Day 1: Final Eight Temperature Check

07 April 2014

EUROLEAGUE WOMEN

32. Diana Taurasi (UMMC Ekaterinburg)
Diana Taurasi used Day 1 in Ekaterinburg to strengthen her MVP credentials

fibaeurope.com's women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen checks out what was hot during the first day of action at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight.

 

The Taurasi Hot Hand

Within minutes of Diana Taurasi stepping onto court, you got the sense she's not only looking for another EuroLeague Women title, but with the added MVP cherry - something which was on top of team-mate Candace Parker's cake last year. Making her first five shots from the three-point line, Taurasi sparked a sumptuous display from the holders and underlined just how tough it will be to finish above the host team.

 

Sancho Celebrates In Style

Picking up an award before a game can sometimes prove a kiss of death. But, after being presented with her FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year award before taking to the floor, Sancho Lyttle responded with a near double-double of 18 points and nine rebounds for Galatasaray odeabank. She also showed the defensive qualities which were so important in taking Spain to gold last year, by additionally grabbing five steals.

 

Vaughn Provides Class On The Glass

15. Natalia Vieru (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje)
Natalia Vieru shone, despite Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje's loss

Kia Vaughn led Prague to a maiden Final Eight win with 18 points and 15 rebounds, but it was the five offensive boards which really told the story. The uplift in rebounding from Prague was the main ingredient of success.

 

Quality Of Vieru

While Russian center Natalia Vieru finished on the losing team, the Sparta&K center did a great job for her team with 13 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

 

History For Cinili, Viteckova and Dimitrakou

Three players went into the history books by scoring their respective club's first ever baskets at the EuroLeague Women Finals. They were Italian national team forward, Sabrina Cinili for Kayseri Kaski spor, Zoi Dimitrakou for Nadezhda Orenburg and Eva Viteckova for ZVVZ USK Prague.


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