|Raffaella Masciadri has a lot of respect for Beretta-Famila's first opponent in the Italian Cup, Umbertide |
This is a huge month for Beretta-Famila Schio, the team that ended the EuroLeague Women title defense of Perfumerias Avenida and advanced to the Final Eight in Turkey.
Schio will this weekend host the Coppa Italia Women.
On Saturday, Maurizio Lasi's side will go up against Umbertide while Cras Basket Taranto, who also played in the EuroLeague Women, will face Bracco S.S. Giovananni.
Schio would like to win the Coppa for obvious reasons.
They are staging the event, the trophy is very important and a Coppa win would put them in a confident frame of mind before they leave for Istanbul in search of a European crown.
"Umbertide is an eclectic team with great players," Schio sharpshooter and Italy international Raffaella Masciadri said.
"They don't have a specific point of reference so they can surprise you."
Umbertide know they are going to have their hands full when they take on Schio.
"They have an in-depth roster, talented, very physical, experienced," veteran guard Francesca Zara said.
"Schio is a team built to win and their recent qualification to the Final Eight of the EuroLeague Women speaks for itself."
Cras Basket Taranto will be thinking this weekend marks their best opportunity to claim some silverware and they'll be ready for their semi.
They'd like to take a page out of Perfumerias Avenida's book because the Salamanca club managed to overcome their failure to reach the Final Eight of the EuroLeague Women by beating Ros Casares in the Copa de la Reina Final.
Taranto, unlike Perfumerias, didn't reach the EuroLeague Women play-offs.
"Sesto San Giovanni is a good team and we've already lost to them," Taranto guard Valentina Siccardi warned.
"I think the key will be the mentality by which we show up on the Schio court.
"We will have to play as Cras to overcome any adversity."
Taranto are coached by Roberto Ricchini.
San Giovanni believe Taranto are the favorites.
"Cras Taranto has 10 players of the highest level on their roster," San Giovanni's Giulia Arturi said.
"This allows us them to maintain their high rhythm.
"Taranto always shows a lot of determination and that means we will have to do the same thing and play with high intensity.
"We cannot afford to make the mistakes because Cras is a team that can punish you at any time."