The Israeli D-I finals start today, with Maccabi Ashdod hosting Tanisha Wright and Elizur Ramla. Ramla advanced by knocking out Alysha Clark and Ramat Hasharon in four games last week, winning the finale 60-59 on Tanisha Wright’s game-winning layup with 1.5 seconds remaining. Wright made a huge defensive play to put her team in position to win, stealing Clark’s inbound pass intended for Jia Perkins at the six-second mark. Perkins blocked Wright’s first shot attempt, but she scored after the ball went to Ramla out of bounds. Wright had 21 points and four steals. Clark contributed nine points and four steals for Hasharon.
Ros Casares Valencia swept its way into the Liga Femenina finals with a 57-47 win at Rivas Ecopolis last week, getting 23 points from Ann Wauters, 10 points, seven boards and three assists from Lauren Jackson and six assists from Silvia Dominguez. The three Storm players and their teammates had the week off to prepare for a best-of-three series with rival Perfumerias Avenida that begins Saturday in Valencia. This is the sixth consecutive year the two teams have met in the Spanish finals, and Avenida’s win last season snapped a streak of four consecutive Valencia championships.
The Russian SuperLeague Finals don’t begin until Monday, after UMMC Ekaterinburg wrapped up its sweep of Nadezhda in the semifinals on Monday. Ekaterinburg dominated Game 1 96-73 at home, dominating the paint with a combined 51 points from Candace Parker and Sandrine Gruda plus 11 points and seven boards off the bench from Yelena Levchenko. Sue Bird had eight points and four assists. Game 2 in Orenburg was more competitive, but Gruda and Parker combined for 36 points and 20 rebounds as UMMC held on for the 73-67 win. Bird had 10 points and four assists.
Sparta&K Moscow Region swept Dynamo Kursk in the other semifinal, setting up a finals matchup that starts Monday. The teams will play back-to-back games home and away, with the deciding Game 5 set for May 1 in Ekaterinburg if necessary.
The Polish PLKK Finals, a marathon best-of-seven series, tip off Saturday. Ewelina Kobryn and Wisla Can-Pack Krakow got some extra rest by sweeping their semifinal matchup with Energa Torun 3-0 while CCC Polkowice needed the full five games to oust Lotos Gdynia. Ewelina Kobryn averaged 14.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in the semifinals despite being limited to 32 minutes in the last two games by foul trouble and lopsided scores. She had 23 points and 12 boards in Game 1.