Valencia turn up the heat in Group A; Landes pull off miracle comeback
MUNICH (Germany) - The fight for Group A supremacy has intensified after Valencia Basket Club took a step forward with a win against ZVVZ USK Praha in Czech Republic, while Basket Landes rose from the dead in a Group B overtime classic.
Vibrant Valencia now have six wins from the opening nine games and are locked on the same 6-3 record as Praha after coming away from the Czech capital with a memorable 82-75 victory. Built around a very productive 24-14 second quarter, Valencia got their noses in front and then managed to fend off Praha's last surge to seal an important road win.
Marie Guelich and Alba Torrens provided the main thrust, with the German forward causing some big problems early and collecting 22 points, while her experienced colleague chipped in with 19. The loss for Praha came despite Alyssa Thomas harvesting a triple-double of 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
The only Group B encounter of the evening provided plenty of tension and drama as a struggling but brave Basket Landes got it done 71-64 in overtime against Perfumerias Avenida. A packed crowd watched in glee as they came back from 19 points behind to force the extra period and wrap up only their second win of the season.
Marine Fauthoux showed clutch qualities with some decisive buckets, including the pivotal basket at the end of regulation. The playmaker finished with 25 points and 8 rebounds. Michaela Nne Onyenwere replied with 19 points and 8 boards for Avenida who fall to 5-4.
Back in Group A and in just her second game of the season, Breanna Stewart produced a magical display for Fenerbahce Alagoz Holding as they stormed past Atomeromu KSC Szekszard 91-71. The forward had an epic performance efficiency valuation of 41 after claiming 30 points and 17 rebounds as the Istanbul heavyweights picked up a seventh straight victory in the competition.
Emma Meesseman was also mightily impressive alongside her teammate with a jaw-dropping 12-of-13 from the field resulting in 25 points, while Alina Iagupova lit it up from the backcourt with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals.
BC Polkowice bounced back from last week's mauling against Fenerbahce to keep pace at the top of Group A with their rivals, also moving to 7-2 thanks to a one-sided 76-52 success against the winless Olympiacos SFP. After a low scoring opening period, the home side turned on the offensive taps in the second quarter and never looked back as they coasted to victory.
Stephanie Mavunga was sensational and dropped a 19-point and 17-rebound double-double for her team, supported by cameos from Erica Wheeler with 19 points and also 15 points, 6 boards and 5 assists from Zala Friskovec.
There was a memorable triumph for Tango Bourges Basket as the fans inside Le Prado celebrated an entertaining 79-74 win against Virtus Segafredo Bologna. Improving their prospects of a top four finish, it was a critical win for the hosts who are now 5-4.
Laetitia Guapo was superb and registered 19 points and 5 assists, while Yvonne Anderson delivered some key moments and scores throughout, including down the stretch. Iliana Rupert didn't enjoy a winning return to her old club but did stand out with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.