Toliver Leads Dynamo Moscow to Euro Cup Title

FIBA/Europe

WNBA players are scattered around the world during the offseason. Between Asia, Australia, and the EuroLeague, players from all 12 teams are competing in over a dozen countries around the world. Click here for an interactive map of the location of WNBA players abroad and see the most recent list below (subject to change, as not all players will be spending the entire winter abroad). Below we have compiled the latest news on the your favorite WNBA players around the globe.

Los Angeles Sparks guard Kristi Toliver scored 23 points for Dynamo Moscow in a 74-70 loss to Turkish club Kayseri Kaski Spor in the EuroCup Final on March 14, but in a strange twist in the competition, it was good enough for Toliver and fellow WNBAers Crystal Langhorne (Washington Mystics) and Svetlana Abrosimova (Seattle Storm) to emerge as EuroCup champions.

The way the EuroCup Championsip is decided is the two teams in the championship round play two games (or legs, in European sports parlance). In this case, Toliver and Dynamo Moscow defeated Asjha Jones (Connecticut Sun) and Kayseri 66-61 in Game 1 (or the first leg), which accounts for a five-point Dynamo advantage and then, despite losing Game 2 (or the second leg), they still won the championship because the 74-70 loss was by a four-point margin, thus giving the Russian club a one-point overall edge over both legs.

Toliver poured in 39 points over the course of the two games to power Dynamo Moscow to the title, while Langhorne also had a big series, scoring 25 over both legs. Abrosimova chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds in the two-game tilt. For Kayseri, Jones scored 27 points in the series and Toliver's Los Angeles Sparks teammate, Nicky Anosike, added nine points.

EUROPE: ALL ROADS LEAD TO EKATERINBURG

Historically, WNBA players plying their trade abroad hit many of the grandest cities of Europe, including Istanbul, Prague and Moscow. This year, however, all roads lead to Ekaterinburg, or Yekaterinburg in Russia, due to a pair of over-riding factors: 1) The prestigious EuroLeague Championship will be decided there, and 2) it’s the home city of arguably the best and indisputably the most star-studded women’s basketball team in Europe or Asia, UMMC Ekaterinburg.

Map
Click for Interactive Map of WNBA Players Abroad.

The EuroLeague Playoff System is broken down into three seven-team groups (A, B and C) playing in a round-robin Round One, with the top four finishers in each group automatically qualifying for Round Two. Additionally, the two fifth-place finishers in Round One with the best records also advance to Round Two, which contains 14 teams. Those teams square off to qualify for the Final Eight Round, which then leads to the Championship Final and Third Place Game.

QUARTER-FINAL ROUND, (GREAT EIGHT)

The Quarter-Final Round, or the Great Eight, is slated to tip-off on March 18. The eight teams still competing for the most prestigious title in European Competition are UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia), Galatasary (Turkey), Good Angels Kosice (Slovakia) and CCC Polkowice (Poland) in Group A and Spartak Moscow (Russia), Fenerbahce (Turkey), Bourges Basket (France) and Famila Schio (Italy) in Group B. One common denominator in most teams remaining is the presence of top WNBA talent leading the way.

GROUP A

UMMC Ekaterinburg
The Russian powerhouse leads Group A with Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), Candace Parker (Los Angeles Sparks) and Deanna Nolan (rights recently acquired by New York Liberty) on the UMMC roster. The Seattle Storm's Sue Bird, who recently announced plans to undergo knee surgery in a few weeks, is also a member of the club but will not be participating in the EuroLeague competition.

Galatasary
The current second-best team in Turkey, Galatasary boasts several WNBA stars including Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Lindsey Harding (Los Angeles Sparks), Sancho Lyttle (Atlanta Dream), Eshaya Murphy (Chicago Sky) and Ann Wauters (Seattle Storm). Minnesota Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen recently parted ways with the team which she explained over Twitter:

"Thank you to my teammates and coaches for everything during my time with Galatasaray! Unfortunately because the terms of my contract were not met I felt it was in my best interest to not continue with the organization. Thank you to the fans of Galatasaray!! Your support of the team and players is amazing!"

Good Angels Kosice
While UMMC and Galatasary are no strangers to reaching the final stages of the top European competitions, Good Angels Kosice of Slovakia is a relative newcomer to the heights of continental hoops. Plennette Pierson (New York Liberty) and Natasha Lacy (Washington Mystics) are two established WNBA players who are key contributors for Good Angels.

CCC Polkowice
The 2012 WNBA Rookie of the Year Nneka Ogwumike continued her impressive introduction to the world of professional women's basketball when she left the Sparks and Los Angeles and traveled to Poland, where she has led CCC Polkowice to the Great Eight of the EuroLeague.

GROUP B

Spartak Moscow
Another top club from Russia, Spartak Moscow heads Group B, featuring WNBA stars Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx), Becky Hammon (San Antonio Silver Stars) and Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury).

Fenerbahce
Fenerbahce, currently the top club in Turkey, and heated rival with fellow Istanbul-based club Galatasary is led by Atlanta Dream gunner Angel McCoughtry and dynamic New York Liberty point guard Cappie Pondexter.

Bourges Basket
One of the top teams in France, Bourges Basket has an eclectic international mix of players with Celine Dumerc, the French point guard who impressed at the London 2012 Olympic games, Los Angeles Sparks guard Marissa Coleman and Chester, England native Johannah Leedham, a recent signee of the Connecticut Sun, dominating the roster.

Famila Schio
Italian club Famila Schio rounds out Group B of the EuroLeague Great Eight with Los Angeles Sparks post-player Jantel Lavender leading the team in scoring and rebounding while the Connecticut Sun's Danielle McCray does the bulk of the ball-handling.


Player Country Team

Atlanta
de Souza, ErikaBrazilRecife
Hayes, TiffanyTurkeyBesiktas, Istanbul
Henry, AneikaSpainRivas Ecopolis
Koehn, LaurieAustraliaLogan Thunder
Kraayeveld, CathrineKoreaShinhan Bank
Leuchanka, YelenaChinaLiaoning
Lyttle, SanchoTurkeyGalatasary
McCoughtry, AngelTurkeyFenerbahce
Price, ArmintieTurkeyBesiktas, Istanbul

Chicago
Fowles, SylviaTurkeyGalatasaray
Murphy, ShayRussiaDynmao Kursk
Prince, EpiphannyRussiaDynmao Kursk
Petrovic, SonjaRussiaSpartak
Swords, CarolynTurkeyCeyhan
Vandersloot, CourtneyCroatiaNovi Zagreb

Connecticut
Charles, TinaPolandWisla Can Pack
Griffin, KelseyAustraliaBendigo Spirit
Hightower, AllisonIsraelRamla
Jones, AsjhaTurkeyKayseri
McCray, DanielleItalySchio
Mims, MistieFranceLyon
Montgomery, ReneeRussiaNadezhda
Shegog, ChayHungaryUNI Seat Gyor

Indiana
Catchings, TamikaChinaGuandong
Christmas, KarimaIsraelRamat Hen
Davenport, JessicaTurkeyIstanbul University
Douglas, KatiePolandWisla Can Pack
Goodlett, SashaChinaHeliongiiang
January, BriannIsraelRamat Hasharon
Larkins, ErlanaTurkeyMersin
Zellous, ShavonteTurkeyMersin

Los Angeles
Anosike, NickyTurkeyKayseri
Lavender, JantelItalySchio
Milton-Jones, DeLishaTurkeyTarsus
Ogwumike, NnemkadiPolandCCC Polkowice
O'Hea, JennaAustraliaDandenong
Parker, CandaceRussiaUMMC
Sykes, AprilAustraliaDandenong
Toliver, KristiRussiaDynamo Moscow

Minnesota
Adair, JessicaAustraliaTownsville
Augustus, SeimoneRussiaSpartak
Brunson, RebekkahCzech RepublicUSK Praha
Harris, AmberKoreaSamsung Life Bichumi
Moore, MayaChinaShanxi Xing Rui Flame
Peters, DevereauxItalyLe Mura Lucca
Whalen, LindsayTurkeyGalatasary
Wright, MonicaAustraliaDandenong

New York
Carson, EssenceTurkeyIstanbul University
Mitchell, LeilaniCroatiaNovi Zagreb
Pierson, PlenetteSlovakiaKosice
Pondexter, CappieTurkeyFenerbahce
Powell, NicoleSpainPerfumerias Avenidas
Vaughn, KiaCzech RepublicUSK Praha

Phoenix
Bonner, DeWannaRussiaNadezhda
Dupree, CandiceRussiaSpartak
Houston, ChardeIsraelMaccabi Ashdod
Kizer, LynettaKoreaKB Stars
Sanford, NakiaKoreaWoori Bank Hansae
Simon, DymondSlovakiaPiestanske Cajky
Taurasi, DianaRussiaUMMC
Thomas, KrystalChinaJiangsu Phoenix

San Antonio
Adams, DanielleIsraelMaccabi Ashdod
Appel, JayneChinaHenan
Hammon, BeckyRussiaSpartak
Johnson, SheniseHungarySopron
Morrison, ZiomaraSpainRivas Ecopolis
Robinson, DanielleTurkeyTarsus
Young, SophiaChinaBeijing Great Wall

Seattle
Abrosimova, SvetlanaRussiaDynamo Moscow
Bird, SueRussiaUMMC
Clark, AlyshaIsraelRamat Hasharon
Jackson, LaurenAustraliaCanberra Capitols
Kobryn, EwelinaRussiaUMMC
Little, CamilleChinaShanghai Octopus
Stricklen, ShekinnaTurkeyAntakya
Wauters, AnnTurkeyGalatasary

Tulsa
Black, ChanteTurkeySamsun
Cambage, LizChinaZhejiang
Hodges, RoneekaSpainPerfumerias Avenidas
Johnson, GloryRussiaChekavata
Johnson, TemekaRussiaDynamo Kursk
Paris, CourtneyTurkeyBotas
Pedersen, KaylaTurkeyCeyhan

Washington
Castro Marques, IzianeBrazilMaranhao
Currie, MoniqueRomaniaTargoviste
Langhorne, CrystalRussiaDynamo Moscow
Novosel, NatalieRomaniaTargoviste
Snow, MichelleRussiaDynamo Kursk
Thomas, JasmineRussiaChekavata
More »

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