|Nnemkadi Ogwumike has scored in double figures in every game, averaging a team-high 17.7 points|
Each weekday in the lead up to the EuroLeague Women Final Eight, fibaeurope.com profiles one of the eight teams who will be appearing in Ekaterinburg. Today we look at Final Eight newcomers CCC Polkowice.
Road to Final Eight:
CCC Polkowice reached the play-offs as the third-placed team from Group C, which left them facing higher-ranked Nadezhda Orenburg in the best-of-three play-off series. The Polish side stunned their hosts in game one, prevailing 74-71 and proceeded to complete the sweep, with a 76-70 win at home to make their first ever Final Eight.
Keep an Eye On:
EuroLeague Women rookie Nnemkadi Ogwumike has been one of the revelations of the season. The 22-year-old forward has averaged a team-high both in points with 17.7 per game and in rebounds, pulling down 7.6 rebounds per game. She is getting major help from veteran Australian small foward Belinda Snell and reigning EuroLeague Women champion Laia Palau who landed the title last year with Ros Casares. Palau currently leads the competition in passing, with 6.7 assists per contest.
There's little doubt that CCC Polkowice have huge momentum behind them and the confidence has flooded through the players ever since the turn of the calendar year, when they suddenly started reading from the same page. They are in great form with six wins from their last seven games. It is therefore imperative that if, as most would predict, they lose their opening game to UMMC, they don't allow their confidence to drain away with crucial games against Galatasaray and Good Angels Kosice still to play. The shooting range of Ogwumike has been one of the most important elements, since she has stepped beyond the three-point line on a regular basis and with great success. In fact, if Pokowice manage to shoot the ball well generally, they could cause real problems for their opponents. Meanwhile Agnieszka Majewska has regularly come up with big defensive plays and is the second best shot blocker in the competition so she will be important.
Polkowice have no fear of stepping outside of their own nest to get the job done, having won their last four EuroLeague Women road games. They are one of only five teams who give up 65 points or less per game. However, they have by far the worst field goal shooting percentage of any Final Eight team with very mediocre 40.7% per game.
Having played only three seasons in EuroCup Women peviously, Polkowice broke onto the EuroLeague Women scene last season. They sneaked into the play-offs, but crashed 0-2 to eventual champions Ros Casares.