Diver Down – Svet And UMMC Go For Glory

22 March 2009

Svetlana Abrosimova is immersed in basketball now.

She and her UMMC Ekaterinburg teammates are preparing for another battle with Russian rivals Spartak Moscow Region at the EuroLeague Women Final Four.

There may come a time this year,  though, when the UMMC star takes off her high-tops and puts on the flippers.

"I love to relax at the sea," she says.

"My hobbies are surfing and scuba diving. I have a professional certificate."

Where does Abrosimova like to go with the scuba gear on?

"A lot of dive wrecks," she says.

"First, I got used to the equipment, then became interested in diving in caves, or exploring wrecks ... 30 meters under water, inside ships - a dark, scary, swim through the windows and doors ... that's extreme!"

Maybe Abrosimova will take her  next plunge in the Baltic Sea this summer when she plays for defending champions Russia at the EuroBasket Women in Latvia.

Right now, the 28-year-old forward admits she's in good spirits.

Ekaterinburg beat rivals Spartak, Abrosimova's old team, in the Cup of Russia final.

"Of course, winning the Cup was a major success," she says on the club's website.

That was a day never to be forgotten.

Abrosimova and the other Ekaterinburg players received shining golden victory jackets.

"For us it was a shock, but pleasant," says Abrosimova, a former college star in the United States at the University of Connecticut.

"In America, they usually only give you T-shirts and caps bearing the inscription Champion.

"When we ran in the locker room (after winning the Cup of Russia), received these robes and were told ‘put them on quickly and return to the court!'

"Everyone was euphoric, but I had to think: What kind of glamour is there in the Urals?" Unexpectedly, though, I liked it."

Perhaps the biggest consequence of that win in the Cup was the psychological edge gained by Ekaterinburg because they followed the win up with an important Superleague victory over Spartak that paved the way for the regular-season title.

First place in the standings has given them home-court advantage in the Russian play-offs.

Whether the feel-good factor from their recent success will carry over to the Final Four in Salamanca on April 3 remains to be seen.

"A game with Spartak - it is always interesting," Abrosimoma says.

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