Latta's Round 5 MVP
Orli Klinger ,11/02/2007
The Holon PG dropped 32 on Bnei Yehuda to win MVP honors. Joining her on the first team are three players from the thriller in Ashdod, and Ramat Hasharon's center.
In 'After Shock' – about Ramla being Ramla again, why you shouldn't cry over missed layups, and five question marks hovering above foreigners.

Round 5 MVP – Ivory Latta
Unfortunately there are no official stats for the game (Ivory, let Holon hear about that!), but Latta is our round MVP with 32 points on a wide array of threes and quite a few assists. Whenever Bnei Yehuda got close, Latta knew how to push the lead back up, despite the box and 1.

Round 5 First Team
Ivory Latta – 2nd 30 plus point game this season in the important win over Bnei Yehuda.

Edwina Brown – Didn't rest one second and scored 22 points including a deciding basket with under a minute to go. She didn't lose confidence despite some really mind boggling misses, and makes the first time despite 8 turnovers because of her effort.

Michal Epshtein – Great game for Epshtein with season highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds in the painful loss to Ramat Hen.

Kasha Terry – 23 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 35 minutes – three season highs for Terry who finally managed to stay out of foul trouble and helped Ramat Hen steal the win at Ashdod.

Dada Vilipic – Rmat Hasharon's center continues to produce great numbers and this time she hit 70% from the floor en route to 21 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Tel Kabir.

After Shock

That's more like it
Since opening the season with a shaky win over Bnei Yehuda and a loss at Hertzelia, Ramla ran over three teams by an average score of 88.3 – 64.3. Yes, they played Tel Kabir, Ramat Hen on a horrendous day, and Hapoel Tel Aviv, but still – take a look at some numbers:
Plus 15 on the boards per game, 51.4% from inside the arc, 44.2% from three. Five players averaging double figures as Chasity Melvin leads with 18.0 per game, Tangela Smith settles for 10.3, and Shay Doron and Laine Selwyn contribute 13.3 and 14.0 points per game respectively. The rotation has also gotten shorter as Kostaki sat out the last three games (they say it's still the ankle but she's warming up), and Gourevitch settled for 12.5 minutes per game.

Don't forget the league's crazy
Last year Ashdod got off to a great start, 6 – 3 in the first round with lots of close wins and overtimes, but in the 2nd round the tables turned and they had the exact opposite record. Also last year, Holon started out 0 – 5 and then lost eight straight, and Bnei Yehuda opened 1 – 5 and jelled late to finish 3rd in the league. More examples? In 05/06 Ramat Hen lost three of their first six games by a total of six points, and made the finals. Of course, can't forget the classical example of Ramat Hasharon in that same season, as they went undefeated in 21 games before the were eliminated in the playoff semis by Hapoel Tel Aviv who lost nine games. So for anyone who's currently dwelling on a certain loss, look ahead, nothing is decided in the first two weeks of the season.

From what we saw so far, there are five players in the league that came to Israel using the shorter line in the passport check at the airport, who still have some question marks hovering above them.

Anastasia Kostaki – She hasn't played in the last three games following her ankle injury suffered in the loss at Hertzelia, but in the 40 minutes she logged so far she has scored 4 points on 1 for 4 shooting and had 5 assists and 5 turnovers. So far the team was able to jell a little in three games, and it still remains to be seen if Kostaki is able to contribute more when she returns.

LaToya Bond – The Bnei Yehuda guard is definitely not short on talent, she's scoring 14.3 per game on good shooting, but she just doesn't seem to be on the same page as her teammates. As someone who's supposed to be the point guard, she doesn't look for her teammates often, and in the last game she spent most of the 4th on the bench. She was even benched 40 seconds after she got in the game midway through the 4th, which is something that's very rare to see among foreigners.

Ekterina Dimitrova – Ramat Hen's Bulgarian teen, who will celebrate her 20th birthday in three weeks, is getting 18.8 minutes per game and scoring 6.8 per night. Not bad, but not what you expect from a Bosman, and she even comes off the bench regularly. Dimitrova makes a lot of plays on defense, helps handle the ball and finishes well on the break, but in the set offense she disappears. She's still far from fulfilling her potential, and the question is will Ramat Hen have the patience to wait.

Mirjana Velisavljevic – We admit it, we still have no idea how to spell this name, cause we didn't have a reason to type it before we reach the end of Hapoel Tel Aviv's scorers list. Hapoel's tall Bosman gets in foul trouble too often, and even when she's on the court she tends to disappear. 6.7 points per game, doesn't threat the basket much, 3.3 rebounds per game – can Hapoel win with this type of production from their starting 4?

Tangela Smith – If Katia Abramzon and Tangela Smith have similar numbers, is that good or bad for Ramla? Let's say it's good for Abramzon, not so great for Smith. Smith landed in Israel four days before the season started and 12.2 points in 23.6 minutes per game is not bad, but a third of her points is a result of her insane 3 point shooting percentage (58.3%) which can't last all season. Smith has never been an intensive all-out player, but still we get the impression she's not fully into it yet. A little more aggressiveness on both ends of the court could help correct it.

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