Kudos this morning to the Sony Athinaikos women’s team, who took game one away against Nadezhda in Russia, 65-57. Biggest for Athinaikos was Team Greece point guard Dimitra Kalentzou, who turned in a dope line of 18 points, seven boards and three steals. But Lithuania’s Irena Vizbariene turned in a none-too-shabby 14 and 11, while Olga Chatzinikolaou put in eight points, seven rebounds and five (!) steals.
Game two will be played in Greece on Thursday at 8.30pm.
Official, though slightly modified because BiE just can’t resist, FIBA Europe writeup follows the break.
(FIBA Europe) – Sony Athinaikos are in command of the EuroCup Women Finals after winning the opening leg at Nadezhda on Thursday.
In a battle of Greece versus Russia, Athinaikos got 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals from their Greek national team point guard Dimitra Kalentzou in a 65-57 victory. George Dikeoulakos’ team will now return home and will try to finish off the Orenburg outfit next week.
Nadezhda coach Vladimir Koloskov expressed concerns ahead of the game about the Athinaikos rebounding and the player that proved nearly unstoppable in that regard for the Greeks was Irena Vizbariene: The Lithuanian had a game-high 11 rebounds to go with her 14 points.
Another Greek international, Olga Chatzinikolaou, had seven boards to go with eight points and a game-high five steals for Athinaikos.
The American duo of Ruth Riley and Candice Wiggins were also influential. The former had 11 points and seven rebounds, while the latter contributed nine points and came up with two steals.
Monique Currie, who joined Nadezhda late in the season, hit a three-pointer with a minute to go in the first quarter to give her team an 18-14 advantage.
The amazingly-named Polymnia Saregkou and Kalentzou each hit two free throws to knot the contest at the end of the frame.
After another Currie three-ball knotted the game at 23-23 early in the second quarter, the 32-year-old Vizbariene buried back-to-back jumpers and Kalentzou followed with a three-pointer for a 30-23 advantage.
Athinaikos stayed on top the rest of the way, although twice Nadezhda closed the gap to three points.
Olga Ovcharenko scored to make it 46-43 at the end of the third quarter and Anastasiya Veremeenko buried a jump shot early in the fourth to reduce the arrears to 48-45.
Athinaikos maintained their concentration and claimed an eight-point triumph. Currie scored a game-high 21 points while Sheana Mosch poured in 12 and had a game-high seven turnovers. Belarus international Veremeenko had eight points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.
The free-throw line was a big part of this game as well: Nadezhda was five of eight from the line, while Athinaikos capitalized on many more trips, drilling 18 of 23.