After playing the first half of the overseas campaign in Australia, Ashley Robinson has found a new home. She signed with Maccabi Ashdod in Israel for the remainder of the season and made her debut on Monday. Robinson played 17 minutes off the bench as Ashdod lost 73-59 to Raanana Hertzeliya. Robinson had four points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots, quickly making her presence felt. Raanana Hertzeliya’s all-Fever backcourt of Briann January and Jene Morris totaled 40 points and outplayed Ashdod’s Renee Montgomery, who missed all seven of her three-point attempts.
Fresh off advancing in the EuroCup playoffs, Elizur Ramla picked up another win in league play, beating Elizur Holon 81-66. Tanisha Wright scored 15 points, handed out eight assists and grabbed six rebounds. Le’coe Willingham had 11 points and eight rebounds and Kia Vaughan contributed 21 points and eight rebounds. Shannon Bobbitt led Holon by scoring 22 points.
Electra Ramat Hasharon maintained its hold on second place in the league by topping Elizur Natanya 70-60. Camille Little put up nine points, seven rebounds and four assists while Shavonte Zellous topped the team with 22 points. With two weeks left in the season, Electra Ramat Hasharon leads Maccabi Ramat Hen by one game for second behind runaway leader Ramla.
Returning to league play after a Euroleague playoff series win, Sparta&K Moscow Region blew by Spartak Noginsk 93-60 on Sunday. With the game over early – Sparta&K led 52-28 at the half – Sue Bird was able to get some rest. She played just 12 minutes, scoring three points and handing out two assists. Sonya Petrovic had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
UMMC Ekaterinburg got a tougher test from Dynamo-GUVD before earning a 69-54 victory. Svetlana Abrosimova was one of five Ekaterinburg players to reach double-figure scoring, knocking down a pair of three-pointers en route to 10 points and three assists in 23 minutes.
Despite an atypical 18 turnovers, Ros Casares Valencia defeated Palacio de Ibiza 69-54 on Saturday. Jana Vesela turned scorer for Ros Casares, putting up 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting and a pair of rebounds. Rebekkah Brunson (16), Katie Douglas (14) and Marta Fernandez (10) joined Vesela in double-figures. Shona Thorburn, who had a cup of coffee with the Storm in 2007, scored 15 points for Ibiza.
A 45-28 second-half advantage helped Halcon Avenida run away with an 88-63 win over Obenasa Lacturale. Storm newcomer Belinda Snell used 7-of-7 shooting from the foul line to score 17 points. Her total was only surpassed for Avenida by Alba Torrens, who finished with 18 points.
Big win on Sunday for the Dandenong Jayco Rangers, who knocked off Townsville 70-54 at home. Because Dandenong holds tiebreakers against Sydney and Logan, the two teams behind in the standings, it appears the Rangers have clinched the fourth of five spots in the WNBL postseason bracket (according to The Age, Dandenong’s coaching staff is still waiting for official confirmation) with one week to go. Despite foul trouble, Abby Bishop had 10 points, six rebounds and three steals in Sunday’s win. She was one of four players in double-figures for the Rangers, who pulled away for good in the second quarter. Bishop might rest in the team’s final game if it has clinched.
Dandenong’s position has ramifications for the Canberra TransAct Capitals, who are still clinging to an outside chance at finishing atop the WNBL. The Capitals would need a win next weekend as well as a loss by the Bulleen Boomers, who face the Rangers. Canberra did its part to keep hope alive by beating the Logan Thunder 80-67 on Friday. Suzy Batkovic, who had 21 points and 13 rebounds, was too much for Logan to handle inside. Michelle Cosier added 16 and Alison Lacey contributed three points, five rebounds and three assists for the Capitals.
This was All-Star weekend in Poland, as the Polish National Team squared off against what appears to be a team of the best internationals playing in the Polish PLKK. The thrilling game went to OT, where Erin Phillips had a key three-pointer to help the foreigners win 90-87. Phillips started and scored 14 points with four assists. Her teammate Jelena Maksimovic scored 19 points to win MVP honors.
Also see a video interview with Phillips on the PLKK website complete with highlights from her time in Poland.