Round-up: Raisa number one

Round-up: Raisa number one

There is one day left until the start of action in Group B. Let`s see how the teams have fared in national and international competitions.

All three EWBL teams from Russia play in the Premier League – a top level competition featuring three clubs from EuroLeague Women (Yekaterinburg, Kursk and MBA Moscow) and three teams from EuroCup Women (Enisey Krasnoyarsk, Nika Syktyvkar, Nadezhda Orenburg).

Nika Syktyvkar (5-0) is one of the three undefeated teams in the Premier league along the usual suspects – UMMC Yekaterinburg (5-0) and Dynamo Kursk (6-0). MBA and Enisey are 3-2, Nadezhda 2-2.

Alexander Vasin`s team kicked off the season on October 3, with a 74-34 success at Spartak Noginsk. Syktyvkar added two more big road wins at Orenburg (62-60) and MBA Moscow (68-60).

Nika also won both home encounters against Enisey (68-59) and Samara (88-75). The next game is scheduled on November 18 – three days after the national team break.

Raisa Musina led Syktyvkar in several major categories. Russia international averaged 22,0 points and 11,3 rebounds, as well as forced 5,5 fouls.

Musina made more than 50% shots from the two point line (25/49) and 37,5% shots from the three point line (6/16). Forward also went for a perfect 20-of-20 from the charity stripe.

Unstoppable force. Musina appeared in 4-of-5 Premier league games to score 88 points and grab 45 boards.

Three more Syktyvkar players averaged 10 or more points – Mariya Cherepanova (12.0), Marina Goldyreva (11.4) and Alexandra Marchenkova (11.4).

Varvara Psareva was hugely important too – she had 8,8 points and 8,6 rebounds, as well as 4,2 assists. Goldyreva dished out 5,4 assists.

Raisa Musina ELW twice

EuroCup Women turned out to be a more difficult event. Nika was drawn into group F with strong teams from Turkey and Hungary.

Syktyvkar suffered a narrow 74-76 home loss against Ormanspor Ankara on October 14. Nika didn`t stopped American stars Danielle Robinson and center Teaira McCowan – they scored 26 and 17 points respectively.

October 17 at Orenburg, October 21 at Miškolc, October 24 at Moscow, October 28 at Budapest – the team was on the road for almost two weeks, meeting EuroCup/EuroLeague clubs all the time.

Syktyvkar fell at Miškolc (58-65) and Budapest (77-82) but not all was lost. Vasin`s girls rebounded on November 3 with a 89-84 road win at the Turkish capital Ankara.

They still have a chance to advance – the best two teams from each group and 8-out-of-12 third place finishers will book the tickets to the Round of 16.

Syktyvkar has a reserve – its international players. Point guard Tyasha Harris is a 2017 NCAA champion with the South Carolina Gamecocks and…a Dawn Staley award winner in 2020.

Hind ben Abdelkader is another top level guard from Belgium, while Naignouma “Mima” Coulibaly is a star Mali center with French passport. At the age of 19 she represented Mali in Beijing Olympics.

That`s a lot of weapons.

Peresvet SFEDU had an even more challenging schedule. The Panthers traveled to Kursk to play two games against Dynamo on October 1-2, followed by a 50-93 road loss at Yekaterinburg.

The first Premier league win came on October 17. Dmitry Fedoseev`s team took a 89-69 win at Spartak Noginsk.

The home opener took place on October 24. The Panthers lost to EuroCup Women team Enisey 67-80. One week later Peresvet SFEDU fell at Orenburg 66-77.

A 1-5 record doesn`t mean much really. All those losses came at the hands of EuroCup/EuroLeague teams.

Peresvet/SFEDU – just like MBA Moscow – rely on local players only.

A fun fact – Veronika Pavluchenko is the single Rostov on Don player who averages more than 25 minutes per game.

Six players – Pavluchenko, Ekaterina Gunchenko, Kseniya Kuzmina, Anastasia Kuplinova, Ekaterina Ryabova and Ekaterina Osipova – average from 5,3 to 9,7 points.

Tsmoki Minsk reached the EWBL Final Four in 2019 and won the semifinal battle against the hosts, Rostov Don SFEDU.

Two and a half years later the Dragons have less fire power. Rachel Theriot is their lone foreign player.

Nebraska standout shares the workload with Alla Murauskaya, Katsiaryna Rybalka and a young point guard Irina Venskaya.

The Dragons have posted a 5-2 record at the Belarus league. Tsmoki fell at home 70-78 to Olimpia Grodno on October 14 and ten days later suffered a 42-60 road defeat at the hands of defending champion Horizont Minsk.

Finally, Liepāja/LSSS has a 3-2 win and loss ratio at the Women`s Baltic Basketball league.

Kaspars Mājenieks after a three year spell with Liepāja team signed a contract with Estonia Basketball federation and became a head coach of Estonia`s Women`s national team.

His successor Rūdolfs Rozītis has a young and hard working team. The “oldest” player until this week was a point guard Maija Gertsone. She is 24 years old while most of the players were born in 2001 or later.