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Author Topic: ¶ Women Basketball Worldwide Stories & Free Comments • Del Baloncesto Femenino Universal & Comentarios Libres  (Read 392523 times)
WBC Deborah Volger
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« Reply #50 on: Jun 19, 2015, 12:02:09 AM »

Women Basketball Worldwide Stories & Free Comments
Baloncesto Femenino Universal & Comentarios Libres


Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine

Fascinating first stage of EuroBasket Women 2015

Paul Nilsen's Women's Basketball Worldwide
The first phase of EuroBasket Women 2015 is in the books and there have been plenty of talking points thrown up in an exciting start to the tournament.

The biggest surprise for me has been Croatia battling through some horrific injury and personnel problems to win the two games needed to progress to the second phase. It has been reminiscent of 2011 when they had similar problems (although this time it is even worse) and made it all the way to fifth spot.

Asking for a repeat finish is wholly unrealistic and it is a minor miracle they have got this far. Huge respect must be given to head coach Braslav Turic in his first major tournament and also to his players - especially Iva Borovic,
who is another first-timer at the event and has been superb.

Also huge congratulations are due to Iva Ciglar who not only made some tough plays down the stretch of the must-win game against Great Britain, ......

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...... but has now passed the landmark set by retired legend Sandra Mandir for assists at EuroBasket Women tournaments..


EuroBasket Women 2015 ~ Croatia v Great Britain... by eBAsketball


It was also nice to see former players Anda Jelavic, Ana Lelas, Antonija Misura and Marija Rezan all with the supporters during the first phase to support their country.

I previously wrote off Slovak Republic and Greece in terms of any chance of progressing to the last stage, but I am thrilled for two excellent coaches in Maros Kovacik and George Dikeoulakos that they have progressed to the Second Round.

The passion of Kovacik is all-consuming and I know those in Sopron loved watching him on the sidelines and the way his team performed - almost beating reigning champions Spain in addition to wins against Sweden and Lithuania.

Meanwhile Coach Dikeoulakos has to be the one coach in European basketball who really could squeeze blood out of a stone. He always gets the maximum out of the players he has at his disposal and he showed why Fenerbahce are fortunate to have him back at the helm for next season.

Latvia and Sweden were arguably the biggest casualties of those nations who were sent home early. It’s a real pity for the tournament since both brought a big number of fans along and each country was hoping they might make a run.

Iva Borovic (CRO) - Croatia v Great Britain, 2015 EuroBasket Women, Szombathely - Savaria Arena (Hungary), Group Phase - First Round, 15 June 2015. In this Photograph from FIBA presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis .

Photograph: FIBA


Sweden were always a little short-handed in terms of top talent after the withdrawl of Amanda Zahui and Farhiya Abdi which may have made a difference, but ultimately they just lost a couple of tight ones. They would have expected to win against Slovak Republic and Lithuania and on another day, may well have done so. This will hurt after their adventure two years ago in France when they got to the Quarter Finals.

Latvia played one poor game and paid the penalty. They were abject against injury-struck Croatia and as feared, it came back to haunt them. What made it most painful is that they were eliminated the day after raucous celebrations which accompanied their historic first ever win against Russia.

More disappointing is that I spoke with both Gunta Basko-Melnbarde and Anete Jekabsone after the game and both talked about how beating Russia had given them such a lift and justified their decision to come out of retirement.

I don't think any of us truly thought they would have potentially played their last game and it is regretful that such a landmark victory meant nothing in the context of the tournament ......


...... and their respective international careers have probably ended while sat in a hotel on the outskirts of Szombathely.

Paul Nilsen from FIBA



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BGA Sandra Mirsov
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« Reply #49 on: Jan 03, 2015, 01:17:20 AM »

Women Basketball Worldwide Stories & Free Comments
Baloncesto Femenino Universal & Comentarios Libres


Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine

My memories of 2014

Paul Nilsen's Women's Basketball Worldwide
It has not been a vintage year for women's basketball and it's with a heavy heart that I prepare to enter 2015 with the women's game at a low ebb. It's something I will probably expand on during coming weeks.

Still, there have been some highlights from 2014 - a year which in general, was wholly forgettable. Nevertheless, here are my top personal moments of the year and in no particular order.

Salvadores in Pilsen
There was no better individual display at any level than the phenomenal effort of Spanish starlet Angela Salvadores. I was already a big fan, but now she is one of my favourite players by far. She scored 40 points in the Final of the FIBA U17 World Championship for Women in Pilsen against the USA and almost led her side to victory.

A black belt in karate with a steely stare that could turn an opponent to stone, she balances this hard-nosed approach with the poise of a ballerina and hand of a deadly basketball assassin. It was a display that left everyone drooling over her talent and several months on - it still brings a smile to my face.

The inspirational Lauren Hill
After being diagnosed with brain cancer and with her life turned upside down, Lauren Hill still achieved her dream of playing college basketball. Just watching and listening to the ESPN documentary on the Mount St Joseph player was inspiring and I have to say, gave me a lump in my throat and tears of which I have rarely had before in a sporting context.

What an inspirational story of dealing with adversity - in life and not basketball, although in Lauren's case, she underlined how important basketball and this sport we all adore can actually be in someone's life.

Ekrem Memnun and Isil Alben
This will be remembered for Galatasaray odeabank making history and becoming the first Turkish team to triumph in EuroLeague Women and obviously for the first time in their own history. The two things that I will remember most are seeing head coach Ekrem Memnun climbing into the media tribune holding his daughter en-route to the jubilant supporters and giving me the opportunity to not only congratulate him, but take my favourite photo of the year as he held his daughter with mutual pride and love.

At that precise moment, I remembered a year earlier in the same arena, when it was a disaster for him and his team. I will also remember the contribution of Isil Alben. It may not have grabbed the headlines with the amazing Alba Torrens shining brightly, but the control and offensive rebounding of Alben was outstanding in the semi-final win against UMMC and in the final.

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It underlined the journey she has been on, which many years ago, had actually witnessed some fans questioning her ability to contribute effectively for the Istanbul giants.


Angela Salvadores (ESP). USA v Spain. 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women, Pilsen (Czech Republic). Day 10, Final. In this Photograph from FIBA presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis .

Image: FIBA



Carolina Bernadeco and her big heart
I can't remember feeling quite so emotional at any basketball game and I have been to a few over the years. Having wrongly allowed the shot clock to tick down at the end of the game when her team were actually losing and not winning (she got the score mixed up), Portugal playmaker Carolina Bernadeco was distraught.

Feeling like she let her team and family down in front of an unprecedented youth crowd of 3,000 in her home nation at the U18 European Championship Women, she fled to the locker rooms. Several minutes later the young playmaker returned to the floor with her head held high to the kind of reception and cheers I had never heard at youth level before. Bravo Carolina!

Ulker Arena and Turkish hospitality
I absolutely loved the Ulker Arena which hosted the latter stages of the FIBA World Championship for Women and it became probably my favourite place to watch basketball.

It is an outstanding facility and combined with the warmth and hospitality of the Turkish Federation and volunteers, the off court organisation, friendliness and amazing venue compensated for disappointing action on the court.

Salvadores behind the scenes in Matosinhos
As everyone else partied at the end of the U18 European Championship Women in Matosinhos at the end of the tournament, my abiding memory of the year is a glum Salvadores pacing around on the court in half darkness. Working courtside and with few other people around, I had the privilege of seeing a born-winner in those moments, reflecting on why she didn't win the tournament title against the backdrop of music and celebrations in an adjacent gym. Third place isn't what Salvadores is about.

As a class act surely destined to become an elite level player and Olympian, I will always look back on this moment before that super night in Pilsen. For what I witnessed in Matosinhos long after most people had gone home, is what truly sets true winners apart.

FIBA Coaching instructor Nelson Isley
Isley is a true ambassador for the women's game wherever he goes around the globe (and he goes to every corner). Being able to cement and build on our friendship (basically talking for hours and hours about women's basketball) made the year special.

As did meeting so many other of you guys from the women's basketball family who truly appreciate, value and understand the game - as well as the challenges which both persist and even bigger ones which inevitably lie in wait.


Finally, my respects to those that we sadly lost during 2014 from the women's basketball family.

Paul Nilsen from FIBA



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BGA J.J. Diaz
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« Reply #48 on: Dec 20, 2014, 01:29:22 AM »

Women Basketball Worldwide Stories & Free Comments
Baloncesto Femenino Universal & Comentarios Libres


Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine

Spain to host first-ever
FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in 2018

FIBA on Tuesday announced that Spain will host the first-ever FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2018.

Spain and Israel presented the two bids shortlisted to host the biggest women’s basketball tournament.

Twenty three of the 26 members making up FIBA's Central Board voted. Eighteen were in favour of Spain's bid, while five backed that of Israel.

"We would like to thank both Spain and Israel for submitting outstanding bids and giving us every reason to believe they would host a first-class event and make it a great success for all concerned," said FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann.

The Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB) has past experience of hosting a leading FIBA world event as it staged this past summer's FIBA Basketball World Cup.

In recent years, FEB has developed a strong women's national team programme which has produced great results, ...  

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... including winning EuroBasket Women 2013 and finishing runners-up at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.


Spain (ESP) at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women 
In this image from FIBA presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis .

Image: FIBA



A glittering array of stars have taken to social media to express their excitement at Spain being announced as hosts of the inaugural FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in 2018.

Coaches, players and legends have all been taking to social media to express their delight at the announcement, which will give Spain another chance to host a maiden tournament - having hosted the first-ever FIBA Basketball World Cup earlier this year.

One of the main focuses in the build-up to the biggest women's basketball event is likely to be the ambassadorial role of the legendary Amaya Valdemoro, who rather aptly was one of the first to convey her approval on Twitter as she expressed her congratulations.

Current national team play-caller Lucas Mondelo who led the team to a historic EuroBasket Women title this year and then to a similarly landmark first appearance in the recent FIBA World Championship for Women Final, also took time to hail the announcement.


He described the outcome as great news and was quick to recognise the efforts of those behind the bid, for all of their hard work.

 FIBA



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WBC Deborah Volger
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« Reply #47 on: Dec 08, 2013, 01:06:55 AM »

Women Basketball Worldwide Stories & Free Comments • Baloncesto Femenino Universal & Comentarios Libres

An eye towards EuroBasket Women 2015 (Part I)

Paul Nilsen's Women's Basketball Worldwide
Half of the spots for EuroBasket Women 2015 are already taken and now the remaining 11 nations know exactly what they need to do if they want to join the party.

There are six additional spots compared to the 2013 version, which I think makes qualification next summer even more exciting since the so-called 'lesser' teams can suddenly smell the stronger possibilities.

I think there could be a narrowing of the gap in this respect and if the 'non-favourites' in each qualifying group get some good preparation under their respective belts and a full compliment of players, we could be seeing
some new faces at Final Round in 2015.

There is also the undeniable fact that from top to bottom, Europe remains the most competitive zone in terms of qualification for its own flagship tournament.

Group A places Poland, Slovenia, Luxembourg and the Slovak Republic together. The only guarantee is that Luxembourg will finish bottom of the pile, although they will be looking to improve by being more competitive than ever.

With only the group winners guaranteed to advance, it looks like Slovak Republic and Poland will be favourites, maybe the former just shading it, but this is the one group where personnel matters. None of these three nations seem to have got their strongest roster out in recent times and that makes a difference.

Slovak Republic play-caller Maros Kovacik has made a name for himself in EuroLeague Women with Good Angels Kosice, but I suspect will find this a different prospect altogether. He will be nervous I am quite sure, because he is carrying the hopes of the nation on his shoulders and his team won’t be expected to miss out.

Much could hinge on whether the younger players can step up and if they can deliver. Talent and potential is one thing, application at the elite level is quite another and so Barbora Balintova, Zsofia Hruscakova, Beata Janoscikova and Martina Kissova have to perform (if selected) alongside established senior players like the brilliantly understated Lucia Kupcikova.

Jacek Winnicki took a short-handed Poland to the Final of the First Qualification Round but lost to Greece and if he gets some players back, he could fancy his chances.

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Although not selecting players such as Justyna Zurowska was from the outside at least, quite baffling - especially with something of an injury crisis.


Veteran Merike Anderson, in this photograph,  will lead the Estonians, whilst Ieva Krastina and Anete Steinberga will probably propel Latvia and Portugal need to look to their impressive junior teams for inspiration after misfiring badly at senior level in recent years. In this photograph by Ilmar Saaba from Delfi Sport presented by #eBAStatsGroup #BasketballStatistics Analysis .
Photograph: Delfi Sport



Slovenia were on course for France at one point last year, but a bizarre and horrific sequence of serious injuries blew their chances out of the water. They have some very capable players in their early to mid-20s such as Nika Baric, Teja Oblak and Tina Trebec for example, but must perform collectively and if the more senior players commit, then they could be in business.

Great Britain and Lithuania both competed at EuroBasket Women 2013 and will face Belgium and The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (MKD) in Group B and this looks completely open to me.

The pressure to deliver is on Great Britain because of the scrutiny placed on them from the sports funders in the UK. Damian Jennings did a magnificent job in his rookie tournament in France and this will be the acid test for him, since Lithuania will be tough and Belgium are a complete wild card.

I say this because with former FIBA Europe Young Player of the Year and WNBA participant Emma Meesseman, they could be a real force. Without her, they are just not the same team at this level, although still not to be under-estimated.

And, if Meesseman does suit up, you could justifiably make a case for Belgium, Great Britain and Lithuania being genuine co-favourites with absolutely nothing between them!

Italy reached the Quarter-Finals in France and will be favourites in Group C against Portugal, a young Latvian side and also Estonia, who will relish having a couple of derby games for some additional fire in their stomachs.

A lot of neutrals loved the play of Italy in France because they were so central to some of the biggest drama. They also played with such admirable heart and have some quality players, if not real depth. Young Francesca Dotto is a super young player and one to keep watching.

Veteran Merike Anderson will lead the Estonians, whilst Ieva Krastina and Anete Steinberga will probably propel Latvia and Portugal need to look to their impressive junior teams for inspiration after misfiring badly at senior level in recent years.

It will be interesting to see how far down the age ladder they reach this time and a pity that Maria Kostourkova is 1997-born and next summer could be a little too soon for her at senior level - or maybe not. She certainly looks to be a real name for the future.


Next time, I look forward to scanning the three remaining groups.

Paul Nilsen from FIBA



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HBC Debby Telmes
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« Reply #46 on: Nov 10, 2013, 01:01:10 AM »

Women Basketball Worldwide Stories & Free Comments • Baloncesto Femenino Universal & Comentarios Libres

Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine: During EuroLeague Women this Week
EuroCup Women can move out of the shadows

The spotlight will understandably be placed on EuroLeague Women this week, but that is not to say that EuroCup Women should be left overshadowed by its more illustrious sister competition.

As with most years, EuroCup Women will have some exceptionally talented players stepping out and there are some teams that would actually grace Euroleague Women, not least, defending champions WBC Dynamo Moscow.

They now belatedly have USA guard Lindsay Whalen in situ and former WNBA MVP Tina Charles to follow. Whalen exploded on debut last weekend in the Moscow derby against Spartak M.R. Vidnoje, dropping 30 points in a dramatic one point win.

I am assuming that it will be Whalen and Charles who are utilised, since the third non-European Kristi Toliver could be an alternative option, having been a driving force behind their podium topping success last year.

There are also several Russian players who have senior national team experience at Dynamo, including Nadezhda Grishaeva, Irina Sokolovskaya and Tatiana Vidmer.

Serbian swingman Ana Dabovic has been brought in, having played in the Russian League a few years ago at Dynamo-GUVD Novosibirsk, although she has had a sluggish start.

Talking of Serbians and slow starts, Jelena Milovanovic was one of the big names to be snapped up by the ambitious Dynamo Kursk - champions of the competition a couple of seasons ago. The forward arrived along with plenty of other big names players including Candice Dupree, Oleksandra Kurasova, Rebekkah Brunson and Shay Doron, who join established stars like Epiphanny Prince.

Kursk will be eager to get some potential light relief from EuroCup Women this week, having made an awful start to their Russian Premier League campaign, with their latest setback a 20-point home-floor capitulation against Nadezhda Orenburg.

The result heaps pressure on beleaguered play-caller Alfredas Vainauskas who presided over the shambolic EuroBasket Women title defense of the Russian national team a few months ago - something which the coach has apparently refused to discuss with the Federation.

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And, the inevitable happened as the Lithuanian was fired by Kursk and replaced this week by Bo Overton.


Rebekkah Brunson #32 celebrates with Monica Wright #22 while with Minnesota Lynx from the WNBA ... In this photograph by Jesse Johnson from Sports Page Magazine presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis
Photograph: Sports Page Magazine



Aside from Russian title-chasers, there are some potential challengers for the title from Turkey and France. Indeed it would certainly be a surprise to me if the winner came from outside of those three nations.

Perhaps the dark horse could be Villeneuve d’Ascq. They sit proudly unbeaten at the top of the French League with a 6-0 record, locked together with EuroLeague Women participants Tango Bourges.

They have the defensive prowess and organisational skills of the ever-impressive Swedish guard Elin Eldebrink and also the brilliant former FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year Emma Meesseman, who has just returned from her premature WNBA season debut. French shooting guard Johanne Gomis can put points on the board and if veteran American Lenae Williams is on-song, the sky is the limit.

Also in with a big chance of going far are Istanbul Universitesi. The newcomers are already showing their hand as title challengers domestically in the TKBL with a strong opening. On talent alone, they look as good as anyone, maybe even co-favourites with Dynamo Moscow and Dynamo Kursk.

They also possess a EuroLeague Women level quality roster, including USA forward Crystal Langhorne who won the title last year and was immense. She will line-up alongside Russian veteran Irina Osipova.

There is instant offence from Romanian national team star Gabriella Marginean and also Shenise Johnson, who had a big first season in Europe playing in EuroLeague Women last year with UE Sopron. They don't lack experience either, with Israeli guard Liron Cohen and Turkish vets Nilay Karteltepe and Tugba Palazoglu all gracing the backcourt.

Lastly, one of the main and fun reasons to watch and follow EuroCup Women again this season is to check out the usual selection of teenagers taking to the floor and cutting their teeth in the competition.

Many will be following on from some huge names who have played in the tournament and I am especially looking forward to seeing if rising stars can make their name - players like 1996-born Belgian ace Julie Allemand, who might play for new entrants Wallonia Basket.


I am looking forward to it every bit as much as EuroLeague Women !

Paul Nilsen from FIBA



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