|Jenifer Nadalin and Famila Schio are back for their second consecutive Final Eight|
Road to Final Eight:The Italian club left it late before organising their respective visas for Ekaterinburg, needing all three games during the play-offs to safely get past Rivas Ecopolis, including overtime in the deciding fixture. Consistency has been hard to come by of late for Maurizio Lasi and his players, who dropped the final three games of the regular season.
Keep an Eye On: In a team not known for consistency, American Jantel Lavender is bucking that trend, surpassing the 15 point mark in all but one EuroLeague Women game since mid-November. Her prowess on the boards is just as impressive, with the center averaging 8.3 rebounds a game. She has also accumulated six double-doubles this season.
X Factors: Schio are the team most out of form of all Final Eight participants, although they do at least know about winning in the season finale, having done so last season in Istanbul. They could also claim to have turned around an alarming slump with those two play-off wins against Rivas. Much of that was due to the return to form and fitness of Italian national team point guard Giorgia Sottana and the legendary wing, Laura Macchi. With those two back on board, Schio look a much more balanced and dangerous team with less responsibility resting on Lavender and Danielle McCray. Having endured real injury problems this season, they are arguably the actual ‘X Factor' team of this Final Eight. The odds are stacked in favour of the notion they will be solid if unspectacular. But they could cause problems if they get their outside game going.
Number Crunching: On average, Lavender and McCray combine for a whopping 42.6% of all Schio's points in games. Schio turn the ball over more than any other team in Ekaterinburg with 16.1 per game. With their opponents converting 33.8% of their three-pointers, Schio have the worst perimeter defense in the Final Eight. On a positive note, they are the third best in offensive three-point percentage in Ekat. The Italian club won six of its' first seven games at the start of the regular season.
Team History: In nine EuroLeague Women seasons, Famila Schio have never finished among the top three, but that is not to say they do not know the winning feeling, having won the EuroCup Women back in 2008 and back-to-back titles in the Ronchetti Cup in 2001 and 2002. Last season, they finished seventh at the Final Eight.