Thursday, December 18, 2008
There's a rule in baseball among coaches that says it's okay to split a series or even lose occasionally against tough teams - but you must beat the weak teams, always. Ros Casares (8-2) must have taken that advice to heart, as they beat Sibenik (2-8) by a score of 89-72 at home in Valencia.
It wasn't for position of any sort. The game writeup is here, and it confirms that Ekaterinburg's win over Union Hainaut put the Russians in first place in Group C and consigned El Ros to second place.
The boxscore is here.
Ros Casares won each quarter of the game. They took a 44-39 lead into the break in front of 1200 spectators. As the game report says, Sibenik closed the gap to 46-43 in the third quarter but Ros Casares went on an 11-0 run. The closest Sibenik would come to Ros Casares after that was nine points.
Ros Casares dominated in field goal percentage (56 percent to 33 percent). In offensive rebounds and turnovers both teams were even but Sibenik sent Ros Casares to the line 26 times during the game.
Delisha Milton-Jones scored 20 points and six rebounds for Ros Casares, and five players scored in double digits, including Erika de Souza with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Roneeka Hodges would contribute 10 points and six rebounds. Famed player Amaya Valdemoro would only score four points in 19 minutes of play.
For Sibenik, Luca Ivanovic would be the lead scorer with 21 points and seven rebounds. Kerri Gardin, who saw limited time for the Connecticut Sun this year, would score 13 points, five rebounds and four assists for Sibenik. Constance Jinks, a graduate of UNLV, also added 10 points and six rebounds.
(* * *)
So the first round of Euroleague is over. What does it mean for the four teams that had active Dream players on the roster in 2008?
For Nadezhda Orenburg, Union Hainaut, and Villeneuve d'Ascq...Euroleague is over. All of these three teams failed to qualify for second round play.
However, Ros Casares made it into the Euroleague's "Sweet Sixteen". They finished in the #2 spot in Group B and will be matched up with the #3 team in Group D, Kosike, that finished 6-4 in their group. The two teams will play a "best of three" series with Ros Casares having home field advantage. The series will be played home-away-home, giving Ros Casares the edge if it goes to three games.
Kosike, a Slovakian team, has among its players Catherine Kraayeveld of the New York Liberty and Sidney Spencer of the Los Angeles Sparks.
Euroleague will be taking some time off. Ros Casares will not be playing Kosike until January 30, 2009, and other Euroleague games have similar late January starts. These ladies deserve a rest, anyway.