No Taurasi, No Problem for Fenerbahce



Despite losing Diana Taurasi, Turkish powerhouse squad Fenerbahce protected their unblemished record when they posted a convincing 77-64 over Lotos Gdynia in Poland, spoiling head coach George Dikeoulakos’ debut.

Nevriye Yilmaz led her team’s charge as she finished the game with 19 points, while Ivana Matovic had an outstanding night, tallying 16 points and 15 rebounds, overcoming the loss of Taurasi, whose contract was terminated after testing positive for a banned substance.

“From the beginning, we knew what we come here and what we want to achieve in Gdynia,” said Fenerbahce head coach Laszlo Ratgeber. “I'm very happy with how Ivana Matovic played. She is with us from the beginning of the season and she knows how to play.”

Penny Taylor, who declined to have her samples tested by the same laboratory that tested Taurasi’s sample, added 16 points, while Czech superstar Hana Horakova chipped in nine points, helping Fenerbahce bag their ninth win of the season.

“Congratulations to my team, now to my both teams,” said Matovic, who shot 6-for-12 from the field. “As the coach said, it's very good that we won this game. It was very important to us. We have few new players in our team and it's hard to play how we want. In the beginning, maybe we were a little bit tired but in the second half we felt very good on the court.”

The two teams went toe-to-toe and was even tied at 36 before the half, but the Turkish squad had a big third period and Lotos Gdynia failed to recover, absorbing their eight loss of the season with only one win to boast.

Monica Wright racked up 23 points and eight rebounds, but had nine turnovers, while Elina Babkina added 21 points for Gdynia, who were outrebounded, 45-30, by the Turkish team.

“I think it was great game,” Wright said. “The first half was very good, but we haven't got a lot of players on the bench so it was difficult to play on the same lever for whole game. I wish the team a lot of success in the next games.”

Complete Group A and Group B Results

  • Cras Basket Taranto 79 – 67 USO Mondeville
  • Pecs 2010 75 – 72 Good Angels Kosice
  • TTT Riga 74 – 82 Wisla Can-Pack
  • Lotos Gdynia 64 – 77 Fenerbahce
  • Rivas Ecopolis 99 – 89 Gospic Croatia

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