Israeli League Round 17 February 23rd-27th
The last game from Round 15 was played on Thursday to accommodate Maccabi Haifa’s longer break and they won 70-61 against Jillian Alleyne and Maccabi Ramat Hen. This round started on Sunday with Elitzur Ramla getting Emma Cannon back in the flow as they warmed up for a big midweek game with an 88-66 win over Teodora Turudic and ASA Jerusalem. Maccabi Ashdod is suddenly struggling while waiting to return to full strength as they lost Monday’s first game to Alisia Jenkins and Ramat Hasharon 68-57. Kaila Charles and Eden Zipel led Hapoel Rishon Lezion in scoring in a 96-70 win over Hapoel Petah Tikva. Adut Bulgak spearheaded a strong effort from Maccabi Haifa’s import trio in an 82-69 win over Promise Amukamara and Herzliya. Shorthanded Elitzur Holon got a good game from Jennie Simms, but losing to Jillian Alleyne, Tslil Vaturi, and Maccabi Ramat Gan still leaves them in less than comfortable position before the next stage.
Maccabi Haifa : Bulgak 18/13r Okonkwo 17/12r Lev 16 Hopkins 8/6r
Maccabi Ramat Gan : Alleyne 23/17r Nared 17/8r Brown 11/9r/9a Abboud 0
Elitzur Ramla : Cannon 20/17r Clark 18 Kayuf 14 Rotberg 11 Baron 6 Babkina 6/8a Fleischer 4/16r Austin 4 Danan 0
ASA Jerusalem : Turudic 21/7r/7a Adams 19/9r Wurtz 7
Maccabi Ashdod : Walker-Kimbrough 19/8r Cohen 15/6r Hiedeman 14 Sahar 5 Edelman 3/11r Dayan 1
Ramat Hasharon : Jenkins 21/17r Saar 14 Jones 13/12r Collier 12/6r Deluty 0
Hapoel Rishon Lezion : Charles 28/6a Zipel 22/6r Hooper 18/14r Simon 10/10r/6a Dahan Sujic 10
Hapoel Petah Tikva : Bell 29/7r Bone 13/11r Muldrow 10/8r Hadad 10 Purvis 8
Maccabi Haifa : Bulgak 25/12r Hopkins 19/12r/8a Okonkwo 18/12r
Bnot Herzliya : Amukamara 25 Zambrotta 10 Richardson 8/11r Day 7 Shea 0
Elitzur Holon : Simms 21 Harden 18 Raber 13/11r Presley 5/7r
Maccabi Ramat Gan : Alleyne 22/16r Vaturi 22/6r Brown 16/8r/9a Nared 11/7r Abboud 0
World of Basketball
The performance of the weekend in Japan was from Minami Shirasaki, who had 35 points to keep the Egrets out of a tie for last place. At the top of the standings, the Antelopes were only able to split their series this weekend, but they still hold a one game lead with three more weekends of play. As mentioned previously, the Chinese league is not having consistent globally available statistics this season, which is a shame when there are games like Shanghai’s reported 104-99 triple-overtime win over Xinjiang to advance to the semifinals. Four players supposedly played all 55 minutes, but even 60 points from Wang Lili was not enough. Jiangsu and Zhejiang are set to play one more game, but the top two teams Sichuan and Inner Mongolia have also advanced.
Another full week of games was played in South Korea with three teams still jostling for playoff spots as each team only has one game left to play. BNK helped their cause with a 72-60 win over Woori Bank on Wednesday. The S-Birds found themselves at the other end of that spectrum after last place Hana Bank embarrassed them on Thursday 95-75. BNK continued with a 77-57 win over the other team looking to stay in the hunt, the Blue Minx, on Friday. The Stars looked ready to end their season after a 70-56 loss to Woori Bank on Saturday. Sonia Ursu and the S-Birds bounced back late on Sunday with a 77-73 win over the Blue Minx. BNK was nearly upset on Monday, but forced overtime and defeated Hana Bank 83-76.
One of the emerging stories last season was Mexico’s men’s league starting a women’s league to play in their offseason. That league is going to grow to eleven teams this season, but that has also had the effect of making life difficult for the existing league, which had tried to be competitive with much fewer resources. The old league started play in their traditional weekend format as most players work regular jobs during the week, but after growing to fourteen teams last season, was only able to get seven teams signed up for this campaign. Clenia Noblet had the biggest scoring game of anyone with 33 points, but that was actually the game that Quetzales lost in their split with Lobas. Teporcas and Mieleras earned sweeps over Mexcaltecas and Lenadores respectively while Racers had the bye in this round.
The conference semifinals started this weekend in Argentina. On Saturday, Berazategui won 71-60 in the South so Union Florida will have to win twice at home next weekend to advance. Top seed Quimsa won the first game in the North 46-39 so Olimpico must win on the road to extend their season. Overtime was needed in the first game on Sunday, but South top seed Obras did edge out Rocamora 59-56 to give themselves two chances to advance at home. Back in the North, Instituto won 48-35 against Montmartre, which will need to sweep their home games.
It was only a one game week in Tasmania, but some familiar names had big games again. Mariah Payne had another 32 points for Burnie, which continues to look strong. 42 points from Ice Young was not enough for Smithton to win as Sarah O’Neill had 41 points for Latrobe.
Riga Stradins University was handed their first loss of the Baltic League season by Riga, which is loading up for the stretch run as they won a second game with 33 points each from Dekeiya Cohen and Kate Vilka. Morgan Lenahan had 30 points in a loss. In Lithuania’s leagues, Viktoriya Babych had 22 rebounds and Kristina Grige grabbed 21 boards. Buducnost broke the tie in the loss column in the Adriatic with their 72-60 win over Celje. Sara Sekularac had 45 points in a domestic league game in Montenegro. Sepsi Sfantu Gheorghe looks set to dominate in Romania again after Maria Jespersen had 31 points to lead them to a 109-63 win in the cup final.
Chase for Promotion
Tirso Incentro now has a one game lead in their half of Spain’s third division with both groups still being very close right now. Topolcanka still has a big lead in Serbia’s second division even though Jelena Prvulovic scored 31 points against them. Benedetta Gramaccioni had 30 points in a loss in Italy’s second division. In Iceland’s second division, Jayla Johnson had 34 points while Cheah Rael-Whitsitt had 30 points. The second phase of Portugal’s second division started with the top four teams in each zone combining for the group that will chase promotion with eight more games for each team. Hannah Armour had 40 points in her game while Becca Wann-Taylor had 35 points. The remaining teams are fighting to stay at this level and Aliyah Abney had 31 points to help her team.
Notable Individual Performances
Anastasia Rybas grabbed 22 rebounds in a loss in Ukraine while Vladyslava Kiba turned in the week’s biggest scoring output with 37 points. Deja Church had the biggest game in Sweden this week with 33 points. Ivana Jovanovic had 22 rebounds in Serbia. A fantastic double-overtime game in Portugal saw Miriam McKenzie deliver 34 points to Madeira in their win over Natacao, which got 43 points from Mykea Gray. Ke’Aunna Johnson had a 30 point game in Kosovo. In Iceland, Urte Slavickaite had 35 points in a loss as Daniela Wallen had 33 points on the other side and Brittany Dinkins had 30 points in her game. Marie Bertholdt had 31 points for Marburg in Germany. In Finland, Cierra Walker had the most points of anyone with 32 while Alex Wittinger grabbed 20 rebounds and Nikki McDonald had 30 points. In Croatia, Lashonda Monk had 10 steals and Marijana Percan had a 30 point, 24 rebound game. Jaelencia Williams had 30 points in a tough loss for Boom in Belgium. In Austria, Lisa Ganhor basically did enough by herself for the win as she had 30 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists while the opposition managed 34 points while Camilla Neumann also reached the 30 point mark in her game. Enisa Qosja had 11 steals in Albania.
The usual big games in Luxembourg may have even caused trouble for their stat-keeping system, but individual efforts that were fully documented include 31 points from Martha Burse, and 32 points from Tatsiana Likhtarovich. LeLe Grissett had the most points of anyone with 41 points, but Frankie Wurtz had 38 points for the opposition to lead them to a win. Mandy Geniets had a triple-double as her team racked up 117 points while Lianna Tillman had 30 points in the loss.