|Belinda Snell top-scored for CCC Polkowice|
The party is underway for CCC Polkowice after a fantastic 28 point haul from Belinda Snell and a great overall performance by Laia Palau catapulted them to Final Eight after a 76-70 home floor win against Nadezhda.
After edging out their opponents in Russia, the Polish club looked like they may have to book a flight back to Orenburg after trailing for long periods in the game.
But, in addition to the excellent contribution of Snell, a vibrant 27-16 fourth quarter swung the game massively in their favour to spark triumphant scenes on the final buzzer.
The hosts trailed 26-19 at the end of the opening period after a triple by Elena Danilochkina, although the home fans' nerves did settle when Polkowice improved during the second quarter.
They got back to within a point at 31-30 after a downtown basket by Snell, although they did still trail by four points at the interval.
The third quarter witnessed Nadezhda managing to keep their relatively fragile lead for the most part, Danilochkina continuing to shoot the ball well to help them carry a 59-54 advantage into the final ten minutes.
But, Polkowice found a late gear shift and an explosive 11-2 surge at the start of the fourth quarter turned the game on its' head as the home side wrestled the initiative away from the Russians.
Just when the visitors threatened one more twist with a late renaissance, an 8-2 run took the game out of their reach at 72-64 with just less than 30 seconds remaining.
Palau added 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, whilst Magdalena Leciejewska pulled down 12 rebounds.
Danilochkina had 18 for Nadezhda, but it was perhaps a rare off-night of 3 from 13 from the floor by Dewanna Bonner which proved fatal.
"We did not play well today, especially at the end. We wanted to win and get back to Orenburg but we failed hard. Congratulations to CCC and good luck in the Final Eight."
Dewanna Bonner, Nadezhda:
"In the end we played badly and this was the reason for our failure. [It is dissapointing to] Not be going to Ekaterinburg, [this is what] we really wanted."
Jacek Winnicki, CCC Polkowice coach:
"Qualifying to the Final Eight is a great success for the club. Many thanks to the girls for [having] a great heart for the fight. We were able to write history. This is a great moment."
Agnieszka Majewska, CCC Polkowice:
"We didn`t play a good game. We made a lot of mistakes, but the most important thing is the final result. We are very happy, this is a historical success of our club."