The finals are set in Kazakhstan after two sweeps in the semifinals finished on Thursday. Astana Tigers defeated Aqtobe twice while Turan will try to complete an undefeated season after they advanced past Caspiy. Another stage started in Taiwan with this one being held over two weekends. Cathay Life won all of their games to extend their overall lead on Taiyuan Textile.
In Brazil, Monique Pereira had a 21 rebound game after joining Ituano after her Portuguese season ended, but they are still the only winless team. Araraqua remains undefeated, just ahead of Sampaio at the end of the first round-robin. The second stage started in Mexico with the last place Lenadores out and the other six teams being divided into two groups for three weekends of play. In Group 1, Lobas won 68-65 against Quetzales on Friday while Teporacas won 68-43 against Quetzales on the court on Saturday. They defeated Lobas on Sunday 88-59. Group 2 opened on Friday with Alexis Johnson scoring 41 points in Racers’s 85-77 win over Mexcaltecas, but they lost to Mieleras 86-73 on Saturday. Mieleras then defeated Mexcaltecas 100-91 on Sunday to take the early lead.
NBL1 continues to be a busy place, including the South division, including the battle of the Froling twins. A couple of players prepared for WNBA training camps with big games as Jade Melbourne had a 18 point, 12 rebound, 11 assist triple-double for Melbourne and Anneli Maley had 21 rebounds for Eltham. Georgia Pineau had 35 points, but Sandringham ran out of steam in the second half. Rachel Antoniadou had 31 points in Nunawading’s overtime win and Miela Goodchild had 30 points for Mt. Gambier while Nyadiew Puoch reached the mark for Dandenong.
It was a very busy weekend in the North division with teams playing as many as three games. Abbey Cubillo was fantastic for the Brisbane Capitals with 34 points. Ariana Moorer had 31 points, but it was not enough for the Gold Coast Seahawks as Penina Davidson had 20 points for the Cairns Dolphins, which got 34 points from Shaneice Swain the next day. Stephanie Reid had 33 points for the Townsville Flames and Samantha Bowman had a 21 rebound game for the Rockhampton Cyclones, which withstood a 30 point game from Kendell Heremaia the next day.
South West continues to struggle in the West division, even after coach Alex Ciabattoni briefly inserted herself into a game. In the Central division, Sharna Thompson was the high scorer with 32 points for Norwood, as late North Adelaide efforts left Brooke Basham short with 31 points, and Mollie McKendrick had 30 points for Southern. In the East division, Mikaela Dombkins had 24 rebounds in a loss and then her partner made sure that they would win the next night as Leilani Mitchell poured in 40 points. 30 points from Shyla Heal was not enough for the Sydney Comets without the other half of their backcourt and Nicole Munger had a 20 rebound game for the Newcastle Falcons.
A full round of games in North West Tasmania on Tuesday included a fantastic game that saw Sarah O’Neill score 31 points to help Latrobe win 106-99, somehow withstanding Oliva West’s 57 point game for Somerset. In Big V play, Haille Nickerson had the most points of anyone in a game this weekend with 36, but Pakenham lost as Alicia Carline had 21 rebounds for Sherbrooke in their top division clash. Alana Poulton had 20 rebounds in the middle division for the Warrandyte Venom.
Champions were crowned in many countries, including Switzerland where Juliunn Redmond poured in 42 points for Fribourg on Tuesday and then they doubled up Nyon 92-46 on Saturday to complete the sweep. Kraljevo stayed in championship contention in Serbia on Wednesday, setting up a fantastic deciding game on Saturday that Crvena zvezda won 67-61 in overtime. The first game of the finals in Finland was incredible as Ilmar’I Thomas had 44 points, but Torpan Pojat still lost 103-93 in double-overtime with Natalie Kleemann-Day providing 42 points to Peli-Karhut on Tuesday. Thomas had another 34 points on Friday, but they lost 85-83 and the hosts won the championship. AKS Falcon finished off their sweep of Herlev in Denmark with a 61-49 win Thursday. Buducnost started the finals in Montenegro with an 88-68 win Thursday and then finished their sweep of Podgorica 91-68 on Monday.
Piestanske Cajky also completed a sweep in Slovakia although Slavia Banska Bystrica did play them tough at home on Wednesday and then lost more decisively on Saturday. Ruzomberok edged Young Angels Kosice to force a deciding game in the bronze medal series and then won 64-53 at home. The season also concluded in Romania with Sepsi finishing their sweep of Constanta for another championship. Arad captured the bronze medal, Biljana Pesovic had a triple-double to secure Olimpia Brasov’s consolation championship, and Targu Secuiesc captured 7th place. Targoviste secured 9th place by a point, but it was easier for Agronomia in 11th place and 13th place ended with a fun game after Anisia Puscasu had 36 points to lead Sportul Studentesc past Timisoara, which got 34 points from Luana Cret.
A couple of championships were determined in leagues where cross-national competition usually takes priority. Gintare Petronyte had 30 points to lead Kibirkstis to a 76-69 win over Neptunas to complete a sweep in Lithuania. LCC International University finished a sweep for the bronze medal. In Latvia, Riga’s 89-63 win over Riga Stradins University on Sunday after their 68-58 win Wednesday gave them a sweep. Liepaja won the first game of the bronze medal series on Friday.
The finals in Sweden started with a road split as Sodertalje won 77-70 on Wednesday, but Lulea roared to a 94-56 win on Saturday. Grengewald Hueschtert extended their lead in Luxembourg on Wednesday, but Diddeleng avoided the sweep with 68-64 win on Saturday. Valur won the first game in the finals in Iceland at Keflavik on Wednesday 69-66 and then prevailed in overtime at home 77-70 on Saturday. Keltern is one win from the championship in Germany after defeating Hannover both Wednesday and Saturday. Their bronze medal series is a two game aggregate that Osnabruck won 119-102. USK Praha looked to resume domestic domination and started the finals with wins over Brno on Friday and Sunday, although the opener was much closer than they usually allow their foes to reach. Chomutov won 61-60 on the road on Tuesday in the 3rd place series, but Hradec Kralove returned the favor with a 69-63 win on Thursday to extend their season before falling 74-58 after NaJai Pollard had 27 points and 23 rebounds against them. Mechelen won 77-60 at Braine in the first game of the finals in Belgium on Saturday.
The finals are set in Slovenia started after Celje and Triglav completed sweeps and Celje won the first game 69-48. Sweeps also happened in the semifinals in Portugal with Benfica and GDESSA Barreiro facing off in the final, the latter advancing after shutting out their opponents in the fourth quarter. The home teams won the semifinals openers in Croatia as Iva Todoric had 30 points for Ragusa in a win over Zagreb and Tresnjevska came back to defeat KAZL. In Bulgaria, Beroe had two easy wins in the semifinals, but after a big win on Wednesday, Montana was forced into a deciding game by Rilski on Friday before rallying late on Sunday to advance 59-56.
The regular season concluded in the British league with two players recording triple-doubles. McKenzie Johnston had 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists for Leicester Riders and then Elle Hendershot had 19 points, 18 rebounds, and 12 assists for Durham Palatinates. The Bosnian league finished their regular season midweek and then jumped straight into the semifinals with Banovici and Orlovi winning their first games. Flamurtari had the best record in Albania after their Sunday win over Partizani.
The Chase for Promotion
The playoffs continued in the second division in Turkey with one series well behind the rest thanks to Fenerbahce’s busy first team schedule. Their reserves fit in a game on Wednesday between playoff contests for the main team and Alanya forced a deciding game on Monday 66-49. Alanya continued their promotions hopes after that game because Mikayla Cowling provided 30 points in a 72-65 win. The reserve team for Botas eliminated Elazig Il Ozel Idare 73-66 in a deciding game on Thursday and that meant that they could start their semifinals series on Sunday with a 69-54 loss to Izmit.
In Spain, the quarterfinals were completed in the second division on Saturday. Zamora won 69-36 to easily advance past Ardoi 136-95 on aggregate. Their next opponent will be Paterna, which impressively overturned their deficit on the road in Badalona with a 70-58 win to get past Joventut 123-115. Celta’s 55-51 win over Caceres pushed their final margin to 112-104. They will face Alcobendas, which trailed narrowly from the first game, but defeated Estepona 94-73 for a 156-140 aggregate win. The whirlwind format in the third tier was contested with four games in four days. After three games of group play, the four teams playing in the final two games on Sunday were decided and both games ended up being fantastic to determine promotion. Malaga just edged out Mataro 56-54 and then Almeria had the better fourth quarter to grab the other spot 65-59 over Mallorca.
Teams in the Italian second division started the postseasons. Top seed Milano was shocked at home by Mantova in the North, but Udine, Scrivia, and Costa Masnaga all won their openers. In the South, Firenze won at Patti, but the other home teams Spezzina, Battipaglia, and Empoli all won. At the other end of the standings, teams were participating in the Playout. Both road teams won in the North with Vicenza winning at Carugate and Ponzano winning at Trieste so they only have to prevail at home on Wednesday to end their seasons with victories. In the South, Vigarano won at Stella Azzurra Roma, but Ancona prevailed in overtime at home against Cagliari.
In the German second division, the second game of each quarterfinals series was played this weekend. North top seed Opladen added a 73-69 win over Bad Homburg for a final margin of 146-130. Rotenburg’s 76-72 win over Wurzburg pushed their final margin to 133-117. Bochum’s 64-59 win over Bamberg eliminated the last South team 131-122. Chemnitz won 69-59, but that was not enough to overcome their deficit from the first game and they were eliminated by Gottingen 116-109. Ludwigsburg continued to win the South playdown with another chance to affect the final result.
In the French second division, two teams finished sweeps on Wednesday with Chatres’s 66-59 win at Mondeville and Strasbourg’s 60-53 win over Feytiat advanced them as the lower seed. Aulnoye evened their series with a 65-62 win, but Charnay recovered with a 72-66 win on Sunday. La Tronche Meylan also won their home game 63-56, but Champagne made sure that they advanced with an 88-57 win.
Play resumed in Portugal’s second division and Lanay Rodney had 40 points, but Barcelos still won because Becca Wann-Taylor had 41 points to close out the promotion group behind Ferragudo. In Luxembourg, Black Star Mersch surprised Etzella Ettelbruck 78-45, but Amaya Scott had 38 points to make sure that Telstar Hesperange could not do the same to Les Sangliers Wooltz. Stjarnan won the deciding game in Iceland’s second division on Tuesday 67-57, although Maddie Sutton did have 20 rebounds for Thor.