History for Izmit Belediyespor as they join Spar Girona through to the Regular Season
IZMIT (Turkey) - Izmit Belediyespor are celebrating a first ever spot in the EuroLeague Women Regular Season after the Turkish club and Spar Girona of Spain took the last two precious tickets on offer in the Qualifiers.
Hosting the Qualifiers hub, Izmit Belediyespor started slowly against Aluinvent DVTK Miskolc, but never looked back once they got into their stride. They were particularly potent in the second half as they cruised their way to a landmark 85-68 victory.
View this post on Instagram
Congratulations @izmitbelediyespor 🇹🇷👏! See you in the #EuroLeagueWomen Regular Season.
It was a triumph founded on a stunning double-double from Brazilian forward Clarissa Dos Santos, who showed out with a super 20 points and 17 rebounds. Milica Jovanovic also did the business inside and logged an important cameo with 18 points and 7 rebounds.
Their stellar work was closely matched in the backcourt by Erica Wheeler, who controlled the show and finished with an all-action 20 points. 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals.
"This is special," declared the guard after the final buzzer.
"Most importantly, we played on our home court, so I think it was very important to win because we're so proud of representing Izmit. We have a lot of support and the club has been doing everything for us. We showed that pride in the way we played.
İzmit Belediyespor Kadın Basketbol Takımımız Devler Ligi'nde!!! 🏆⛹🏻♀️🏆⛹🏻♀️— Fatma Kaplan Hürriyet (@fatmakaplan) October 28, 2020
Bekle Bizi Euro League Biz Geliyoruz! 🏀🏀🏀#Gülümseİzmit pic.twitter.com/XmBbS9dFoJ
"We will enjoy this win, but now we are in the EuroLeague Women Regular Season, it's time to focus on how we can keep on winning," added Wheeler.
Izmit will slot into Group A for the Regular Season, alongside the likes of Dynamo Kursk, Nadezhda and Perfumerias Avenida.
The last Regular Season slot was snapped up by Spar Girona, who joined Group C, as they denied ACS Sepsi-Sic a slice of history by riding their way to a 76-54 win.
❤️️& 🔄 if you NEVER want @laia910 to stop hooping 😍— EuroLeague Women (@EuroLeagueWomen) October 28, 2020
❤️️& 🔄 si quieres que Laia Palau nunca deje de jugar 😍 #EuroLeagueWomen | @unigirona
📺 https://t.co/839C4NDJIg pic.twitter.com/bwWmZD4gsE
Stepping out for their first competitive game of the season in any competition, a gutsy Sepsi-Sic had fought hard to get back into contention after trailing by double-figures early in the contest. However, Girona found a higher gear late in the third period and were then able to move firmly out of sight during the last quarter.
Serbian ace Sonja Vasic and Swedish star Frida Eldebrink were the pick of the crop with 17 and 15 points respectively. The loss was tough on Rebekah Gardner who had an eye-catching 26 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals in defeat.
While Spar Girona and Izmit Belediyespor move to the Regular Season, which tips off on Tuesday December 1, both Aluinvent DVTK Miskolc and ACS Sepsi-Sic will compete in EuroCup Women, which begins in January 2021.