|13 January 2014|
Kayseri Kaski spor forward Sabrina Cinili is ready to go back to basics when her team travel to Good Angels Kosice in EuroLeague Women Group A.
The Turkish club have endured a roller-coaster ride so far during their rookie campaign in the competition and the Italian is looking for a return to fundamentals in a bid to get back on a winning track.
"It's an important game for both teams," acknowledged the forward.
"I don't believe we have to change or do something really well in order to win. We simply need to believe in ourselves and the team as we have been.
"We need to go back to the basics and doing the simple things needed to win. We know perfectly what our identity is and we haven't been that team during these last few losses."
Despite the home side looking to avoid a third straight home defeat, Cinili doesn't expect the hosts to feel under any real pressure.
She said, "I think that playing at home is more of an advantage than a disadvantage for Kosice.
"They are a good team and it will be a difficult game, regardless of the fact they lost their previous two at home - for sure it will be very interesting."
Kayseri hosted Good Angels on a historic first ever EuroLeague Women night at the start of the season and it gave Cinili her first taste of elite level action at club level.
"For me personally and for our team, I think we used that game as a good test to see where we were," recalled the 24-year-old.
"It was a game that we learned from and in turn, have grown since.
"Kosice played a good game and maybe they were a little more prepared than we were, but nevertheless, we were able to fight and keep it close until the very end.
"It was a special moment for me to play against a great team in the top league in Europe, although obviously I would have preferred my first EuroLeague Women game to have been a victory."
Having used the first part of the season as a barometer of progress in terms of her own career, Cinili is grateful to have been handed the chance to play in the TKBL as well as EuroLeague Women and is enjoying her new surroundings.
She explained, "I like the Turkish championship and there are some strong, quality teams.
"I think the level of the Turkish championship as a whole, is stronger than the Italian Championship and I was fortunate to find myself at Kayseri, because they are a serious club and team.
"Overall, it's been good to play against different players and teams."
The real story would have been Cinili staying in Turkey later this year to play for the Italian national team at the FIBA World Championship for Women, but the Azzurre just missed out on a shot at competing at the global level.
"Yes, it still hurts," agonised the Rome native as she reflected on EuroBasket Women 2013.
"The game against Serbia was one of those painful losses that is hard to forget. I am disappointed because I was and still am, quite sure that we could have won.
"We will start again to fight for an objective that is further away in EuroBasket Women 2015, but no less important and I hope that we can learn and grow from our mistakes."
|Plenette Pierson continues to deliver the goods week in, week out for Good Angels Kosice|
Form Guide: Good Angels Kosice won the first meeting 77-69 and are 3-2 in Group A having lost twice at home to UMMC Ekaterinburg and then to Tango Bourges Basket. They have lost only once this season in the Middle European League. Kayseri are 2-3 with a home win against Bourges and road success at HAT-AGRO Uni Gyor to their name. They are fourth in the TKBL having been one of the early co-leaders and recently suffered Turkish Cup disappointment after being eliminated from the quarter-finals by EuroCup Women side Mersin Buyuksehir.
The Hot Hands: Plennete Pierson still leads Kosice in scoring and rebounding, whilst playmaker Miljana Bojovic leads in assists and steals. Meanwhile Tijana Krivacevic is providing efficiency with a 58.1% conversion rate inside the paint. For Kayseri, Tanisha Wright, Camille Little and Lara Sanders score the bulk of the points, but it has been Croatian Mirna Mazic winning particular praise for her performances of late.
‘X Factors' & Match Ups: Kosice made a big roster change last week by replacing rookie A'dia Mathies with the veteran experience and firepower of Jia Perkins. She will probably help solve the three-point shooting crisis. However, it may actually be on the glass where the game is won, since Good Angels have won all three games when they have out-rebounded their opponents and lost both games when they didn't.
Did you know? Both teams have five players who average more than eight points per game, Plenette Pierson has made 18 consecutive free-throws, Kayseri are the worst team in the competition for assists with just 10 per game and A'dia Mathies departed Kosice having played a massive 125 minutes without shooting a single free-throw.