The 2013 EuroCup Women Eighth-Final has started well for the four clubs from the Ligue Féminine de
Basketball (LFB) with four road victories. However as all French teams are seeded in the top 8, on paper they are expected to qualify for the quarter-final.
Tarbes, the number 7 seeds, are involved in a tricky series against number 10 seeds Dynamo Moscow from Russia. It is not often French teams come away from Russia with a victory so Tarbes' (55-54) victory can be viewed as an exploit.
However despite having a talented roster Dynamo Moscow are not one of the giants of Russian basketball these days.
The match was played in a practically empty arena with the hosts giving the ball back to Tarbes on 24 occasions (turnovers) and paid the price with a 1-point defeat.
Tarbes were not brilliant themselves. But they deserved the first-leg victory with Angelica Robinson (in picture) doing her work inside with 17 points and 9 rebounds and with the three-point shooting by Kim Smith's (11 points and 10 rebounds).
As the series is based on aggregate score over two games, Tarbes will have to raise their game to keep Kristi Toliver and Crystal Langhorne quiet during the return leg.
They also need to keep an eye on Ilona Korstin who has a habit of playing well when she comes to France.
Hainaut Basket were in danger of suffering a heavy defeat against BC Horizont after trailing by 15 points by the end of the first quarter.
BC Horizont's early dominance enabled them to go into the locker room leading (36-23).
However Hainaut Basket were a different team during the second half of the match. With three minutes to play they took the advantage for the first time (54-53). The lead changed hands a couple of times before Amanda Jackson (14 points) settled the game with the last shot of the match for Hainaut Basket's victory (60-58).
Laura Garcia (in picture) hit 20 points for Hainaut Basket to top all scoring for the match.
Lattes Montpellier needed a third-quarter push in which they outscored Adana Botas 27-7 to get into the game. Edwige Lawson-Wade was the catalyst of the run with 10 points in the quarter.
Lattes Montpellier's advantage (69-62) going into the second game should be enough to see them qualify for the EuroCup quarter-final. However they need to do a better job in marking Courtney Paris who scored 23 points while also pulling down 15 rebounds.
Nantes-Rezé did not make any mistakes in holding off Olimpia Grodno (77-59) and already have one foot in the EuroCup Women quarter-final.
Jolene Anderson fired in 30 points while Jana Veselá helped herself to 19 points as Homend Antakya made home advantage count in beating BC Chevakata (79-61).
In the all-Turkish clash, last season's beaten finalist Kayseri Kaskispor beat Mersin (91-87). Evanthia Maltsi (in picture) was the leading scorer for Kayseri with 21 points. For Mersin Shavonte Zellous and Erlana Larkins poured in 24 and 22 points respectively.
VS Prague gave the defending champions and top seeds Dynamo Kursk a scare before falling (63-66) while Dynamo-GUVD huffed and puffed their way to victory against MBK Ruzomberok (60-58).
While Nantes-Rezé appear to be able to keep their comfortable advantage, BC Chevakata have a mountain to climb at home. Yet the second leg should be interesting with possible upsets still on the cards.
EuroCup Women eight-final first leg results.
VS Prague (16) 63-66 Dynamo Kursk (1)
Kayseri Kaskispor (9) 91-87 Mersin (8)
Olimpia Grodno (12) 59-77 Nantes-Rezé (5)
MBK Ruzomberok (13) 58-60 Dynamo-GUVD (4)
BC Horizont (14) 58-60 Hainaut Basket (3)
Homend Antakya (11) 79-61 BC Chevakata (6)
Dynamo Moscow (10) 54-55 Tarbes (7)
Adana Botas (15) 62-69 Lattes Montpellier (2)
Date created: 07 December 2012
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Play-off round - Knock-out stage
08 March 2013: Dynamo Moscow lead Kayseri Kaskispor by 5 in final
14 February 2013: Dynamo Moscow & Kayseri Kaskispor qualify for EuroCup final
08 February 2013: Dynamo Moscow & Kayseri Kaskispor lead semi-final series
25 January 2013: No luck for all French clubs
24 January 2013: Nantes-Rezé fall at home and are eliminated
17 January 2013: Nantes-Rezé's victory was the only high point for French clubs
13 December 2012: Nantes-Rezé defeated by Olimpia Grodno
07 December 2012: French clubs have the advantage going into game two
Group stage - Regular season
01 December 2012: Eighth-Final pairings and brackets set
29 November 2012: EuroCup Women group phase ends - 4 clubs from France continue
29 November 2012: Basket Landes have been eliminated after their defeat against VS Prague
23 November 2012: Only Tarbes win the battle against a Russian club
16 November 2012: Three French teams punch ticket for play-offs
09 November 2012: Four French teams are buckling up in round 3
01 November 2012: Shining results in EuroCup Women
for French clubs
25 October 2012: Four out of five clubs from France win in round 1