ISTANBUL (EuroLeague Women 2017 / EuroCup Women 2017) – There was a big sense of relief for defending Turkish champions Fenerbahce as they narrowly avoided opening their title defence with a defeat after sneaking past the highly ambitious Yakin Dogu Universitesi.
FENERBAHCE RELY ON VERAMEYENKA AND QUIGLEY
Fenerbahce were almost undone on opening weekend in Turkey as their former favourite Quanitra Hollingsworth accumulated 16 points and 11 rebounds against her ex-employers. But, a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds from Anastasiya Verameyenka and 17 points from Allie Quigley propelled Fenerbahce to a precious 62-58 road win.
It was a different story for Hatay BSB who didn’t shine ahead of their eagerly awaited EuroLeague Women debut this week after they were comprehensively sunk 76-57 at Botas as Tilbe Senyurek plundered 23 points for the hosts.
Mersin are also anticipating their first EuroLeague Women adventure and they warmed up with a hard-fought 84-74 triumph at home to Besiktas. While Belarus naturalised guard Lindsey Harding registered 25 points for the visitors, Besiktas were torn down by 19 points and 11 boards from debutante Tiffany Hayes, while Marissa Coleman added 26 points.
Galatasaray have had a lot of roster changes, but it was the familiar face of Isil Alben who helped them past MBK Dogus 97-62. She finished with 23 points, while Latvian center Kristina Vitola racked up an eye-catching 20 points and 13 rebounds in her first outing.
Finally, in the duel between EuroCup Women performers Samsun and Bellona Agu, it was the visitors from Kayseri who took a 72-68 win. It was an emotional day for all concerned as Samsun took to the court for the first time since head coach Mehmet Can Ozturk passed away. Aysegul Gunay and Tanisha Wright shared 42 points for Agu.
AVENIDA LEFT STUNNED IN GERNIKA
Defending Liga Femenina Champions Perfumerias Avenida have picked up their first loss of the season and will step into one of their most eagerly awaited EuroLeague Women seasons off the back of a defeat after being sunk 62-51 at Lointek Gernika Bizkaia. Despite an array of offensive firepower, only Adaora Elonu made it into double-figures for Avenida with 18 points.
It means Spar Citylift Girona are now the only team with an unbeaten record, which leaves them as outright leaders after they eased their way to an 81-72 victory against Quesos El Pastor Zamarat. Greek forward Artemis Spanou chipped in with an impressive 17 points and 7 rebounds.
GYOR GET A MAJOR BOOST BY BEATING CHAMPS
CMB Cargo Uni Gyor have received a huge boost on the eve of their re-entry into EuroLeague Women this week after taking down arch rivals and defending Hungarian Champions Uniqa Sopron 88-79. It was Cyesha Goree who delivered in a big way with 19 points and 15 rebounds, as Sopron slipped to a second early season loss.
There were also wins for two of Hungary’s EuroCup Women entrants as PEAC-Pecs amassed an 85-67 success at Vasas Akademia as rising star Dorka Juhasz put up a sparkling double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds. VBW CEKK Cegled triumphed 104-63 at MTK Budapest behind five double-digit scorers - including Nora Nagy-Bujdoso, whose fine form continued with 16 points. However, Aluinvent Miskolc were upset 56-51 at home to Atomeromu.
LFB CLUBS SURVIVE ROAD TEST IN CUP
Many French top flight teams took to the road for ties in the Coupe de France against opponents from LF2 and all emerged unscathed – although there were some tight squeezes.
Nantes Reze had to dig out a 74-70 success at Chartres as Katherine Plouffe saved her team’s potential embarrassment with 21 points and 9 rebounds. Nice Basket 06 also had to work hard to see off Toulouse 74-67 as Victoria Macaulay corralled 21 points and 9 boards.
There were more comfortable wins for other EuroCup Women sides Flammes Carolo Basket and Basket Landes. The former beat Dunkerque 74-38 through 16 points from Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, while 14 points from Miranda Ayim paced Landes to a 67-41 success at Roanne.
BIG GUNS FIRE IN RUSSIAN CUP
The Final Four of the Russian Cup has taken shape after results over the weekend which saw Dynamo Kursk storm to a one-sided 110-54 success against Spartak Noginsk. Maria Vadeeva was on fire with 21 points and 16 rebounds, while her former Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje colleague Ksenia Tikhonenko had a dazzling 20 points for Dynamo Moscow in a 79-73 victory against Dynamo Novosibirsk.
UMMC Ekaterinburg had already despatched Sparta&K in comprehensive fashion and that left Nadezhda Orenburg to take the other spot as 22 points from Anastasia Shillova fuelled an 86-75 win against PBA Moscow.
ELSEWHERE IN EUROPE
Passalacqua Ragusa picked up another loss in the Italian League ahead of their EuroCup Women debut as they crashed 61-43 at home to Gesam Gas Lucca. Elsewhere, Umana Reyer Venezia collected a win at Carispezia La Spezia and Schio also won on the road at Vigarano.
In Czech Republic, ZVVZ USK Prague stayed unbeaten thanks mainly to 20 points from Alena Hanusova in a 93-42 victory against Karlovy Vary, while Alena Hunkova top scored with 15 points for Basketball Nymburk in their 79-64 success at Trutnov.
There were wins for the big two in Poland as Wisla Can-Pack eased to a 79-69 win at TS Ostrovia Ostrow Wielkopolski as Meighan Simmons dropped 19 points. CCC Polkowice pipped Artego Bydgoszcz 73-66 as recently signed rising star Raisa Musina underlined her potential with 19 points and 11 boards.
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