma Ivanyi, as well as Americans Allie Quigley and Kelsey Griffin. However, they don’t stack up well against the team from Salamanca and therefore this series will also go to the upper seed in two games.
No. 4 UMMC Ekaterinburg (RUS) – No. 13 Rivas Ecópolis (ESP)
With the recent addition of Candace Parker to go with UMMC Ekaterinburg’s (8-2) core group of the USA’s Cappie Pondexter, France’s Sandrine Gruda, Poland’s Agnieszka ‘Biba’ Bibrzycka, and Russia’s Maria Stepanova, Rivas Ecópolis (5-5) shouldn’t hold out much hope of advancing. UMMC won both contests between the two teams this season, 76-54 and more recently 68-60, and should take this series. However, Rivas and its talented roster that includes Courtney Paris and Amaya Valdemoro, won’t give up without a fight.
No. 5 Cras Basket Taranto (ITA) - No. 12 ZVVZ USK Prague (CZE)
Cras Basket Taranto (8-2) won Group A, however, that pool was not among the strongest in EuroLeague play this season. Its two losses came against USO Mondeville (79-67), which didn’t advance, and Pécs 2010 (72-58), which just squeaked through to the round of 16. In contrast, ZVVZ USK Prague (5-5) went up against two giants in Halcon Avenida and Spartak in its tough qualifying group. If there’s a big upset among the pairings, it could very well be DeLisha Milton-Jones, Linday Whalen and ZVVZ USK taking Cras Basket, which features Sophia Young as its leading scorer (17.5 ppg.) in three games.
No. 6 Wisla Can-Pack (POL) - No. 11 Nadezhda (RUS)
The Tina Charles-led Nadezhda (5-5) struggled early on, but has been picking up steam and big victories in the second half of the qualifying season. Wisla Can-Pack (7-3) came out of Group A and features Nicole Powell, as well as Poland’s Ewelina Kobryn, Aussie Erin Phillips and Belarussian Yelena Leuchanka on its roster. Charles is leading Nadezhda in scoring (18.5 ppg.) and rebounding (12.8 rpg.) and her competitive streak has helped fuel her team’s 4-1 record over the last five games. With their recent surge, the team from Russia has the momentum to pull this one off in three games.
No. 7 Bourges Basket (FRA) - No. 10 Good Angels Kosice (SVK)
Despite having to go up against the double-whammy of Candice Dupree and Charde Houston in Good Angels Kosice (5-5), Bourges Basket (7-3) has more depth with a very balanced squad and will take this series in three games.
No. 8 Spartak Moscow Region Vidnoje (RUS) - No. 9 Beretta-Famila (ITA)
Oh, how much difference a year makes. Last season, before the new passport rules went into effect, Spartak Moscow (6-4) Region went undefeated en route to its fourth consecutive EuroLeague title. That was with the core of Sue Bird, Sylvia Fowles, Lauren Jackson and Diana Taurasi. Now, however, only Bird remains from that group and the change has been noticeable in Spartak’s four losses. Spartak still has a strong team, however, Beretta-Famila Schio (6-4) is also strong and has a well-rounded group that’s led by Israel’s Liron Cohen, the USA’s Janel McCarville, Italy’s Laura Macchi and France’s Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui. This series will go down to the wire, but in the end Spartak’s experience will propel the squad to the next round.
WEEK 10 HIGHLIGHTS
- Candice Dupree posted 20 points and 15 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough as Good Angels Kosice fell to Wisla Can-Pack 73-68. Nicole Powell, who just recently joined Wisla, scored 12 points and grabbed a team-high nine boards as Wisla outscored Good Angels 22-12 in the fourth quarter.
- Kelsey Griffin helped Pécs 2010 secure its Sweet 16 berth with a double-double performance of 13 points and 11 boards as Pécs downed Cras Basket Taranto 72-58 in a must-win game.
- Rivas Ecópolis edged Lotos Gdynia 73-69 as Amaya Valdemoro pumped in a game-high 25 points in the win. Rivas was aided by Courtney Paris’ six points and team-high seven boards; while Monica Wright had a team-high 18 points in the loss.
- Angel McCoughtry helped Fenerbache advance unbeaten after pouring in 26 points, and tallying seven rebounds, two blocked shots and a pair of steals, in an 82-75 win over UMMC Ekaterinburg, which received 18 points apiece from Candace Parker and Cappie Pondexter. Parker also had nine boards and Pondexter dished out seven assists.
- Sylvia Fowles scored 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting from the field to ensure her Galatasaray Medical Park squad would advance to the playoffs. Gala, which also received 14 points from Seimone Augustus, downed ZVVZ USK Prague 81-69 after holding DeLisha Milton-Jones and Lindsay Whalen to season lows of six and one point, respectively.
- Spain’s Alba Torrens scored 19 points and Brazil’s Erika de Souza scored 12 and grabbed 16 rebounds as Halcon Avenida dropped Spartak, which received 13 points from Sue Bird and nine from the recently-acquired Taj McWilliams-Franklin, 75-64 to close preliminary round play.
- Katie Douglas was on fire, shooting 12-of-16 from the field and 6-of-7 from 3-point for a whopping 35 points to lead Ros Casares past Frisco Sika Brno 98-49. Rebekkah Brunson added nine points and eight rebounds in the win, while Brno’s Cheryl Ford was held to three points on 1-of-10 shooting.
- Tina Charles produced her eighth double-double of the season with 14 points and 15 rebounds as her Nadezhda club took down Gorzow 89-37.