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TUR - Gearing up for the World Championship
ISTANBUL (EuroLeague Women) - In less than 11 months, the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women will be held in the cities of Istanbul and Ankara.
Sixteen countries will send teams.
The national team players of Turkey have without question entered the 2013-14 club season with one eye on the World Championship.
Turkey great Nevriye Yilmaz, a center who has had her share of injuries over the years, looked in fine fettle on the first evening of EuroLeague Women action on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old had 23 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals for Galatasaray in their 81-56 demolition of Perfumerias Avenida.
Equally important for the Turks next year will be the guards.
One of them, Isil Alben, had 10 assists and five steals to go with her eight points for Gala.
Turkey Power forward Bahar Caglar, meanwhile, had a strong start with six points, nine rebounds and three blocks for the winners.
Belarus qualified for the World Championship with a fifth-place finish at the EuroBasket Women.
An All-Tournament selection at the 2010 World Championship, Yelena Leuchanka, has joined Good Angles Kosice and had a promising start to the EuroLeague Women.
The 1.95m center had 13 points and eight rebounds in Good Angels' 77-69 triumph at Kayseri Kaski Spor in Turkey.
Czech Republic coach Lubor Blazek is hopeful of getting more production out of his 22-year-old power forward Alena Hanusova when they play at the World Championship.
The athletic Hanusova averaged just 10.3 minutes per game at the EuroBasket this year as the Czechs finished sixth.
She started the season with a bang, pouring in a game-high 27 points for Brno but the Czech outfit fell at UE Sopron, 73-67.
Hanusova was eight of 14 from the floor, including three of four from the arc.
She only had two rebounds, though.
Dewanna Bonner, one of the players invited to the USA Basketball women's mini-training camp, had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Nadezhda Orenburg but they fell 59-57 at Lattes Montpellier.
A player who didn't make it to the World Championhip but was one of the stars of the EuroBasket Women, Frida Eldebrink of Sweden, capped a virtuoso performance for Rivas Ecopolis with a buzzer-beating shot in the lane to lift her side to a 62-60 victory at Wisla Can-Pack Krakow.
Eldebrink had 18 points.
Spain center Laura Nicholls, a player who will be at the World Championship, launched her EuroLeague Women campaign with a double-double for Rivas.
She had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS