Buch and Girona won't relax, Hatay hopes are high and Ruzickova enjoys homecoming
MUNICH (EuroCup Women) - With the EuroCup Women Round of 8 first legs done and dusted, we catch up with some of those involved and see how it all went down on social media.
Spar Citylift Girona may have one foot in the Quarter-Finals after their crushing 85-61 victory, but don't expect Roso Buch or her teammates to be thinking along those lines ahead of next week's return game in Italy against Virtus Eirene.
"We showed that we are a good team and that every player can contribute with something positive," said the Girona captain, who added 14 points.
"We need to keep working like this as this Round of 8 is not finished yet. We still have one tough game to play in Italy and they will want to show that they can do better next week," she added.
In contrast, one tie which is more finely balanced than any other, is the battle between Hatay and KSC Szekszard. The Turkish side won 76-74 on the road and will be favorites to advance - although they will be aware that their opponents lost at home in the Round of 16 and then won in handsome fashion at Polish champions, Sleza Wroclaw.
I absolutely ❤️ this play... - 👏👏👏 vision and execution from @KSSrbije center Sara Krnjic for KSC Szekszard in @EuroCupWomen last night. Got to 😛a bounce pass like THAT! #EuroCupWomen pic.twitter.com/KwfNGjt1fB— Paul Nilsen (@basketmedia365) January 25, 2018
KSC Szekszard will be looking to Sara Krnjic to lead their revival next week and she also showed her skills in the first meeting.
Hatay will also be slightly relieved to have escaped from Hungary with a victory, a fact not lost on play-caller, Aikaterini Chatzidkai
📷🏀MAÇ SONUCU EuroCup Women Son 8 Turu ilk karşılaşmasında, deplasmanda Macaristan ekibi KSC Szekszard'ı 74-76 mağlup ettik. Ekibimizde @courtneyparis3 20 sayı ve 20 ribaund ile double-double yaparak maçın en skorer ismi oldu. Mücadeleyi @hind_bena 11 sayı, @lil_lei05 11 sayı ve 8 asist, @snytsina 9 sayı, @barbt22 9 sayı, @merveaydin94 ise 8 sayı ile tamamladı. Çift maçlı averaj sistemiyle oynanan serinin rövanşı 31 Ocak Çarşamba günü Antakya'da oynanacak. #HatayWomenBasketball
"First of all, I want to congratulate the Szekszard team, because we played a very good game. The fans were amazing and I really enjoyed the game.
"It was very hard for us, but we prepared for this. Unfortunately, at some point of the game, we lost the control and this affected the score, but we came back. Its a very important win for us," she added.
Meanwhile, Peter Jankovic, the head coach of Good Angels Kosice, was left highly disappointed after his side slumped 68-89 at home to Reyer Venezia and stated: "They confirmed the quality of their players, but we allowed them 89 points and we cannot win with defense like this.
"We missed Zuzana Zirkova too much, and not only on the court, so I hope she will able to play in the second leg because we need her quality and her heart too."
There was also plenty of interest surrounding Marie Ruzickova, the Reyer Venezia center who hails from the Slovak Republic and helped carry her nation to the last 8 of EuroBasket Women last year in Prague.
She added 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists in the victory, which puts her side firmly in the box-seat to punch that precious Quarter-Finals ticket.
Mersin had looked like they would also be in some difficulty when they hosted FLammes Carolo Basket, but they overturned a 9-point gap at the half, with a blistering second-half to eventually pace themselves to an 80-71 win.
The result gives the Turkish side a great cushion for next week, but head coach Ozlem Sencan is acutely aware of the need for her team to show their true face, right from tip-off this time.
She conceded: "We are happy now as we did not play good, but still got the win. It was not our real strength and for the first time this season we could not find any productivity in the first half.
"We will now need to show our real character for this next game in France because we want to be playing a Quarter-Finals tie for the fans in Mersin."