BASKETBALL IN EUROPE

There was also a return in the Russian League over the weekend, as Sue Bird pulled on a UMMC Ekaterinburg

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BASKETBALL IN EUROPE

Galatasaray have been crowned Turkish Cup champions for the fourth consecutive season after MVP Sancho Lyttle drained a thrilling buzzer-beater in a dramatic 74-72 victory against arch rivals Fenerbahce.

In a truly gripping final, it had looked as if Fenerbahce were going to prevail after they worked their way back from 15 points behind when Cappie Pondexter nailed a triple to level the scores with just 1 second remaining on the game clock.

But, just when everyone was anticipating overtime, Gala inbounded the ball to Lyttle, who helped by a nice drop off the backboard, got the all-important score which provided the spark for her team-mates to rush onto the court and mob her in triumph.

 

There were extra reasons to celebrate for Galatasaray, since they not only avenged their heavy Presidents' Cup loss to Fener at the start of the campaign, but also welcomed back Spanish national team star Alba Torrens from long-term injury.

 

Bird Suits Up For UMMC Again

There was also a return in the Russian League over the weekend, as Sue Bird pulled on a UMMC Ekaterinburg vest on for the first time this season, after recovering from hip surgery.

She appeared in a comfortable 78-57 success against Rostov-Don, as Ekat bounced back from their first loss of the season, having been defeated last month by Sparta & K M.R. Vidnoje.

Whilst the playmaker didn't score, she did manage a healthy 25 minutes after starting the process of trying to get her match sharpness back.

 

Dynamo Moscow are having a great season and they find themselves in second place having still only lost twice in the league. Their latest success being a crushing 81-55 win against fellow EuroCup Women participants Chevakata as Tatiana Vidmer led the way with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds.

There were also wins for EuroLeague Women duo Nadezhda and Sparta & K with the former leaving it late to defeat Dynamo-GUVD by 83-69 and the latter dominating Energia Ivanovo 84-53.

  

BLMA Retain Top Spot In France

A 27 point haul from veteran guard Edwige Lawson kept Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration at the top of the French league after securing a 71-65 home victory against Tarbes.

In fact, there were wins for each of the top four teams, as a near triple-double by Celine Dumerc and some swarming defence catapulted a rampant Bourges Basket to a 60-36 win against Charleville. Perpignan routed Hainaut Basket 85-61 and Basket Landes edged out EuroLeague Women side Arras Pays D'Artois by 63-57.

Arras reacted to the ongoing misery by parting ways with head coach Thibaut Petit. Before a new coach will be presented, current assistant Cecile Piccin will be the interim coach, the club announced.

 
Kosice Dominate Slovak Cup

Finally, there was also Cup Final joy over the weekend for Good Angels Kosice, who continued their stunning run of domestic success after a devastating 21-3 second quarter propelled them to a convincing 76-58 Slovak Cup victory against MBK Ruzomberok. Tijana Krivacevic and Allie Quigley combined for 31 points for the winning team.

 

 
 
Ekat Romp To Russian Cup Success

UMMC Ekaterinburg made a statement of intent for the remainder of the season after they crushed arch rivals Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje 82-53 to lift the Russian Cup.

The hosts of the EuroLeague Women Final Eight demonstrated why they will be favourites to add to their silverware haul in March with a performance of real power to leave Sparta&K stunned.

 

Ekat were on top from tip to buzzer after a 23-9 opening period set the tone, whilst Candace Parker continued her hot form of late with 18 points which helped her take the Cup MVP award.

It was also a case of Ekat extracting revenge for their Russian League loss at Sparta&K last month, something team captain Maria Stepanova was quick to point out.

"Before the New Year, we had a disappointing defeat, but during the holidays, we had time to reflect on the fact that we have the right to make mistakes.

 

"If you take the last game against Sparta&K, they scored with all their shots and it sometimes happens like that.

"But today, they didn't go and we really showed very good defence to win."

In the third-placed game, Dynamo Moscow edged out Nadezhda Orenburg 73-70, with Laura Harper excelling by claiming 25 points and 11 rebounds as well as coming up big during crunch time.

 

BLMA SUFFER DEFEAT IN FRANCE

Elsewhere, Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration suffered only their second league loss of the season after a big shock in the French League. They were beaten 66-60 at Hainaut Basket who climbed off the bottom of the table, despite being short-handed with just a six player rotation. A double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds from Ifunanya Ibekwe got them home.

 

The result deepened the crisis at Arras Pays D'Artois who are now rooted at the bottom of the standings after they were routed 74-45 by Bourges Basket. They are now three games adrift of third from bottom Villeneuve D'Asq.

In joint second place with Bourges are Perpignan, who took an impressive 74-68 success at Toulouse thanks to an excellent 27 points from Croatia national team playmaker Iva Ciglar, whilst EuroLeague Women side USO Mondeville crashed 78-66 at Tarbes after Angelica Robinson accrued a notable 16 points and 19 rebounds.

 

GALATASARAY BACK ON TRACK

There was an all EuroLeague Women clash in Turkey when Galatasaray welcomed Tarsus Belediye and the hosts reacted to their shock home loss to CCC Polkowice last week by racking up a convincing 79-57 success as Sancho Lyttle harvested 22 points and 12 rebounds.

Fenerbahce breezed to an 87-57 win against Adana Botas, whilst Kayseri Kaskispor remain in third spot after Greek national team forward Zoi Dimitrakou poured in 20 points to take down Samsun 82-68 on the road.

 

NO STOPPING RIVAS

Finally in Liga Femenina, Rivas Ecopolis kept their perfect record intact although they had to work hard to claim a valuable 71-66 win at Tintos De Toro Caja Rural. The victory was built on a terrific effort by young Queralt Casas (vote for her as Young Women's Player of the Year) who had 19 points.

 

  

Fatih Bacak -  Antalya, Ocak.2013

http://www.medyagunebakis.com/ fb.antalya007@gmail.com,

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