|UMMC forward Olga Arteshina thinks the EuroLeague Women Final Four hosts can deem their season succesful only if they lift the trophy |
UMMC Ekaterinburg are on the cusp of a great moment in their basketball history. They are two wins shy of a EuroLeague Women title.
That was the aim before the season, to achieve the breakthrough that four-time defending champions Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje have denied them for three years running.
As the host of the Final Four and still possessing some of the best talent in the game, this may be their best chance.
"Now it's hard to say anything about the season, because our main goal in this season is to win the EuroLeague Women and now, we have to make the last step to achieve this goal," veteran UMMC forward Olga Arteshina said to Basketball World News.
"So, if we win the EuroLeague, it'll be a very successful season for UMMC."
Such are the lofty standards for a team that has already won the Russian Cup.
Many had expected Fenerbahce to reach the Final Four but Sparta&K came back from a big deficit in Game 1 of their Quarter-Final to prevail and then won big in Russia to complete a 2-0 series win.
"I'm happy that Sparta&K beat Fenerbache - our inconvenient opponents - and will play at the Final Four," Arteshina said.
"They deserve respect."
UMMC have won both of their games against Sparta&K this season in the domestic league.
"We did beat Sparta&K by 29 points in the Russian Championship," Arteshina said, "but it doesn't' mean that in the EuroLeague Semi-Final we can beat them easily, too.
"I also hope that we can avenge the previous Semi-Final defeats."