It’s a good news/bad news day for fans of Spartak Moscow region women’s basketball as announced by FIBA. The Spartak front office has confirmed that returning for 2010-11 will be head coach Pokey Chatman and her entire staff; members of all four champion Spartak squads Sue Bird, Irina Osipova, and Marina Karpunina; Anete Jekabsone-Zogota and Sonja Petrovic. Tatiana Shchegoleva, who took the season off, will return to her former club in 2010.
However, Spartak will be suffering a pair of big minuses, with Diana Taurasi and Sylvia Fowles expected to sign elsewhere; such a void would make “UMMC Ekaterinburg favorites heading into the Russian competitions.” Painful news for Spartak fans, for sure, who have surely earned a steady rivalry with Ekaterinburg, having met them in 2009-10 in the Russian Cup finals, the Euroleague Women semifinals, and the Russian Superleague championship series (Spartak took the former two, while UMMC swept the best-of-five Superleague final.)
Spartak general manager Steve Costalas has promised in the meantime that “the club is negotiating with two other excellent players that will be major contributors if they sign.”