Valencia celebrate historic win; Polkowice inflict opening-game nightmare on Fenerbahce
MUNICH (Germany) - Valencia Basket Club celebrated their first-ever EuroLeague Women Regular Season success after making history with an absorbing 73-71 landmark victory against Virtus Segafredo Bologna.
Heralded as the Game of the Week, the matchup lived up to the top billing as the Valencia fans enjoyed an amazing advert for female hoops and an unforgettable first win. It was also made even more special by the fact that the hosts were missing several key players, but their Spanish contingent made some stunning contributions.
Not least, Queralt Casas who grabbed what proved to be the game-winning steal with just 5 seconds remaining. She shared 30 points with Leticia Romero who also handed out 7 assists as Valencia denied the historic chapter to their opponents who were also competing in their first Regular Season contest.
Kitija Laksa had 20 points for the Italians but couldn't get her last-gasp shot to drop.
BC Polkowice also lit it up as they completed a shock destruction of 2022 Finalists Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding. Tipped to be a major contender again, the Istanbul giants were ripped apart as Polkowice sealed a vibrant 73-46 victory on their home floor.
A special display from Stephanie Mavunga laid the foundation for success as the forward accumulated a spectacular 23 points, 21 rebounds and 3 blocks, with winger Zala Friskovec offering a 14-point cameo.
Polkowice head coach Karol Kowalewski commented: "It was a great victory for us and for our city. Polkowice has never won against Fenerbahce so far, so we are all the more happy about it.
"What we are most happy about is that we managed to play very well in defense. We enforced all the pre-game plan that we made over the last 4 days. Everything worked out really well," he added.
ZVVZ USK Praha eventually saw off Atomeromu KSC Szekszard 82-71, with Teja Oblak and Alyssa Thomas both excelling. The latter logged an incredible triple-double with 15 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists and also 5 steals; Slovenian national team leader Oblak accumulated 28 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists as she dropped her highest ever score in the competition.
Despite the loss, there were some good signs for Szekszard as Ruthy Hebard scored 20 points on her debut and Victoria Vivians added 27 in her first outing.
Spar Girona crossed the border into France and dug out a precious 58-53 road triumph at Basket Landes to get off on a positive note. Their superior work on the glass was important as the hosts made just 2 of 14 attempts from downtown.
Swedish wing Binta Drammeh impressed with 15 points, while Rebekah Gardner imposed herself with an all-action 11 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
Perfumerias Avenida were too strong for CBK Mersin Yenisehir Bld as they powered their way to an 83-66 win on home soil. They never had cause to look back after an energetic 27-18 first quarter which set them on the path to victory.
Serbian wing Aleksandra Crvendakic enjoyed her night with 23 points and 11 boards, while Tiffany Hayes responded with 21 points for the visitors.
Having recently lifted their first ever SuperCup Women title and having won the French Cup of Champions last weekend, Tango Bourges Basket marked their return back to EuroLeague Women by outlasting Olympiacos SFP 67-61.
They resisted a late comeback attempt from their rivals and had veteran Elodie Godin rolling back the years with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Pauline Astier top-scored with 13 points.