Today was the deciding day for both the Euroleague’s best-of-three eighth-final series and the EuroCup’s aggregate quarterfinal matchups and everything came up Storm.
Sparta&K Moscow Region is on to the next round after a 69-63 home victory in Wednesday’s Game 3 over Beretta Famila Schio. After a timeout, Sparta&K secured the win with an 8-0 run that pushed its lead to nine with 1:07 left on the clock. Sue Bird had two points and an assist during that stretch and had four rebounds and three assists to go along with her team-high 18 points. Taj McWilliams added 14 points and nine boards as Sparta&K overcame a double-double from Janel McCarville (16 points, 14 rebounds) and 18 points from Laura Macchi.
In the other Euroleague action involving the Storm, Ros Casares Valencia cruised to an 86-63 win over MKB Euroleasing Sopron. Katie Douglas was the big scorer with 25 points and eight rebounds, but everybody got in the act. Seven of the eight Ros Casares players who saw action scored at least eight points. Jana Vesela had eight points, two rebounds and two assists. Tijana Krivacevic scored six points and grabbed three rebounds for Sopron but was limited to just 22 minutes of action due to foul trouble.
Best-of-three quarterfinal series begin on Feb. 22 and the pairings are already set. Ros Casares will host Bourges, UMMC Ekaterinburg takes on Cras Basket Taranto and Sparta&K gets a challenging battle against Fenerbahce. The last quarterfinal matchup features both players the Storm signed on Wednesday – Erin Phillips and Wisla Can-Pak Krakow against Belinda Snell and Halcon Avenida.
Elizur Ramla did not need to win at Gran Canaria to advance after dominating the first game of the two-leg series and took a 24-point aggregate advantage into Wednesday’s EuroCup matchup. Still, Ramla decided to go ahead and win anyway, defeating Gran Canaria 76-72 in Spain. Le’coe Willingham topped Ramla with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Tanisha Wright scored 14 points and came up with three steals. Ramla got more balance than usual, and it was reserve Shiran Zairy who helped ice the game with a late three-pointer, one of three she made in 12 minutes of action.
Ramla will learn its semifinal opponent tomorrow, when the other two quarterfinal matchups conclude. French club Arras is the other team through to the semis.