Czech Republic: Brno Ready For Final Four

21 April 2005

Samara have been the best women's team in European basketball this season for one simple reason.

They have more talent than any other side.

From French guard Edwige Lawson and Belgian center Ann Wauters to a host of Russian internationals like Olga Arteshina, Ilona Korstine, Maria Stepanova and Tatiana Shchegoleva, no other team's personnel can match them.

As host of the FIBA EuroLeague Women's Final Four, they look unbeatable.

However, the odds might not have been stacked so heavily in their favour had a very important decision gone the other way, according to Gambrinus coach Jan Bobrovsky.

"We are still little bit disappointed that the Final Four will be played in Samara," Bobrovsky said.

"We wanted to organise this tournament in Brno to have a bigger chance with my team but FIBA Europe decided for Samara."

Samara have already got one trophy in the cabinet from this season. They won the 2004 FIBA Women's World League.

Igor Grudin's team will be big favourites against Lithuanian side Lietuvos in their semi-final, while Gambrinus take on Pecs of Hungary in the other semi.

Bobrovsky does like the make-up of his team, too.

He has sublimely gifted Czechs like Jana Vesela, Hana Machova, Ivana Vecerova and Eva Viteckova.

Bobrovsky is also counting on big contributions from Taj McWilliams of the US, Slovakia's Zuzana Zirkova and Australia's Alicia Poto.

"Our aim is to win the first game against Pecs and to play in the final," Bobrovsky said.

"We would like to show a good performance and a style of basketball which will be interesting for the fans.

"I hope that we will not be disappointed when we will come back home."

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