With the EuroLeague semifinals slated for mid-April, most of the attention for the Liberty players abroad has shifted to domestic league playoffs and the final push to the end of the regular season.
Rebecca Allen, Kia Vaughn, Epiphanny Prince, and Amanda Zahui B, all have begun postseason play in their respective leagues.
For Allen and Good Angels Kosice, they have already moved on to the Slovakian League semifinals after easily sweeping Slovan last week. Vaughn and USK Praha easily beat Karlovy in the 1st game of their Czech League semifinal matchup, needing two more wins this week to play in the semifinals. Prince’s Dynamo Kursk and Zahui B’s Nadezhda Orenburg similarly earned easy wins in the 1st game of their Russian League quarterfinal series, with game two scheduled for next week.
In Turkey, Shavonte Zellous and Kiah Stokes pushed their current win streak to four straight after wins over Galatasaray and Girne. Zellous has been on fire, topping 25 points in both games, while Stokes missed just 1 FG attempt last week while averaging 12.0 ppg and 10.5 rpg for Besiktas.
LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Shavonte Zellous – Besiktas
Shavonte Zellous continues to pour in huge offensive numbers for Besiktas in Turkey, helping guide her team to a pair of victories last week. She dropped 35 points as Besiktas bested her old squad Galatasaray 89-76, and followed that up with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds in a road win over Girne, which saw Besiktas improve to 13-9 overall, and take over sole possession of 5th in the league standings. She averaged 31.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg in two wins last week.
Slovakia-Extraliga (11-1, Ranked 1st)
Eurocup (Defeated by Galatasaray in the Quarterfinals)
EEWBL (7-1, Ranked 2nd)
|#5 R. ALLEN (Slovakia)||21||20.4||74||146||.507||30||55||.545||42||48||.875||4.2||1.3||2.3||1.1||13.3|
|#5 R. ALLEN (EuroCup)||12||25.8||24||59||.407||21||47||.447||27||35||.771||5.2||1.4||1.4||1.6||11.5|
|#5 R. ALLEN (EEWBL)||5||17.8||12||24||.500||6||15||.400||7||9||.778||4.2||0.8||1.0||1.0||9.8|
Rebecca Allen and Good Angels cruised into the Slovakian League semifinals after sweeping away Slovan in their quarterfinal series. Allen played just 12 minutes in the 73-31 victory in game one, scoring 5 points, with 3 rebounds, and 3 steals. She did not see action in the game two victory, but Good Angels won anyway 103-36. Good Angels will face either Samorin or Poprad in the Slovakian League semifinals, and will also tip off in the Eastern European Women’s Basketball League tournament on March 31.
Czech Republic-ZBL (22-0, Ranked 1st)
EuroLeague Quarterfinals (Tied with Orenburg 1-1)
|#1 K. VAUGHN (Czech Republic)||14||15.8||62||94||.660||0||3||.000||23||33||.697||5.0||0.7||0.7||0.2||10.5|
|#1 K. VAUGHN (EuroLeague)||17||29.8||84||176||.477||0||4||.000||15||21||.714||6.8||1.4||1.2||0.1||10.8|
After getting past Nadezhda Orenburg in the EuroLeague quarterfinals, Kia Vaughn and the attention of USK Praha shifted immediately to the Czech League playoffs. Vaughn had 6 points and 10 rebounds in the 70-57 win over Orenburg last week, helping send her team to a EuroLeague semifinal matchup against Epiphanny Prince and Dynamo Kursk next month. Over the weekend, USK Praha opened its Czech quarterfinal series with Karlovy Vary, picking up an easy 99-42 victory, with Vaughn playing just 7 minutes with 7 points and 4 rebounds. USK Praha resumes play this week as it looks to advance to the league semifinals.
Russia-PBL (19-1, Ranked 1st)
EuroLeague (Swept Bourges in Quarterfinals, will face either Orenburg or USK Praha in Semifinals)
|#10 E. PRINCE (Russia)||20||23.1||48||105||.457||10||37||.270||25||34||.735||2.1||3.6||1.7||0.1||7.6|
|#10 E. PRINCE (EuroLeague)||16||28.2||55||107||.514||7||26||.269||16||22||.727||1.9||3.5||1.5||0.1||9.2|
In limited action against Sparta&K MR Epiphanny Prince scored 2 points with 4 assists as Dynamo Kursk cruised to a 93-60 victory in its first game of the Russian League Playoffs. The top seed in the tournament, Dynamo Kursk put itself in strong position to advance to the semifinals, with the next matchup in the quarterfinal series with Sparta slated for March 27. Piph and her squad have a matchup with USK Praha in the EuroLeague semifinals looming on April 14, and a probable Russian semifinal series with Chevakata.
Russia-PBL (16-4, Ranked 3rd)
Euroleague (Tied 1-1 with USK Praha in Quarterfinals)
|#17 A. ZAHUI B (Russia)||19||19.9||87||143||.608||11||27||.407||42||50||.840||5.1||0.8||1.4||0.6||13.1|
|#17 A. ZAHUI B (EuroLeague)||16||28.4||79||156||.506||14||59||.237||39||52||.750||9.3||1.2||1.1||1.1||14.9|
Amanda Zahui B did not play in Orenburg’s Russian League quarterfinals game against MBA, a contest that her squad still proceeded to cruise to a 103-71 victory, putting them in prime position to advance to the semifinals where they are likely to meet the 2nd seed UMMC. Game two of the series with MBA will come on March 27.
Turkey-KBSL (13-9, Ranked 5th)
|#2 S. ZELLOUS (Turkey)||22||37.0||123||290||.424||25||93||.269||81||98||.827||6.0||3.4||0.7||0.1||18.3|
Shavonte Zellous has been on fire for Besiktas as she has helped her Turkish club team pick up two more impressive victories to take over sole possession of 5th place in the league table with just 4 regular season games remaining. In an impressive win over Galatasaray last week, she scored 35 points with 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, and followed that up with 27 points and 10 rebounds in a road win over Girne (Cappie Pondexter). In two games last week, Zellous averaged 31.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg, and has moved up to 7th place in Turkey averaging 18.3 ppg so far this season. Besiktas returns to action against Botas on March 25.
Turkey-KBSL (13-9, Ranked 5th)
|#41 K. STOKES (Turkey)||18||35.2||89||151||.589||1||1||1.000||36||45||.800||14.7||1.2||1.1||1.6||12.1|
Two more games scoring in double figures for Kiah Stokes has helped Besiktas continue its win streak and improve to 13-9 overall, good for sole possession of 5th place in the competitive Turkish League. Besiktas topped rival Galatasaray (Moriah Jefferson) last week 89-76, and Stokes was pivotal scoring 12 points with 15 rebounds and 2 blocks. On Monday, Besiktas won at Girne (Cappie Pondexter) 71-65, and Stokes was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field with 6 boards. She continues to lead the league in rebounding at 14.7 rpg and blocked shots at 1.6 per contest, and is also averaging 12.1 ppg. Besiktas plays Botas on March 25, with just four games remaining in the regular season.