|Guard Anke De Mondt is in her third season with Halcon Avenida Salamanca and helped her team reach the Final of EuroLeague Women in 2009 by contributing over 10 points per game. She also has extensive National Team experience with Belgium and has played in major tournaments such as EuroBasket Women. Anke is writing for FIBA Europe to give us her insight on the 2009-10 EuroLeague Women season.|
As we speak, there are eight teams all busy preparing for what promises to be some spectacular games ahead in each of those fascinating quarter-final series match-ups.
At this moment I thought it would worth telling you all about our series during the last round against Bourges because believe me, it was a really tough one! After the first game we probably thought it was going to be a little easier than it actually turned out but to their credit, they never gave up and pushed us all of the way. They really fought hard for every minute and were intense in those last two games.
In the end, we were just thankful that we finally managed to overcome them in the third game of the series which means that we of course now face Ros Casares yet again! Can you believe it?
I was actually counting the other day to see how many times both clubs would meet and it's entirely possible that we could face each other nine times this year and for sure five times. I can't wait to find which it will be but for now I guess we will just have to wait and see.
So far during the season both teams have won one and lost one when we have faced each other on court. It is obviously going to be a very intense series in many different ways and one thing is absolutely certain - there will be a lot of emotion during these games.
I really hope some of our fans are able to travel with us to Valencia. Well, I guess I already know the answer to that really and I am pretty sure they will be there to cheer us on as they always do.
During the week before a big series like this, we have a little more time to practice, prepare for these EuroLeague Women quarter-final games and to finally rest a little bit more than we usually can.
Of course our game against Ros Casares isn't the only one and when I look at the other quarter-finals, it looks to me like there are some hugely interesting and very entertaining series ahead.
I am confident there is going to be some great basketball played at a very high level. I would still say the favourites are Spartak Moscow Region and UMMC Ekaterinburg but Fenerbahce is looking great so far in 2010 and so I'm particularly looking forward to see the outcome with their match-up against Spartak.
Finally about the snow that many people might have been surprised to hear about when we were playing against Bourges. In truth? Well, it was nothing impressive really. For sure it was snowing during our game but it has not really been cold enough and just far too wet for the snow to be able to stay! In fact after the game, there was not even one centimetre of snow on my car although I have to say that the weather has been pretty sad mixture of cold, rainy and snowy lately.
Anyway, in contrast with the dark weather outside, I am sure there will be plenty of players and teams lighting it up on the court and warming up the fans.
So that's all for now, let's see how the respective series are going to end. Oh and did I mention it already? I'm really excited about it and I can tell you that I am so eager to make it back to the Final Four of EuroLeague Women again.
In the meantime - greetings from Salamanca!