Israeli League Second Stage Round 2
A full Monday started with a big game and Elitzur Ramla was still down a key player, but Elina Babkina and Alysha Clark helped them defeat Natisha Hiedeman and Maccabi Ashdod to stay in the hunt for the top seed. Jillian Alleyne and Brittany Brown teamed up to lead Maccabi Ramat Gan to a 65-54 win over Ramat Hasharon. Amy Okonkwo paced Maccabi Haifa in an 85-75 win over Hapoel Rishon Lezion.
Maccabi Ashdod : Hiedeman 22 Cambage 19/12r Walker-Kimbrough 10 Sahar 7 Cohen 5/7r Edelman 5
Elitzur Ramla : Babkina 26/7a Clark 21/9r Austin 19/17r Baron 14 Danan 3 Fleischer 1
Maccabi Ramat Gan : Alleyne 25/19r Brown 21/6r Nared 14/6a Abboud 0
Ramat Hasharon : Jones 18/7r Collier 14/9r Saar 12/6a Jenkins 4/8r Deluty 0
Maccabi Haifa : Okonkwo 27/12r Bulgak 19/6r Hopkins 14/7r/8a Eisner 11 Revahe 10
Hapoel Rishon Lezion : Charles 23/6r/8a Hooper 13/11r Zipel 13/7a Simon 12/8r Karsh 10
1. Maccabi Ashdod 16-4
2. Elitzur Ramla 14-6
3. Maccabi Haifa 13-7
4. Maccabi Ramat Gan 13-7
5. Ramat Hasharon 12-8
6. Hapoel Rishon Lezion 11-9
Courtney Hurt and Elitzur Holon secured safety with an 86-72 win over Danielle Adams and ASA Jerusalem. The situation at the bottom of the standings has tightened up after Hapoel Petah Tikva fended off Breanna Richardson, Promise Amukamara, and Herzliya 78-76 to avoid falling two full games behind the field.
Elitzur Holon : Hurt 25/8r Simms 16/13r/8a Harden 14/7r Raber 12/8r Presley 7/6r/6a
ASA Jerusalem : Adams 21/21r Wurtz 13/11r Bar Gal 10
Bnot Herzliya : Richardson 28/14r Amukamara 21/8r/7a Nyingifa 10/9r Zambrotta 5 Shea 4
Hapoel Petah Tikva : Muldrow 18/13r Bell 18/7r Roth 18 Bone 16 Purvis 1
1. Elitzur Holon 8-12
2. ASA Jerusalem 5-15
3. Bnot Herzliya 4-16
4. Hapoel Petah Tikva 4-16
World of Basketball
The semifinals started in South Korea with top seed Woori Bank winning 65-51 on Saturday and then completing the sweep over the S-Birds with a 70-58 win on Monday. BNK trailed early at home on Sunday, but took the series lead with a 66-56 win over the Blue Minx. The championship was decided in China with all three games in the finals played this week. Inner Mongolia won 105-94 on Tuesday before Sichuan took their home game on Friday 71-63. The last game was intense, but Sichuan’s duo of Li Meng and Han Xu helped them escape 83-82 and both teams lived up to their billing for this titanic clash.
The regular season will end next weekend in Japan and the top two teams will play with Iris needing a sweep to overtake the Antelopes. Ramu Tokashiki had the most points of any player in a game this weekend with 32. League play resumed in Kazakhstan at multiple sites after single site play ended with the cup last month, although Karaganda did not rejoin proceedings. That competition did not allow foreign players, which meant some different results than league play so far, but Turan resumed their domination here with another two wins to remain undefeated. The league in Taiwan resumed with play scheduled for three straight weekends and Taiyuan Textile and Cathay Life won both games to stay at the top of the standings.
The second fully national season of NBL1 play started on Saturday with the East division starting action for teams in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory. Even with the national league still playing, all sixteen teams had their first games, including the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence, which returned to division play instead of touring the whole country. The strongest individual effort of the round came from Vanessa Panousis, who had 35 points for the Sydney Comets. Another double round week was played in North West Tasmania and Ionna McKenzie’s 38 point, 24 rebound game got Wynyard one win, but they fell to Burnie in their other contest after Mariah Payne scored 32 points and Sarah O’Neill was also able to crack the 30 point mark with 35 points for Latrobe.
The semifinals started in Argentina on Saturday under the same format as the last round so teams were looking for an upset win at home before the runaway winners of each conference could host. Berazategui accomplished that in the first game, edging Obras 64-58. Quimsa made sure that the sweep was still possible at home with a 61-44 win over Instituto. The two teams that swept their first two weekends in Mexico met this weekend and Teporacas won both games against Mieleras. The other two series ended in splits as Mexcaltecas and Lenadoras each won their first games of the season against each other and Quetzales handed Racers their first loss with a 30 point game from Clenia Noblet. Brazil’s league started play this week with each team playing one game in a stretch of four days.
The groups were drawn for the upcoming EuroBasket tournament with a prestigious championship and Olympic qualification places on the line. The two hosts were granted the right to choose a team for their site as has been the custom in recent events. Slovenia made the choice to have their neighbors Serbia at their site in the opposite group. With no obvious regional or sporting options for Israel, they picked the Czech Republic to be the third seed in their group. The groups were then drawn:
A: Spain, Greece, Montenegro, Latvia
B: Belgium, Italy, Czech Republic, Israel
C: France, Slovenia, Great Britain, Germany
D: Serbia, Turkey, Slovakia, Hungary
Groups A and B will be played in Tel Aviv and Groups C and D will take place in Ljubljana. The bottom team after three group stage games will be eliminated and the first place team will qualify directly for the quarterfinals. At each site, the second place team of each group will play the third place team from the other group and the remaining teams in Israel will travel to Slovenia for the rest of the tournament. France will be joined by the five best finishers besides them for the Olympic qualifying tournaments.
Hradec Kralove hosted the Federal Cup this weekend with the hosts and three other Czech clubs welcoming four teams from Slovakia. Friday’s games were cross-national and Piestanske Cajky was the only Slovak team to win on their way to third place. The team that lost to them, Slavia Praha, fell to Slavia Banska Bystrica in the consolation bracket before winning their last game. Brno won the trophy by prevailing against the hosts in the final. It was a quiet week in the Baltic league, but Lithuania did award the Queen’s Cup this weekend and Gintare Petronyte was incredible for Kibirkstis with 36 points in their 98-82 win over Neptunas. The bracket is set in the Adriatic as only teams outside that group still have games scheduled in this stage. Buducnost will host the final games, taking on Montana in one semifinal while Celje and Vojvodina will play in the other game. Kaela Hilaire had a 15 assist game as the unified Albania-Kosovo competition finished the regular season. Each country will have two teams in the semifinals with cross-national games as Baskhimi took the top seed and will play Partizani while their fellow Kosovo club Prishtina will play Flamurtari.
A cup title was decided in Portugal this weekend and Quinta dos Lombos surprised Benfica in the final 53-51. A lot of different stages of play were happening at the same time in Greece. Panathinaikos and PAOK had to wait to play the last game of the regular season. That result had no effect on the bracket for the 1-8 matchup so Olympiacos and Esperides Kallitheas played and the series is best of five, but regular season results count so Megan Gustafson had 33 points for Olympiacos in a 106-64 win and 30 points from Nausia Woolfolk did not prevent the sweep before the rest of the quarterfinals were even properly scheduled. The relegation series also started and PAS Giannina already had the 2-0 lead so a 62-54 win sent Dafni Agiou Dimitriou packing. The other series started tied and Evnikos won 71-55 over Panathlitikos to give themselves two chances to stay. One side of a cup final in Britain was decided with London Lions advancing while league play included a 24 point, 10 rebound, 12 assist triple-double for Lauren Saiki. The regular season concluded in Germany, but there was no drama after Rheinland’s exit left ten teams in the competition. AEL Limassol has won the first two games in the finals in Cyprus to only need one more win for a championship. Both semifinals in Austria ended in sweeps.
Chase for Promotion:
Tarsus won even though Bogazici got 31 points from Monique Reid so they picked up another game on Izmit in the second division in Turkey. Zakyia Weathersby had the biggest scoring output of the weekend with 36 points while Aliyah Maczyk had 31 points and Ilknur Yildizhan had 30 points. Miralvalle is tied again for the lead in their division of Spain’s third tier as the standout performance in the league was Cesarina Capellan scoring 30 points for Leon. Chervelle Cox had 31 points and 23 rebounds to put her team in the lead in Portugal’s second division and outdueled Becca Wann-Taylor, who had 28 rebounds. That was hardly the only good showdown as Hannah Armour had 40 points in a win over Lanay Rodney’s team even with 32 points from her. In Italy’s second division, the game for the lead in the South went to Empoli over Patti while Milano increased their lead in the North because Scrivia lost to Vicenza, which remade its roster partway through the season and has played well since then. Iceland’s second division only has a week left in the regular season and Dilja Larusdottir had 34 points and 35 points in a pair of wins for her team. Charnay is back alone in the lead in France’s second division after a narrow loss for Chartres while Mondeville moved closer to an escape at the other end of the standings. Emma Duff’s team needed all 43 of her points to win in Germany’s second division while Noreen Stockle had 36 points in a loss.
Notable Individual Performance:
Anastasia Ribas continued her string of impressive rebounding efforts in Ukraine with another 23 boards. Deja Church had the highest scoring game in Sweden with 30 points to send Norrkoping to a loss in their last regular season game while Oceana Hamilton grabbed 21 rebounds in her game. Nevena Vuckovic had 30 points as the regular season concluded in Serbia. Alexis Cortez had 30 points in a tough overtime loss in Romania. The regular season also finished in Luxembourg and Faith Etute had 20 rebounds to help her team keep the top seed even though Mikayla Ferenz had a 39 point game. In Kosovo, Taliyah Hopkins helped her team win with 31 points as Rina Hoda had 30 points in the loss. Danielle Rodriguez had a triple-double in Iceland while Birna Benonysdottir had a 30 point game. Maddi Utti had a 18 point, 18 rebound, 10 assist triple-double in Finland while Ilmar’I Thomas had a 32 point game. In the Bosnian league, Almedina Ahmic had a 30 point, 25 rebound game and Mirela Halilovic had a triple-double. There were two triple-doubles for Flamurtari in Albanian league play as De’Ja Marshall outscored the opposition herself with 36 points and added 13 rebounds and 11 steals and Sophia Jacobsson had 20 points, 11 assists, and 10 steals.
There were some fantastic statlines in Montenegro this week with Aleksandra Muzevic scoring 32 points and dishing out 17 assists in one game and then pouring in 43 points in the next game only to lose both. Her teammate Adna Razic had a 36 point game while they surrendered 39 points to Marija Petrovic. In another game, Ivana Vujosevic had 30 points in the win while Milena Jaksic had 33 points in the loss. There were also a number of big games in Croatia this week as Jelena Zoric had 21 rebounds, then 22 rebounds. Myriam Lara grabbed 23 rebounds in a loss as Ivona Jakovljevic had 10 steals for the opposition. Emilija Podrug had the most boards in a game with 24 while Lea Miletic had a 15 point, 14 rebound, 11 assist triple-double in another game.