Opals spark in Europe

Opals spark in Europe

It was a trio of Aussie triumphs on the Continent overnight with Opals Lauren Jackson, Penny Taylor and Kathleen MacLeod helping their teams gain vital first-up wins in the EuroLeague Women's quarter finals.

The EuroLeague is the world's premier club basketball competition outside of America with Champions from national leagues meeting to determine the best club team in Europe.

Eight teams remain in the competition, with the Final 4 made up of the winners of the best-of-three quarter finals.

Jackson's Spartak Moscow (Russia) defeated Ros Casares (Spain) 65-57 and will travel to Valencia to play Friday's Game 2. Jackson had a team high 17 points on 4-8 shooting and 6-7 free throws to go with 7 rebounds. Jackson was rusty from long range, connecting on only 1-of-6 attempts, but that successful shot iced the game with 14 seconds remaining. Game Report  Lauren's EuroLeague season stats.

Taylor's UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia) defeated Fenerbahce (Turkey) 94-62 after the 2006 World Championship MVP kick-started her team with 12 first half points. Taylor finished on 15 points with a near perfect 4-4 field goals, 1-1 three-pointers and 4-5 from the free throw line. She also had 4 rebounds and 2 steals in 20 minutes on court. Game 2 is in Turkey on Friday night. Game Report  Penny's EuroLeague season stats

MacLeod's MKB Euroleasing Sopron (Hungary) led by 17 points after three quarters and held on to register a vital road win against Bourges (France) 68-65. MacLeod, the starting point guard for Sopron, compiled 6 points on 3-4 shooting with 2 assists, 1 steal and 3 turnovers in 34 minutes on court. Bourges will travel to Hungary for Friday's Game 2. Game Report  Kathleen's EuroLeague season stats

If MacLeod's Sopron defeat Bourges in the best-of-three series they will face the winner of Halcon Avenida (Spain) and Mizo Pecs (Hungary) while victory for Jackson's Spartak and Taylor's Ekaterinburg means they would face of in the Final 4.

You can stay up to date with all the EuroLeague Women action on the FIBA Europe website.

Photos courtesy of FIBAEurope.com