International Roundup: Two Teams Advance to EuroLeague Semifinals
FIBA Europe Bans Russia Clubs, Playoff Match-ups Reformatted
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the FIBA Europe board met on March 2, and banned Russian clubs until further notice. Thus, several teams have been given new life in the EuroLeague and EuroCup playoffs. The EuroLeague quarterfinals are a best-of-three series, while the EuroCup quarterfinals are a two-game series with the aggregate score determining the advancing team.
The revised EuroLeague quarterfinal match-ups are:
Perfumerias Avenida (ESP) vs. Spar Girona (ESP)
Sopron Basket (HUN) vs. BLMA (FRA)
Fenerbahce Safiport (TUR) vs. TTT Riga (LAT)
ZVVZ USK Praha (CZE) vs. Beretta Famila Schio (ITA)
The revised EuroCup quarterfinal pairings are as follows:
KSC Szekszard (HUN) vs. Galatasaray (TUR)
Basket Landes (FRA) vs. Tango Bourges Basket (FRA)
LDLC ASVEL (FRA) vs. CBK Mersin (TUR)
Umana Reyer (ITA) vs. Valencia BC (ESP)
2022 EuroLeague Quarterfinals Games 1 and 2
Playing two games between March 8-10, Sopron Basket and Fenerbahce became the first teams to advance to the EuroLeague semifinals after each team claimed two victories in their respective best-of-three series. Sopron will face the winner of the Avenida versus Girona quarterfinals series and Fener will take on the winner of the USK Prague versus Beretta Famila Schio series for the right to advance to the 2022 championship game.
Fenerbahce vs. TTT Riga (Fener advances)
Game 1: Fenerbahce 77, TTT Riga 56
Owning a 36-27 halftime lead, host Fenerbahce outscored TTT Riga 15-3 out of the break and cruised in for a 77-56 victory. Kayla McBride scored 18 points to lead Fener, which received 17 points and 10 boards from German Satou Sabally and 11 points, 10 caroms and five assists from Elizabeth Williams. Jasmine Thomas was Riga’s leading scorer, racking up a game-high 19 points to go with five rebounds.
Game 2: Fenerbahce 88, Riga 65
Despite an impressive 21-point performance from Thomas for Riga, Fenerbahce prevailed 88-65 in the second game to bring the quarterfinals series to a close and advance to the 2022 EuroLeague Final Four. Sweden’s Amanda Zahui was the game’s top scorer with 22 points to go with eight rebounds for Fener. McBride had 16 points; Williams posted 12 points, six boards and seven assists; and Bria Hartley chipped in eight points.
ZVVZ USK Prague vs. Beretta Famila Schio
Game 1: Prague 72, Schio 70
Trailing by 12 points with 4:59 remaining in the contest, host ZVVZ USK Prague pulled out a 72-70 victory on its home court with the help of 16 points and eight caroms from Brionna Jones and 11 points and seven boards from Alyssa Thomas. For Schio, Spain’s Maria Conde scored a team-high 18 points, including 14 in the final 5:00, and Belgium’s Kim Mestdagh also scored 18 for the visiting club, which also received 14 points and 10 rebounds from France’s Sandrine Gruda.
Game 2: March 15 in Schio, Italy.
Game 3 (if necessary): March 18 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Perfumerias Avenida vs. Spar Girona
Game 1: Perfumerias Avenida 77, Spar Girona 63
Playing without an injured Katie Lou Samuelson, Perfumerias Avenida had four players score in double digits, none of which contributed more than 13 points, and took the first game with a 77-63 win over visiting Spar Girona. Karlie Samuelson scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. Kahleah Copper chipped in nine points to go with four boards and a pair of assists and Bella Alarie scored four points and grabbed seven rebounds. Rebekah Gardner had 10 points and five boards and Kennedy Burke added four points and six boards for the losing side.
Game 2: March 16 in Girona, Spain.
Game 3 (if necessary): March 19 in Salamanca, Spain.
Sopron Basket vs. BLMA (Sopron advances)
Game 1: Sopron Basket 60, BLMA 42
Hungary’s Bernadett Hatar and Serbia’s Jelena Brooks tied as the game’s top scorers with 16 points apiece and Briann January contributed 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and a pair of steals in leading Sopron to a 60-42 victory over BLMA in Hungary. Sopron’s defense held BLMA to 27.3% shooting from the field and only one visitor, France’s Mamignan Toure with 13 points, scored in double digits. Haley Peters tallied seven points and four rebounds for the French squad.
Game 2: Sopron Basket 72, BLMA 65
The visiting Sopron team, led by 28 points and 11 rebounds from Gabby Williams, scored first and never trailed en route to a 72-65 victory over BLMA in France. Hatar scored 16 points and January contributed six points and three assists in the victory. Peters notched a team-high 15 points in her final EuroLeague game of the season.
2022 EuroCup Quarterfinals Game 1
Three of the four pairings wrapped up their first of two games on March 10, while Umana Reyer and Valencia BC will play their first game on March 15.
KSC Szekszard vs. Galatasaray
Game 1: Galatasaray 88, KSC Szekszard 60
Galatasaray held a six-point lead at the end of the first quarter, expanded it to an 18-point advantage at halftime and continued to pull away for an 88-60 win over KSC Skekszard on the road in Hungary. Gala, which shot 53.4% from the field while holding the Hungarian squad to just 38.7%, was powered to victory by 34 points, six rebounds, six assists and two steals from Kelsey Plum, who connected on 11-of-16 from the field. Kaela Davis contributed 14 points, four boards and three assists in the win. The hosts were paced in the loss by Hungary’s Sara Krnjic, who scored 11 points.
Game 2: March 16 in Istanbul, Turkey.
Basket Landes vs. Tango Bourges Basket
Game 1: Basket Landes 65, Tango Bourges 63
Two French teams, host Basket Landes and Tango Bourges Basket, took the first game of the series down to the wire and Landes scored the go-ahead jumper to go up 65-63 with 25 seconds remaining. A potential Bourges game-tying basket was blocked with eight seconds on the clock. After taking a timeout, Bourges missed two more attempts and fell to its in-country rival. Australian Marianna Tolo scored a team-high 12 points for the winning hosts. France’s Iliana Rupert scored a game-high 15 points for Bourges, as Americans Keisha Hampton added 11 points and Kristen Mann chipped in five points.
Game 2: March 17 in Bourges, France
LDLC ASVEL vs. CBK Mersin
Game 1: CBK Mersin 77, LDLC ASVEL Feminin 64
The visiting club CBK Mersin jumped to a 22-12 lead after 10 minutes of play and led for more than 37 minutes in a 77-64 victory over LDLC ASVEL Feminin in France. Mersin was paced to victory by Tiffany Hayes, who scored 17 points, and DeWanna Bonner, who had 16 points and eight rebounds. Canadian Kayla Alexander tied as her team’s leading scorer with 13 points and Cierra Burdick contributed four points and three boards.
Game 2: March 17 in Mersin, Turkey
Umana Reyer vs. Valencia BC
Game 1: March 15 in Venezia, Italy
Game 2: March 20 in Valencia, Spain
American Highlights Down Under
Eight games have been played in the month of March and the WNBL playoff picture is coming into clearer view, while Americans continue to shine. With 11 games to go until the semifinals are set, four teams look to be in good position for one of the four playoff spots, the Melbourne Boomers (10-5), UC Capitals (10-4), Perth Lynx (9-3) and Adelaide Lightning (9-5) currently own the top four spots, while the Townsville Fire (6-8) and Bendigo Spirit (6-8) are tied in fifth place.
Lindsay Allen contributed 17 points and Tiffany Mitchell had 10 points and 10 rebounds in a 68-65 Melbourne Boomers loss to the Bendigo Spirit on March 5.
Kelsey Griffin had a double-double of 20 points and 10 boards and Brittany Skykes poured in 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting and added five rebounds and eight assists to help the UC Capitals to a 106-64 win over the Southside Flyers on March 5.
Kylee Shook scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Adelaide Lightning to a 78-57 win over the Townsville Fire on March 5. Kiana Williams, who had four points against the Fire, scored 17 points and Shook contributed 12 as the Lightning lost to the Perth Lynx 104-79 on March 7. In the Lightning’s second meeting of the month against the Lynx, Shook scored 10 points and Williams chipped in six in an 84-73 loss to the Lynx on March 9.
Jackie Young scored a team-high 28 points and added six rebounds and four steals, but it wasn’t enough as the Perth Lynx fell to the Sydney Uni Flames 66-63 on March 5. However, Young’s 30 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals helped lift the Lynx past the Lightning on March 7. Marina Mabrey scored 17 points and Young contributed six points as the Perth went 2-1 to start the month with the 84-73 win over the Lightning.