It was another busy week in NBL1, including the South division. A number of players who finish their college careers, whether they are originally from Australia or from somewhere else, head to this league quickly to launch their professional journies. Ella Tofaeono grabbed 25 rebounds in a game that saw Chloe Bibby score 33 points for the opposition. Keely Froling had the highest scoring game of anyone with 38 points for the Launceston Tornadoes. Miela Goodchild had 30 points, but the Mt. Gambier Pioneers were handed their first loss, leaving Bendigo and Waverley undefeated for now.
The Central division had a full holiday Tuesday round of games, highlighted by Ally Wilson’s 48 point game for the Norwood Flames. The usual Saturday round saw Mollie McKendrick score 36 points for the Southern Tigers. The leading scorer in the East division over the weekend was Violet Morrow, who had 30 points for the Bankstown Bruins. Alison Gorrell had a 16 point, 12 rebound, 10 assist triple-double for the Ipswich Force in the North division, but the big team performance was the Logan Thunder outscoring the North Gold Coast Seahawks by 20 points in the fourth quarter for a 1 point win. Alex Sharp had 36 points for the Willetton Tigers in the West division as fielded more of the roster that they expect to use for most of the season.
In North West Tasmania, Mariah Payne nearly scored enough points to win a game herself for the Burnie Tigers with 41 points. It was a different level of competition over the weekend though when they took on first place Devonport and her 37 points were not enough in a 74-70 loss. In Big V, there was one strong performance at each tier as Anaya Rodisha scored 31 points, Rachael Wansbrough had 21 rebounds, and Alicia Carline grabbed 20 boards.
The fourth stage of play concluded this weekend in Taiwan. Taiyuan Textile defeated Cathay Life in the last game on Sunday, but they did not have the tiebreaker for the stage and the result still left a big gap in the overall standings.
The second half of the double round-robin started this weekend in Brazil. Araraqua remains undefeated at the top of the standings ahead of Sampaio, but the story of this round was Ituano picking up their first win of the season. The second week of the Uruguayan season was played after last week’s games included a barnburner that saw 25 Agosto get 28 points and 32 rebounds from Sabrina Molina in an 83-79 double overtime win over Yale. In Mexico, the second weekend of this phase was played and Brittany Lewis had 33 points to open Group 1 play. Teporacas continued to dominate the group on the court, winning both of their games. Mieleras remains undefeated in Group 2.
Lulea won the championship in Sweden after a 67-51 win on Tuesday and then an 87-68 win at Sodertalje on Friday. Celje finished their sweep of Triglav to win the championship in Slovenia, prevailing 77-53 on Wednesday and 72-52 on Friday. Grasshoppers doubled their lead in Den Helder with a 70-56 win on Tuesday and then swept the finals in the Netherlands with a narrow 68-67 win at home on Saturday. In another league that we have not followed closely due to slow stats uploads, Starlites won 57-52 on Thursday to take a lead on Luxol in the finals in Malta and then finished the job on Sunday 57-49. Grengewald Hueschtert won the championship in Luxembourg with an 89-77 Game 4 win at home on Sunday. Keflavik avoided a sweep in Iceland with a 78-66 win on Tuesday, but Valur’s 72-68 win on Friday got them the championship. Keltern finished their sweep of Hannover in the finals Germany with a 66-52 win on Tuesday. USK Praha trailed early, but Brionna Jones made sure that they completed another sweep in the Czech Republic after their 87-54 win over Brno on Wednesday. Mechelen’s 73-66 win over Braine on Wednesday cemented their new position at the top of the heap in Belgium with another championship. Partizani won 73-59 on Thursday to even the series, but Flamurtari captured the championship in Albania with a 77-66 win in Saturday’s deciding game.
The finals started in Portugal on Sunday and GDESSA Barreiro won 75-67 at home so Benfica will need to win both games at home next weekend. Liepaja finished winning the 3rd place series in Latvia on Tuesday. The quarterfinals were played in the British league this weekend with Saturday’s games being an 81-53 win for Caledonia Gladiators over Cardiff Met Archers and a 76-49 Sevenoaks Suns win over Sheffield Hatters. Sunday’s game had Leicester Riders come back late to force overtime and win 83-80 against Essex Rebels and then London Lions rolled past Newcastle Eagles 86-37. Ragusa’s 66-42 win at Zagreb on Wednesday put them in the finals in Croatia. KAZL evened up the other series with a 75-67 win, but Tresnjevska advanced by winning 84-44 at home on Saturday. Beroe won both of their home games to start the finals in Bulgaria, breezing to a 74-42 triumph on Wednesday and then prevailing 73-59 on Thursday and then finished the sweep at Montana 83-72 on Sunday with a strong second half. Rilski secured third place with a 68-55 win at home on Wednesday and a 73-60 road win on Friday. Banovici advanced to the finals in the Bosnian league with a 60-55 win on Wednesday, but 30 points from Dragana Domuzin still left Orlovi short on Thursday before they withstood a 47 point game from Brea Elmore to advance with a 100-93 win on Saturday.
Chase for Promotion
In the Turkish second division, the semifinals were in full swing as Botas’s reserve team evened up their series with a 68-65 win at Izmit on Tuesday and then took the lead 70-61 on Friday. Izmit forced a deciding game at home after their 64-46 win on Sunday. The other series started on Thursday with Edremit winning 80-48, but Alanya will bring home a lead to Antalya after Mikayla Cowling’s 52 point game gave them a 92-74 win on Saturday. The second promotion spot was decided in Spain’s second division on Sunday. Hosts Celta won the first semifinal 80-71 on Saturday and then Paterna won 70-56 against Zamora even without some of their Valencia youngsters. Paterna had the lead heading into the fourth quarter on Sunday, but Celta controlled the final frame to win 67-57 and secure the last spot. Top seed Charnay managed to fend off Champagne 71-69 in the first game of the semifinals in France’s second division. Chartres had an easier time in their Saturday game, winning 81-49 against Strasbourg before getting ready to travel to Illkirch.
In Portugal’s second division, Hannah Armour’s 31 game got her team a 72-51 win to start the semifinals on Saturday and then Becca Wann-Taylor had 31 points and 26 rebounds on Sunday, but her team still lost. At the other end of the standings, Aliyah Abney’s 37 point game helped Fayal edge Braga.
In the battle of teams vying for spots in Luxembourg’s top division next season, the established clubs are still pressing their roster advantage, including Jade Compton having 37 points and LeLe Grissett adding 32 points for Soleuvre in an easy win. In Croatia, Zadar from the second division played Split from the top division for a spot there, but could not get it done. Playoffs started in Lithuania’s second division with Vilte Andrunaviciute’s 41 point game helping Panevezio Raimundo Sarguno win their opener.
Italy’s second division continued play at both ends of the standings. In the North, top seed Milano bounced back from an upset with a 77-53 win over Mantova on Wednesday and then a 65-57 win on Saturday. Broni evened up their series with Udine with a 67-55 win on Tuesday, but Udine advanced after a 67-57 win on Sunday. The other two quarterfinals ended with sweeps on Wednesday after Scrivia’s 71-45 win at Treviso and Costa Masnaga’s 68-63 defeat of Alpo. Sweeps happened in all four series in the South, including Firenze’s 63-50 triumph over Patti on Thursday, providing the only seeding upset. On Wednesday, Battipaglia defeated Matelica 68-50 and top seed Empoli won 72-60 at Savona and then Spezzina won 61-52 in Selargius. Finishing lower in the standings did not end up meaning anything in the North playout after Vicenza’s 61-43 win over Carugate and Ponzano’s 64-59 win over Trieste meant two sweeps were completed Wednesday. That was not the case in the South as Ancona’s 57-49 win over Cagliari on Wednesday finished a sweep and Stella Azzurra Roma avoided a seeding upset with a 72-68 win on Tuesday and then finished off Vigarano 59-46 on Saturday.
Germany’s second division started their last promotion series on holiday Monday. Top seed Opladen defeated Gottingen 62-42 and then Rotenburg won at Bochum 93-68. The battle to stay at this level has gotten intense in the North as Braunschweig edged Lichterfelde 66-64 on Wednesday, but the hosts bounced back and won 71-65 at Marburg on Monday. In the South, Wasserburg has momentum entering the last game after Brittany Autry had 32 points in their 91-63 win over Schwabach.