It took the full 40 minutes, but Ros Casares Valencia held home court in Game 1 of the best-of-three Spanish Liga Femenina Finals, beating Halcon Avenida 74-72. Lauren Jackson, who scored a game-high 19 points, knocked down the clinching free throws with seconds remaining as Ros Casares held off a comeback attempt by the visitors in the final quarter. Jackson added six rebounds and shot 6-of-10 from the field in one of her best performances for Valencia. Ann Wauters was quiet offensively, scoring six points, but pulled down 10 rebounds as Ros Casares held Avenida to just three second chances. Silvia Dominguez had six points and two assists, while Sancho Lyttle scored 12 points and Shay Murphy 11.
Ros Casares will go for the sweep Tuesday in Salamanca.
UMMC Ekaterinburg tipped off the Russian Premier League Finals today with an impressive 80-65 triumph over Sparta&K Moscow Region. Candace Parker dominated opposing number Candice Dupree with 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting and eight rebounds. Sue Bird scored 15 points and handed out five assists, while Sandrine Gruda had 11 points and 11 boards for a double-double. Seimone Augustus (19) and Marina Kuzina (16) contributed more than half of Sparta&K’s scoring.
Game 2 is tomorrow, also in Ekaterinburg.
In Poland, Wisla Can-Pack Krakow holds an early 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Playing at home, Wisla took Game 1 73-59 behind balanced scoring, with eight players scoring at least five points. Ewelina Kobryn’s game-high 20 points and 11 rebounds led Wisla’s 72-60 Game 2 victory. Kobryn had eight points and four rebounds in 14 minutes of Game 1. CCC Polkowice will host the next two games Friday and Saturday.
Tanisha Wright and Elizur Ramla suffered a heartbreaking 58-56 loss in last week’s Game 1 against Maccabi Ashdod. Up 56-54 with 90 seconds to play, Ramla saw Ashdod tie the game on a bucket and win it on free throws by Plenette Pierson and Tamera Young, who combined for 33 points and 21 boards. Wright led Ramla with 13 points, but committed seven turnovers. Le’coe Willingham had 12 points and nine rebounds.