The Eastern European Women’s Basketball League season started on Friday as the the organization continued its expansion outside of its traditional territory. The eight Group A teams all played three games in the opening weekend in Liepaja as the other group starts play in a week. In additional to returning teams like Liepajas from Latvia, Horizont from Belarus, Kibirkstis from Lithuania, and Good Angels Kosice from Slovakia, this group includes Lulea from Sweden, FSG from the Netherlands, Bornova from Turkey, and Al Riyadi from Lebanon.
September 22, 2017
It is rare to see a Dutch club team playing on its own outside of the country, but the Royal Eagles of FSG started the tournament against Lulea with Chioma Nnamaka helping the Swedish side win 85-64 as Adrienne Motley and Jessica Thomas made their professional debut together after also being teammates at Miami with Katie Frerking also playing as a rookie. Danielle Boiago made her professional debut in the loss as one of two products of the Canadian college system in this group along with Kayli Sartori of Al Riyadi. Bornova started preparations after being promoted to the top league in Turkey and look ready to make an early impact as they beat Horizont 71-41 with Yeliz Dogan returning to her home country after finishing her college career. The most intriguing entrant into the competition was certainly Al Riyadi, which took advantage of the elimination of foreign player restrictions to enter the competition with a large number of American players. They fell behind against Laura Juskaite and Kibirskstis, but Roneeka Hodges led a comeback that fell just short 69-67. The hosts closed the day with a tough test against Good Angels Kosice, losing 76-52.
Lulea vs. FSG Royal Eagles 85-64 LUL Nnamaka 20 Barthold 19/9r Motley 14 Favento 11/7r Frerking 9/9r Thomas 6/6r/9a FSG Boiago 18/6r Peek 13/12r De Kleijn 11/6r
Horizont Minsk vs. Bornova 41-71 HOR Nuzhnaia 15/6r Sivakova 9 BOR Snow 18/13r Uner 16 Sigirci 10/6r Dogan 3/10r
Al Riyadi vs. Kibirkstis Vilnius 67-69 ALR Hodges 27/6a Denson 13/10r Sartori 10 McKinney 4 Dewitt 4 Bakhos 0 KIB Juskaite 20/16r Meskonyte 16 Landry 13/12r
Liepajas vs. Good Angels Kosice 52-76 LIE Lipe 13 Jakobsone 10 Veinberga 10 Purian 5 Rubene 2 GAK Morris 16 Balintova 12 Stehlikova 10/6r Peters 8
September 23, 2017
Saturday’s games started with a competive game for the Royal Eagles as they lost 91-79 to Bornova. Laura Westerik and Danielle Boiago led the way for FSG, while Michelle Snow refused to slow down and led Bornova. Lulea continued a strong start with a 75-44 win over Horizont. Good Angels Kosice continued to be the early group favorite with a 73-64 win over Kibirkstis. Roneeka Hodges led Al Riyadi again as they completed the comeback this time to beat hosts Liepajas 72-62.
FSG Royal Eagles vs. Bornova 79-91 FSG Westerik 26/6a Boiago 20 De Kleijn 12 BOR Snow 21/10r Knezevic 17/8r Erat 17 Dogan 4
Lulea vs. Horizont Minsk 75-44 LUL Barthold 16/13r Motley 16 Frerking 15/7r Thomas 14/8r Nnamaka 10/10r HOR Nuzhnaia 12 Hromik 10/9r
Kibirkstis Vilnius vs. Good Angels Kosice 64-73 KIB Juskaite 17/7r Donskichyte 15 Landry 14/6r GAK Jurcenkova 18 Balintova 11 Sarauskaite 10/8r Peters 8/6r Morris 8
Liepajas vs. Al Riyadi 62-72 LIE Vitola 14 Veinberga 13 Purina 9 Rubene 3 ALR Hodges 24 McKinney 17/9r Sartori 15 Denson 7/6r Dewitt 4/6r Ross 0
September 24, 2017
This stage of games finished on Sunday. Lulea is the surprise unbeaten team in the group as the prevailed 68-67 in overtime to waste another great performance from Michelle Snow for Bornova. Good Angels Kosice was expected to be undefeated as they breezed past the Royal Eagles 86-58 although young Laura Westerik had another impressive display for FSG. Al Riyadi continued a solid start with a 72-62 win over Horizont with Kayli Sartori taking the leading role. The day ended with Ieva Vitola and Liepajas sending the fans home happy with an 82-70 win over Laura Juskaite and Kibirkstis.
Bornova vs. Lulea 67-68 (OT) BOR Snow 20/8r Erat 13 Knezevic 12/8r Dogan 7/6r LUL Thomas 19 Motley 14/8r Frerking 9/9r Nnamaka 8/6r
Good Angels Kosice vs. FSG Royal Eagles 86-58 GAK Jurcenkova 17/9r Morris 15 Stehlikova 14 Balintova 13 FSG Westerik 23/6r
Al Riyadi vs. Horizont Minsk 72-62 ALR Sartori 21 Hodges 14 McKinney 11/9r Denson 10/12r Ross 9/8a Dewitt 4 HOR Brych 14 Sivakova 12
Kirbirkstis Vilnius vs. Liepajas 70-82 KIB Juskaite 21/6r Landry 14/9r LIE Vitola 22 Ivashchanka 19/7r Jakobsone 19/12a Rubene 6/8r Purina 2