FIBA EuroCup Women: Valencia BC (SPA) has given no hope to Basket Namur Capitale (BEL) at the Hall Octave Henry in Saint-Servais, Belgium on Nov. 25th, 2021

Sometimes, there are games that clubs' staff would like to forget as soon as possible... That's probably the case for the management staff and players of
Basket Namur Capitale, last season's Belgian Top Division I Women title-holder, after the heavy loss recorded against Valencia BC in Game Day 5 of the FIBA EuroCup Women regular season.

Valencia BC won the EuroCup Women title in 2020-2021 and also defeated the Russian powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg in the SuperCup Women 2021. The SuperCup Women is the opening event of the basketball calendar that traditionally sees the reigning EuroCup Women champions take on the EuroLeague Women title-holders. On the home floor at the Pabellon Municipal Fuente de San Luis, Valencia BC did upset last season's EuroLeague winner UMMC Ekaterinburg 73-66 in late October. For the first time in the club's history, Valencia BC won therefore the SuperCup Women title. As a matter of fact, only six different clubs have won the SuperCup Women title from 2009 to 2021: UMMC Ekaterinburg, Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje and Dynamo Kursk from Russia; ZVVZ USK Praha from Czech Republic as well as Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca and Valencia BC from Spain.

Australian Opal Bec Allen scored 14 points against Basket Namur Capitale -
Picture: The Sydney Morning Herald, Mick Connolly.

On Nov. 25th, 2021, Valencia BC, without the 2021 SuperCup Women's MVP Cristina Ouvina (point guard, 5'8", born in 1990) and Spanish young talented center Raquel Carrera (center, 6'3", born in 2001), was hosted by Basket Namur Capitale in Saint-Servais, a suburb of Namur, Belgium. In fact, a nice attendance gathered at the Hall Octave Henry to discover and enjoy the Spanish powerhouse's plays. Before the game, Saint-Nicolas visited the place, got on the floor and offered some candies to the kids in the attendance. The fans hoped to see a much stronger fighting spirit among the Basket Namur Capitale players in comparison with the one shown by them against Valencia BC earlier this season, in the first round of the EuroCup Women. Basket Namur Capitale had been severely defeated by the Valencians on Oct. 20th, 2021: 95-45.

Nice attendance at the Hall Octave Henry a few hours before new COVID restrictions -
Picture: Bert Larsimont

There was in fact no real game again on the evening of Nov. 25th since Basket Namur Capitale has never seemed able to challenge their visitors. Valencia BC of Head Coach Ruben Burgos developed some smooth plays and actions to quickly take a large lead: 6-21 after the first quarter. Belgian Cat and Basket Namur Capitale playmaker Marjorie Carpréaux (point guard, 5'5", born in 1987) had forced too much and made bad choices on several occasions. She kept trying to boost her mates but in vain. Valencia BC was led by Spain's national team guard Queralt Casas (small forward, 5'11", born in 1992), Australia's superstar Rebecca Allen (small forward, 6'2", born in 1992, see first picture here above) as well as German international player Marie Gülich (power forward, 6'5", born in 1994). Celeste Trahan-Davis (power forward, 6'1", born in 1985), a former player of Castors Braine who has therefore experienced the Belgian competition in the past, also worked hard in the paint and allowed her team to dig the gap even more at the half: 15-41.

The players of Valencia BC celebrate
after their convincing win over Basket Namur Capitale
- Picture: Bert Larsimont
The only player of Basket Namur Capitale who looked like she was willing to challenge their opponents was Kamilla Ogun (forward, 6'1", born in 1999), the Russian international. She had eventually 11 points, 5 rebounds and 1 block in the contest. Defensively speaking, the third and fourth quarters were even worse for the Belgian side who conceded 22 and 33 points respectively. The home team was also outrebounded defensively 22-36. Tall players of the local team, Courtney Range (ex-California '17, forward, 6'3", born in 1995) and Batabe Zempare (ex-CSUB '16, forward, 6'3", born in 1994), never looked able to challenge their opponents. Special mention also to Valencia BC players Laura Gil (forward/center, 6'3", born in 1992) for the efficiency inside the paint (7 rebounds) as well as during set play (4 assists), Angela Salvadores (shooting guard, 5'10", born in 1997) who had 20 points and 4 steals as well as Leticia Romero (point guard, 5'8", born in 1995) and Lorena Segura Moreno (shooting guard, 6'0", born in 2000) who were pretty efficient from long and mid-range that night.

The scoreboard showed 30-96 after 40 minutes of play. The home team's Head Coach Aurelien Garraux and his players looked very disappointed at the end of the game. They failed completely in the last quarter. Figures simply don't lie: Basket Namur Capitale had 34 turnovers and 12/57 in field goals through the four quarters. You cannot win a game when you get such poor team statistics. The difference in assists also looked amazing: 4 for the hosts and 23 for the visitors.

A few days later, it was decided to play basketball games strictly behind closed doors due to new COVID-19 measures in Belgium. It was therefore rather enjoyable for basketball lovers to have had a last chance to attend a game in Namur with such an impressive women's basketball team as Valencia BC.

Score evolution: 6-21, 15-41, 26-63 and 30-96
Best scorers:
Basket Namur Capitale: Kamilla Ogun 11, Jacobine Klerx 4, Batabe Zempare 4, Courtney Range 6, Marjorie Carpréaux 5.
Valencia BC: Anna Gomez 1, Lorena Segura 10, Angela Salvadores 20, Rebecca Allen 14, Queralt Casas 4, Leticia Romero 15, Laura Gil 5, Celeste Trahan-Davis 9, Marie Gülich 12, Claudia Contell 6.

Pictures : The Sidney Morning Herald, Mick Connolly; Bert Larsimont.

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