Maccabi Ashdod is moving on in style. With Storm center Ashley Robinson in the starting lineup and contributing 10 points, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals, Ashdod swamped Raanana Hertzeliya 81-55 in last Wednesday’s deciding Game 5 of their quarterfinal series. Ashdod also got 22 points from Renee Montgomery and 17 points and seven rebounds from Katia Levitsky. Ashdod will now take on Electra Ramat Hasharon and Camille Little in one of the two semifinal matchups. In the other, Le’coe Willingham, Tanisha Wright and Elitzur Ramla face Maccabi Ramat Hen.
Ramla has been busy in the EuroCup finals. The first leg of the two-game aggregate series with Arras was played last Thursday in Israel, with Ramla battling back from a deficit as large as 12 points in the final quarter to tie the game at 61 apiece. That makes next Thursday’s return leg in France a true winner-take-all matchup. Just to tie the game, Ramla needed a late 12-3 run that evened the score with 21 seconds left on the clock. After two Pauline Akonga free throws put Arras back in front, Willingham closed the scoring with a layup with seven seconds remaining. The Storm post scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting and added seven rebounds. Wright, the team’s other double-digit scorer, finished with 17 points and 12 boards. Oleshia Malashenko had 18 points for Arras, which saw point guard Leilani Mitchell shoot 1-of-7 from the field and turn the ball over four times but also offer seven rebounds, five assists and five steals.
As expected, Wisla Can-Pack Krakow had no trouble with Pol Super Rainbow in the quarterfinals, sweeping the series 2-0 with both wins by at least 18 points. Erin Phillips went off for 22 points as Wisla won Game 2 on the road and totaled 29 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds in the two games. The matchups get more difficult for Wisla during the best-of-five semifinals, which begin with a back-to-back in Krakow on Saturday and Sunday. Wisla will face Lotos Gdynia, which is led by Monica Wright of the Minnesota Lynx.
The Russian Superleague regular season ended with a showdown between Sparta&K Moscow Region and UMMC Ekaterinburg. Playing at home, Ekaterinburg led the entire final quarter in a 73-69 win that looks a little closer than it was because Sue Bird hit a three at the buzzer to cut the deficit to four far too late. Bird had 12 points and three assists as one of four Sparta&K players to score double-figures. But Sparta&K did not have anyone as dominant as Candace Parker, who scored 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting and pulled down seven rebounds.
Regardless of the result, UMMC was headed to the playoffs as the No. 1 seed, with Sparta&K No. 2. Ekaterinburg faces Spartak St. Petersburg in the quarterfinals, which begin next Monday, with Sparta&K facing Novosibirsk.
Via Twitter, Swin Cash reports that her team is a win away from advancing after today’s 83-73 victory behind her 29 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.
The regular season is still going strong in Spain, where Halcon Avenida defeated RC Celta Indepo 88-68 on Sunday. Erika De Souza had 16 points and 12 rebounds and nine players scored at least six points for Avenida. Included was Belinda Snell, who finished with nine points and three rebounds. Ros Casares Valencia had no trouble with Cadi La Seu in an 82-48 final. Katie Douglas had a team-high 17 points and Cindy Lima added 14 and nine boards, while Jana Vesela scored seven points and came up with three steals.