|Katerina Elhotova competes in the SuperCup Women 2015 with EuroLeague Women champs ZVVZ USK Prague|
A glut of stars are ready for what promises to be a thrilling 2015 SuperCup Women as last season's EuroLeague Women and EuroCup Women finalists lock horns in pursuit of the prestigious silverware.
An exciting new format will see the competition played out across two nights at Salle Gaston Reiff, with hosts Castors Braine facing EuroLeague Women title holders ZVVZ USK Prague in the first Semi-Final on Tuesday.
Castors Braine are bracing themselves for their rookie EuroLeague Women season and will get the chance to test themselves against last year's flag bearers.
The Belgian side have kept the core of their team, but have also re-stocked with some big talents - not least, Ukraine sensation Alina Iagupova. She could form one of the most dynamic and entertaining backcourt partnerships around, playing alongside the returning Marjorie Carpreaux who is never shy of dishing up something for the highlight reel.
Castors Braine made a brilliant run to the EuroCup Women Final and just fell short at the last hurdle. Making their historic surge to the title game hinged significantly on their fabulous home support which will again be in evidence this week.
ZVVZ USK Prague did manage to make history as they took their first EuroLeague Women title at Final Four in the Czech capital. The support of their home crowd was also hugely important according to Ilona Burgrova.
"It fitted together with our victory perfectly and was such a great asset to have off the court and for us as players on the court," she said.
"We will be trying our best to repeat our sensational success from last season and will again be relying on the support of our fans, because without them, we would have failed.
"This year we may even be considered as one of the favourites, although I still don't think it is the right perception of the situation."
Burgrova and her team-mates have already secured victory in a recent preparation tournament which saw them win 58-48 against Good Angels Kosice to finish top of the pile - even though they were without their WNBA contingent in Kia Vaughn, Danielle Robinson and the newly signed Marta Xargay.
UMMC Ekaterinburg have also won some silverware already after they lifted the UMMC Cup with a massive 64-34 success against Good Angels Kosice. That came after a similarly convincing win against UE Sopron.
And, with UMMC inking Sancho Lyttle in addition to the class of Gruda, it means competition is even fiercer than ever at the Russian powerhouse - a fact not lost on Vieru who is relishing the chance to push herself and prove her worth.
"It is not easy of course," she confessed.
"The competition here [for places and court-time] is crazy.
"But there is a special atmosphere and to be called to play for UMMC is like having an elite mark of quality."
UMMC will play EuroCup Women winners Villeneuve d'Ascq in the second Semi-Final on Tuesday, with the French side preparing to return to EuroLeague Women this season for the first time since 2010.
The SuperCup Women schedule is as follows:
Tuesday 06 October
18:45 Mithra Castors Braine v ZVVZ USK Prague
21.:15 UMMC Ekaterinburg v Villeneuve s'Ascq
Wednesday 07 October
18:45 Third Place Game