Storm stars Tanisha Wright and Camille Little did what was needed to help their Turkish team Kayseri Kaski spor advance to the prestigious EuroLeague Final Eight. Kayseri defeated Beretta Famila Schio 63-61 on Wednesday to clinch the deciding game in the best-of-three ELW series.
Wright had 19 points and seven rebounds while Little had 10 points and five rebounds. Former Zags star Courtney Vandersloot (Chicago Sky) finished with 12 points for Schio.
“We didn’t play good but winning is winning,” Wright told reporters in Turkey. “We will work hard for the Final Eight.”
The Final Eight is April 7-13 in Ekaterinburg, Russia. UMMC Ekaterinburg is the host team, so it automatically qualified.
The eight teams are divided into two round-robin groups. The two best teams from both groups will advance to the semifinals April 11. The championship is slated for April 13.
Kayseri, which is making its first appearance, is bracketed with Fenerbahce (Cappie Pondexter and Angel McCoughtry), Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje and Galatasaray odeabank (Shavonte Zellous and Sancho Lyttle).
UMMC, which features Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi and former Storm posts Ewelina Kobryn and Ann Wauters, is bracketed with ZVVZ USK Prague (Danielle Robinson and Kia Vaughn), Tango Bourges Basket and Nadezhda Orenburg (DeWanna Bonner and Glory Johnson).
NOTE: PG Sue Bird only competed for UMMC during the Russian leagues, winning the Super Cup. According to reports, G Temeka Johnson was replaced on Nadezhda’s roster by Glory Johnson due to a back injury. Little is technically a free agent but has stated in the past she wants to remain with Seattle. The Storm still has Kobryn’s rights but no word on if she would return to help fill the void left by F Tina Thompson retiring and C Lauren Jackson (knee) unable to return due to injury.
Here are some highlights of Wright and Little’s win on Wednesday: