Play has resumed in the Israeli DI league after a strike by Israeli players postponed the start of the season. Local players were unhappy that the Israel Basketball Association relaxed the rules about import players, requiring each team to have one Israeli on the court at all times rather than two as in years past. The final deal allows teams to continue to use up to four imports this season, but will return to the former rule for the following three years.
On Thursday, Elizur Ramla got 13 points and eight rebounds from Tanisha Wright to win a makeup of Round 2 over Elizur Natanya, 88-76. Shay Doron scored a team-high 20 points for Ramla. Earlier today, Ramla defeated Maccabi Ramat Hen 86-80 to improve to 4-1 in league play, which is tied for second place. No stats were available at press time.
The competition for the Cup of Russia continued, and UMMC Ekaterinburg had no difficulty completing a two-game aggregate victory over Energia with a 111-49 victory. With few reserves available because of injury – Svetlana Abrosimova missed her second game with an injury to her right Achilles – Ekaterinburg’s stars racked up huge numbers. Sandrine Gruda had 33 points and 18 rebounds, while Yelena Levchenko pulled down 13 boards. Anete Jekabsone-Zogota scored 23 points and Candace Parker had 20.
In Spain, the showdown between powers Ros Casares Valencia and Perfumerias Avenida failed to meet expectations. Ros Casares dominated the defending Euroleague champs, taking an early 11-point lead and outscoring the hosts 31-7 in the fourth quarter to turn a close game into an 89-55 rout. Lauren Jackson had nine points and two boards for Valencia, which got performance from up and down the roster. Isabelle Yacoubou was splendid off the bench, going for 21 points and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes. Sancho Lyttle (11 points, 11 rebounds) also had a double-double and Ann Wauters (13 points, eight boards) and Shay Murphy (10 points, eight boards) completed Ros Casares’ dominance in the paint. The loss was the first of the season for Avenida, leaving Valencia alone atop the Liga Feminina at 8-0.
The Sydney Uni Flames headed out on the road for a tough WNBL trip over the weekend. On Friday, the Flames survived a thriller to beat the Bulleen Boomers 90-88. Katie-Rae Ebzery made the winning shot with seven seconds left, as Bulleen’s Kerryn Herrington missed a late three. Sydney overcame 26 points and 14 rebounds from Liz Cambage, getting 30 points, eight rebounds and five assists from Belinda Snell. No such luck for the Flames on Sunday, as they fell 80-69 to the Rangers in Dandenong. With Snell suffering an off shooting night (3-of-16 from the field, though she added 10 rebounds to her 12 points), Sydney shot 34 percent as a team and had just 49 points through three quarters. At 8-3, the Flames have dropped to second in the WNBL behind the 9-2 Adelaide Link Lightning.
Wisla Can-Pack Krakow grabbed an 18-point lead by halftime and coasted to a 66-52 win over Gorzow. Ewelina Kobryn had 15 points and six boards for Wisla, which also got 17 points and six rebounds from Nicole Powell.
Frisco Brno had no trouble in a derby match against fellow Brno club Valosun, winning easily by a 102-69 final. With the outcome in no doubt, Ashley Robinson sat out to get some more rest for her foot. Teresa Peckova came up with 31 points and 14 rebounds and Alena Hanusova scored 21 points with eight boards.
Pecs 2010 suffered its second loss in Hungarian NB1 play on Sunday, falling 79-62 to Euroleague club UNIQA Euroleasing Sopron. Sopron’s defense and five fouls held Allie Quigley to nine points on 3-of-7 shooting. Sopron got 13 points, four steals and three rebounds from post Tijana Krivacevic, whose rights are held by the Storm.
Lastly, a link to pass on from the RebKell boards. Former Storm guard Alison Lacey, who retired from professional basketball after one season apiece in the WNBA and the WNBL, has now gotten into coaching. Lacey was introduced on Friday as the interim volunteer head coach at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa, not far from where she starred at Iowa State.
“We’ll see how it goes,” she told the Times Republican. “It’s a unique situation but I’m excited. I’m ready to do whatever I can to make this team successful. But it’s part me – it’s a lot of them.”