On Sunday, the long-anticipated first showdown of 2008-09 between Russian powers Spartak and CSKA Moscow arrived. Both entered undefeated in Russian Superleague play, Spartak at 10-0 and CSKA 9-0. In a game that was tight throughout – tied at halftime and a one-point margin through three quarters – CSKA held on for the 76-73 victory.
With 1:32 to play and CSKA leading 74-68, Sue Bird apparently rolled her ankle. Fortunately, she was able to walk off under her own power. It had already been a tough night for Bird and Lauren Jackson, who scored six points apiece. Diana Taurasi, who scored 27, was the only Spartak starter to score double-figures. Four CSKA starters reached that mark, led by Anne Wauters‘ 23. Spartak could not find the range from downtown, hitting 2-of-15 on threes.
Another undefeated season in league play came to an end over the weekend with Gambrinus Brno going into Prague and defeating ZVVZ USK Praha by a lopsided 76-58 final. USK Praha has been plagued by injuries, and that was too much to overcome against the traditional Czech power. Swin Cash scored eight points, while Lindsay Whalen scored nine for USK Praha. The loss creates a tie atop the Czech Basketball League with both teams 17-1. This won’t be the last time USK Praha and Gambrinus Brno play this season.
Katie Gearlds‘ Athinaikos squad remains undefeated at 14-0, and did not really get much of a test this weekend against Aris Holargou, winning 92-34. The score after one quarter was 34-4. Gearlds did not play; neither did Athinaikos’ other American, LaToya Davis. Presumably, they were just resting. And Athinaikos still won by 58 points. Apparently Aris Holargou is not very good.
In Spain, Cadi La Seu had a tough matchup with league-leading Ciudad Ros Casares. Behind 25 points from Amaya Valdemoro, Ros Casares blew Cadi La Seu out 107-71. Kelly Santos scored eight points and grabbed six boards in the loss.
UL Aughnish and Kristen O’Neill pulled off a key upset over the weekend, going on the road to hand Team Montenotte Hotel Cork its first loss in Irish Superleague play. The win improved the Aughnish to 7-2 and third place in the Superleague table.