No Such Thing As Comfortable Lead For Schio


Beretta Famila hold what appears to be a commanding 20-point advantage heading into the second leg of their EuroCup Women final at BC Moscow on Thursday.

But the coach of the Schio team, Sandro Orlando, and leading Italian star Laura Macchi, are full of anxiety heading into the contest.

"We don't have to think about the 20-point advantage," warned boss Orlando. "It would be the beginning of the end."

Macchi offered a similar assessment.

"I don't know if the 20-point advantage is enough to be safe, but for sure I know that in Moscow the atmosphere will be hot."

Oxana Zakalyuzhnaya (BC Moscow)
Oxana Zakalyuzhnaya and BC Moscow should not be underestimated in the second leg, the Schio coach says

Perhaps anxiety is not the right word. Humility might be more appropriate.

The EuroCup Women has had numerous instances in which teams have come from behind to win games, including Beretta-Famila in their semi-final with Galatasaray.

The Turks won the first game by eight points in Istanbul before falling in Schio and losing by nine points on aggregate.

Also, Schio know what it's like to travel to face BC Moscow.

They did it once this season already, falling by 10 points there back on November 15.

In that contest, Plenette Pierson and Monique Currie had 22 and 17 points, respectively, and they had strong starts last week as well before Orlando's team talked at half-time about shutting them down.

"We have to be more focused on the one-on-one defense against the two American players, Currie and Pierson," Orlando admitted.

"In the first game, we adjusted our defense after too many mistakes in the first part of the contest. We worked hard as a team, with a real team effort. In Moscow, we need to do the same."

"The key would be the very first part of the game," Macchi said. "We must show we are a team ready to fight.

"We don't have to run the risk of another bad start that can give the psychological boost to the Moscow team."

Maybe she's getting her instructions from Orlando because both Macchi and the coach are singing from the same hymn sheet.

Orlando said the team must "fight, basket after basket, to win the game".

He draws little comfort from the fantastic result for his unit in the opener.

"Every game is different from the previous one," he said, "and in Moscow, this will be a kind of chess match."


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