Day 2: Final Eight Temperature Check

08 April 2014
9. Nika Baric (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje)
Nika Baric displayed the multiple facets to her game on Tuesday's women's basketball specialist Paul Nilsen checks out what was hot during the second day of action at the EuroLeague Women Final Eight.


Pondexter Proves a Point

I asked before the tournament which of the Fenerbahce guards would make clutch shots and Cappie Pondexter answered emphatically against Galatasaray odeabank with what proved to be the game-winning play.


Baric and Tikhonenko

Nika Baric and Ksenia Tikhonenko both arrived on the big stage for real with a couple of assured and mature displays to help Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje take down Kayseri. The pair shared 31 points from 65% floor shooting and need to continue in this vein and believe they will be the leaders for many years to come. This must surely be their mentality moving forward. Baric also needs to be even more selfish and demonstrate that she is a scorer and a creator - not only the latter.


The UMMC Lockdown

Forget the margin of victory, the big number for UMMC was 15. The number of points they restricted Tango Bourges to during the entire first-half. That was the true mark of this champion team. The bad news for all other contenders is that even on the very rare occasion they misfire offensively, their defence could still bail them out. They took away so many offensive options for Bourges all over the floor.


Refreshing Honesty All Round

Injured Eva Viteckova, Jana Vesela and Jelena Dubljevic were forced to watch Pragues defeat from the sidelines
An injured Jelena Dubljevic (far right)  caught in a rare moment of resting

When Olaf Lange was asked about UMMC possibly bringing back Celine Dumerc, he responded by respectfully asking why he would want to, in the wake of his team producing such a dazzling display against the French playmaker. Interestingly, Dumerc then arrived a few moments later at the media conference and admitted that after such a one-sided 40 minutes, she wished she had been back in a UMMC vest - albeit for just one night only!


The Dubljevic Cam

Yes, set it up now. We were robbed of seeing one of the stars of the season, Jelena Dubljevic, playing for ZVVZ USK Prague due to her injury, but watching her on the bench was almost as entertaining as seeing her on the court. She was itching to catch every rebound, hit every shot and was up and down incessantly. She also never stopped talking or giving out advice. A potential coach of the future? You heard it here first.


You can follow Paul @basketmedia365 for women's basketball tweets.



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