Tuesday marked the opening day of postseason action in the EuroLeague, as teams battle in best-of-three series for a spot in the Final Eight.
Ros Casares Valencia took a 1-0 lead by dominating the second half of an 88-54 victory over CCC Polkowice. Up nine at the break, Ros Casares outscored Polkowice 26-9 in the third quarter to pull away. Ann Wauters put up 19 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 8-of-13 from the field. Lauren Jackson had 13 points in 17 minutes and Maya Moore scored 17 for Valencia, which also got 11 rebounds from Sancho Lyttle and 11 assists from Laia Palau. Former Storm camper Sharnee Zoll had 10 points and seven assists for Polkowice, which will try to force a deciding Game 3 by winning on Friday in Poland.
In Russia, UMMC Ekaterinburg got a much stiffer test from Good Angels Kosice before emerging with a 61-55 win. Up just one to start the final period, Ekaterinburg opened up with an 8-0 spurt and Kosice never again got closer than six points. Naturally, Sue Bird was in the middle of that run, knocking down a triple and handing out an assist to account for five of the eight points. In her best performance for UMMC, Bird scored a game-high 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including five three-pointers, and handed out three assists. She was the only player in double figures for Ekaterinburg, which got more balanced scoring than Kosice. Four players scored 51 of the team’s 55 points, led by 17 from Danielle McCray of the Connecticut Sun.
Ewelina Kobryn and Wisla Can-Pack Krakow knocked off ZVVZ USK Praha 66-52 in Game 1, turning a six-point advantage through three quarters into a 14-point final margin. Kobryn was a force in the paint with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Nicole Powell (14 points, 10 boards) also had a double-double and Milka Bjelica and Erin Phillips scored 15 points apiece. Lindsay Whalen carried USK Praha with 19 points.
Elsewhere in EuroLeague action, the lone road team to win Game 1 was Beretta Famila Schio, which topped defending champion Perfumerias Avenida 67-59 in Salamanca. That makes Famila Schio the only team with a chance to close out the series at home, while the rest of the favorites go for sweeps on the road.