Road Teams Go For Sweeps

26.02.2010

Wisla Can-Pack Krakow had only about a four-hour bus ride on Thursday from Krakow, Poland, to Brno in the Czech Republic.

Frisco Sika Brno will do their best to make sure the journey to the EuroLeague Women Final Four is much longer.

They will be one of four home teams looking to even best-of-three Quarter-Final ties on Friday night.

Also on the schedule are Fenerbahce at home to Spartak Moscow Region, UMMC Ekaterinburg at Good Angels Kosice and Ros Casares at Halcon Avenida.

Wisla were at home against Brno on Tuesday night and came from behind to win 78-74.

The Czech giants, hobbled by injuries to key players Zuzana Zirkova and Petra Kulichova, used just six players in Game 1 but still looked good bets to win after Jelena Skerovic buried a three-ball for a 67-59 lead with 8:20 remaining.

Brno ran out of steam and lost, however, and now need the help of their home fans to force a deciding third game.

After studying the video of the game, Brno coach Jan Bobrovsky said:  "I focused mainly on the second half.

"In it, we twice led by 15 points. The loss was quite unfortunate."

Frisco Sika Brno's six-player rotation due to injuries didn't help the Czechs.

Brno's American center Taj McWilliams was on the court for all 40 minutes while Eva Viteckova and DeWanna Bonner each played 39, and Skerovic 38.

Even Hana Horakova played 34 minutes, with Bobrovsky opting to use Australia international Hollie Grima for nine.

In what is easily the most unexpected success story to unfold in the EuroLeague Women, Wisla find themselves within touching distance of the Final Four.

They were supposed to compete in the EuroCup Women but took the spot in the elite competition left vacant by CSKA Moscow when the Russia club collapsed shortly before the season due to financial problems.

As much as Wisla enjoy competing in front of the Krakow faithful, coach Jose Hernandez would prefer not to play there again in the EuroLeague this season unless, of course, the club were to host the Final Four.

"I would not like to come back to Krakow for a third game," Hernandez said. "We want to finish it in Brno."

Ros Casares, Spartak Moscow Region and UMMC Ekaterinburg are also travelling after opening-game wins.

Ros thrashed Halcon Avenida 74-50 and will now look to sweep their Spanish rivals in Salamanca, the place of last year's Final Four.

"We still have a long journey in this play-off," Ros Casares coach Isma Canto said.

"In Salamanca, the game will not be easy."

Spartak return to Istanbul to face Fenerbahce, a team they have beaten three times already this season.

Pokey Chatman's team rolled to a 90-79 triumph in Game 1 in Russia.

The side they are likely to face in a glitzy Final Four showdown, UMMC Ekaterinburg, visit Slovakia, after beating Good Angels Kosice 81-56 in their opener.


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