EuroLeague Women Final Eight Finalized
Feb. 25, 2013 (Updated Feb. 27, 2013)
Final Eight Finally Known
The 2013 EuroLeague Women Final Eight will not include the league's leading scorer and rebounder, Tina Charles. Despite a 19-point, 16-rebound effort from Charles, Wisla Can-Pack Krakow, which held a 46-44 edge heading into the fourth quarter, could not hold on as Bourges Basket surged ahead in the final 10 minutes to take the 66-59 victory and advance to the Final Eight. Charles and her teammates, including Alana Beard, who scored 11 points after missing the last two games due to injury, are still on pace to contend for the Polish League title. France's Endene Miyem led Bourges with 20 points and 14 boards.
In today's other deciding game, Famila Schio outscored the visiting Rivas Ecopolis 12-8 in overtime to collect a 79-75 victory and punch its ticket to the EuroLeague Final Eight. Schio was aided to victory by 12 points and 12 rebounds from Jantel Lavender.
Final Eight Pairings Announced
The Final Eight, which will be hosted March 18-24 by UMMC Ekaterinburg, features the eight remaining teams being split into two groups for round-robin play March 18-20. The top two finishing teams from each group will advance to the March 22 semifinals and the championship game is set for March 24. Below are the Final Eight groups, along with players to watch.
UMMC Ekaterinburg (*Sue Bird, Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi)
Galatasaray (Sylvia Fowles, Lindsey Harding)
Good Angels Kosice (Allie Quigley, Plenette Pierson)
CCC Polkowice (Nneka Ogwumike)
Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje (Seimone Augustus, Candice Dupree)
Fenerbahce (Angel McCoughtry, Cappie Pondexter)
Bourges Basket (Marissa Coleman)
Famila Schio (Jantel Lavender
*Due to EuroLeague rules that allow only two non-Europeans on each roster, UMMC is only able to play two of the three athletes listed above and have selected to play Parker and Taurasi in the Final Eight.
Final Eight Almost Set
Five of the seven playoff round series finished after two games on Friday afternoon. However, two teams kept their dreams alive and forced a third and final game, to be played on Wednesday. The Tina Charles-led Wisla Can-Pack takes on Bourges Basket in France, while last year’s runners-up Rivas Ecopolis will face Famila Schio, led by Jantel Lavender.
Advancing to the Final Eight are: Fenerbache (Angel McCoughtry and Cappie Pondexter), Galatasaray (Sylvia Fowles and Lindsey Harding), Spartak Moscow Region (Seimone Augustus and Candice Dupree) and CCC Polkowice (Nneka Ogwumike). Already assured of a Final Eight spot due to hosting the finals is UMMC Ekaterinburg (Sue Bird, Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi), which will sit Bird in favor of Parker during the finals.
EuroLeague Player of the Week
Serbian Ivana Matovic collected Playoff Game 1 MVP honors and Belarus' Anastasiya Verameyenka nabbed Week 14's MVP but the lion's share of EuroLeague Player of the Week awards this season have gone to USA Basketball alums.
Nnemkadi Orwumike nabbed the MVP award in Week 13 after a 24-point, 12-rebound performace in a victory over ZVVZ USK Prague.
Shenise Johnson, a 2009 USA Basketball U19 World Championship gold medalist, was the latest USA Basketball gold medalist to collect EuroLeague Player of the Week honors. She did so in UE Sopron's tough loss to Fenerbache in Week 11. Johnson hit 11-of-15 from the field and finished with 24 points to go with 12 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Candace Parker picked up the EuroLeague Week 10 Player of the Week honors after scoring 26 points on 10-of-13 from the field, grabbing 14 boards and being credited wtih four assists, two steals and two blocked shots in just 26 minutes against ZVVZ USK Prague. So far this season the weekly honor has gone to USA National Team members Tina Charles (Weeks 3, 5, 6, 7, 8); Candice Dupree (Week 1) and Diana Taurasi (Week 2). The only other Europeans to break into the mix were Anna Cruz (Week 9) and Mirna Mazic (Week 4), while Australia's Natalie Hurst nabbed Week 12 honors.
(The EuroLeague Week 12 honoree will be announced tomorrow, Jan. 25.)
Playoff Game 2 MVP: Tina Charles
Despite her team falling to Bourges and having to compete in a deciding third game, Tina Charles was a bright spot for Wisla Can-Pack. She scored 28 of her team’s 38 points and hauled down 15 of Wisla’s 31 rebounds. The Polish squad was without the services of two key players due to injury, including Alana Beard, and Charles was forced into bearing the brunt of the Bourges attack. For her performance, she scored her sixth EuroLeague honor of the season, although she would probably be much happier with a win behind her than the MVP accolade.
Fenerbache 77, Uni Gyor 68
Thanks to a 22-point, nine-rebound performance from Angel McCoughtry, Fenerbache is through to the 2013 Final Eight after dispatching Uni Gyor 93-61 on Tuesday and finishing the Hungarian squad off by a tune of 77-68 today. Fener spotted Gyor a 44-36 halftime lead, and still trailed 61-55 with 8:24 to play in the game. Four points from McCoughtry in a 7-2 run brought the score even at 63-all with 5:47 to play. Each team put up five points and the score was again knotted, 68-68, at 3:53. From there, however, it was all Fener. Clamping down defensively, the Turkish squad scored the game’s final nine points for the win. In addition to McCoughtry’s contributions, Cappie Pondexter scored 13 points, grabbed five boards and dished out three assists.
Galatasaray 78, ZVVZ USK Prague 63
ZVVZ USK Prague revamped its team this season in hopes of a successful EuroLeague campaign, but the Czech club must return to the drawing board after dropping two playoff games this week to Galatasaray. Gala took the first game by a mere 49-48, but had a more convincing victory today in Prague, 78-63.
In a contest that was relatively close through the end of three quarters, Gala turned up the heat in the fourth quarter, outscored Prague 29-19 and earned the win. Lindsey Harding had 10 points and six rebounds, while Sylvia Fowles was limited to 14 minutes due to foul trouble and contributed eight points and three boards for the winning side. Shining for ZVVZ USK Prague was Kia Vaughn, who turned in 20 points and eight boards, while Rebekkah Brunson had eight points and five rebounds.
Bourges Basket 50, Wisla Can-Pack 38
After a stunning upset of Bourges Basket in France earlier in the week, Wisla Can-Pack succumbed to Bourges 50-38 to tie the series and send it to a final deciding game at Bourges next week. Bourges jumped out to a 21-6 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. Tina Charles scored 28 of her team’s 38 points and 15 of Wisla’s 31 caroms. Wisla was again without the services of injured Alana Beard and Cristina Ouvina. Bourges saw a more balanced scoring attack, with three players in double digits, including a 10-point, 12-rebound effort by Marissa Coleman, to send this series to a third game.
CCC Polkowice 76, Nadezhda 70
CCC Polkowice, which pulled off an upset of Nadezhda in Game 1, has advanced to the Final Eight after dropping Nadezhda 76-70 to the delight of CCC’s local Polish fans. Nneka Ogwumike got into foul trouble early in the first half and the sensational EuroLeague rookie capped the night with 11 points and six rebounds. However, Australia’s sharp-shooting Belinda Snell poured in 28 points and Spain’s Laia Palau added 11 to ensure the victory. Bowing out of EuroLeague competition for the year, DeWanna Bonner scored 13 points and hauled down 15 rebounds, while Renee Montgomery finished the game with 12 points.
Spartak Moscow Region Vidnoje 68, Municipal Targoviste 63
After collecting a 91-84 victory in Game 1 on Tuesday, Spartak Moscow Region advanced to the 2013 EuroLeague Final Eight with a 68-63 victory over Municipal Targoviste. Seimone Augustus was held to just four points after shooting an uncharacteristic 2-of-11 from the field, but Candice Dupree was there to pick up the slack and powered Spartak to victory with 16 points, 10 rebounds, two assist and a pair of steals; while France’s Isabelle Yacoubou contributed 15 points and 11 boards.
Rivas Ecpolois 75, Famila Schio 47
Rivas Ecopolis wants to return to the Final Eight and powered by a well-balanced attack, evened the series with a 75-47 victory over Famila Schio. After holding a slim 16-14 lead through the first quarter, Rivas turned up the heat in the second stanza and outscored Schio 25-8. Schio, which received 15 points and nine rebounds from Jantel Lavender, never recovered and will now await their fate on Wednesday at home. Rivas had four players score in double digits, including leader Oleksandra Kurasova with 14 points.
2012-13 EuroLeague Final Qualifying Round Standings
|1.||SPARTA&K MOSCOW REGION - VIDNOJE||12||10/2||974/799||22|
|3.||WISLA CAN-PACK KRAKOW||12||6/6||818/825||18|
|5.||HAT-AGRO UNI GYÖR||12||5/7||801/890||17|
|6.||TARSUS BELEDIYE SPOR||12||4/8||863/892||16|
|7.||BK IMOS BRNO||12||2/10||765/906||14|
|1.||GOOD ANGELS KOSICE||12||9/3||919/840||21|
|2.||FENERBAHCE SPOR KULÜBÜ||12||9/3||946/813||21|
|6.||UNIQA EUROLEASING SOPRON||12||3/9||827/862||15|
|7.||ARRAS PAYS D'ARTOIS||12||2/10||750/885||14|
|4.||PERFUMERIAS AVENIDA SALAMANCA||12||5/7||820/846||17|
|5.||ZVVZ USK PRAGUE||12||5/7||802/839||17|
|6.||USO MONDEVILLE BASKET||12||5/7||757/853||17|