SuperCup Women Preview

28.10.2013

SuperCup Women

7. Sandrine Gruda (UMMC Ekaterinburg)
 Sandrine Gruda and UMMC Ekaterinburg have already prevailed once over Dynamo Moscow this season

The first piece of major silverware this season will be wrapped up by either UMMC Ekaterinburg or Dynamo Moscow when the Russian compete for the 2013 SuperCup Women on Tuesday, 19:00 local time.

The EuroLeague Women champions host the EuroCup Women title holders and UMMC General Manager Maxim Rybakov is anticipating another big night in Ekaterinburg, as the competition makes a welcome return to the calendar.

He said, "The SuperCup is a very important event and it is good for all the parties involved that FIBA Europe decided to organise it again after a one year break.

"Women's basketball needs more events not only at the end of the season and the SuperCup is a bridge between the seasons and has its' value because the players going to the court tomorrow from both sides are big stars of our game and really hungry for this trophy.

"For us, it is a big honour to organise the event, something which UMMC has never organised or even played in before.

"We want to show a final game to our awesome crowd once again and besides, following the decision to host the Final Eight, it becomes symbolic for UMMC to open the season at the home of the EuroLeague Women Final with another special game."

The teams met in the Russian Cup last week in the capital and UMMC returned home with a handy 75-64 first-leg lead, taking full advantage of Dynamo still missing their big-hitters in center Tina Charles and playmaker Lindsay Whalen.

Russian pair Nadezhda Grishaeva and Tatiana Vidmer did their best to keep pace with UMMC by combining for 30 points and 17 rebounds, but it was not enough to avoid defeat with both Sandrine Gruda and Sue Bird showing their class for the visiting team.

Despite their win last week, Ryabkov is not taking anything for granted, but believes the consistency of UMMC should get them through.

Ana Dabovic (Serbia)
New signing Ana Dabovic is a key component of the new-look Dynamo Moscow line up

He explained, "I expect a real battle between these two respected powerhouses who proved the need for this SuperCup by being very strong physically and mentally during the whole of the previous season.

"Dynamo have been growing as a franchise in recent years, but we have stability on our side.

"I expect a strong contest of coaching skills and player's individual abilities, along with the surprises that the teams can invent for each other a mere five days after coming face-to-face with each other domestically."

Having had a huge impact en-route to the success in last seasons' final success against Kayseri Kaski spor, Kristi Toliver is still around for Dynamo Moscow and remains the one player who looks like a real game-winner if they want to cause a big upset.

It might also be the perfect stage for a new arrival such as Serbian Ana Dabovic to explode with one of her streaky scoring games, although Dynamo have to try and prevail without the vast experience of Ilona Korstin and Svetlana Abrosimova who both decided to retire during the summer.

There is little doubt that UMMC will be expected to prevail, since they have retained all but one player from the all-conquering team that shot down Fenerbahce to take the title at the Final Eight.

Legendary veteran Ann Wauters has replaced Quanitra Hollingsworth in the frontcourt and everywhere you look, UMMC oozes quality and star power - something which reiterates the daunting task Dynamo Moscow have if they want to spoil the party.


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