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Torrens Has Her Eyes On A Trio

07 April 2015
FEATURE
21. Alba Torrens (UMMC Ekaterinburg)
Alba Torrens and UMMC Ekaterinburg will go up against Dynamo Kursk in the EuroLeague Women Final Four

By Paul Nilsen 

Erect a billboard to promote EuroLeague Women or just women's basketball generally and you would not be doing your job if you didn't plaster the face of Alba Torrens right in the middle of it.

The reigning FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year and indeed a current EuroLeague Women champion until a new winner is crowned on Sunday, is a special kind of talent.

GUNNING FOR A TRIPLE

Such is her profile and ever increasing global appeal in the wake of her displays at the FIBA World Championship for Women last year, there has been a clamour to see her step out in the WNBA.

But, Spanish national team-duties are at the heart of what she loves - as is delivering success in EuroLeague Women.

When Torrens suits up with UMMC Ekaterinburg in Prague at Final Four, she will be gunning for a third EuroLeague Women title with a third different club.

That is an accomplishment which has already been achieved by her UMMC and Spain team-mate Silvia Dominguez, although Torrens could feasibly end up with an unprecedented third MVP award with a third different club.

That would seriously be a magnificent achievement, since in order to do so she would have to outshine the likes of her UMMC colleagues Diana TaurasiCandice Parker and Sandrine Gruda.

However, that is exactly what Torrens did last year.

The 25-year-old produced one of the most memorable performances in recent memory when she torched her current club in last years' Semi Final contest with a wonderful 29-point display for Galatasaray odeabank.

Bizarrely, Torrens has only ever won the EuroLeague Women title in Ekaterinburg, yet hasn't tasted success with UMMC, having won last year's competition and also in 2011 when she lifted the title on Russian soil with Avenida.

"Yes, I certainly have good memories in Ekaterinburg as I have won two EuroLeague Women titles there with Perfumerias Avenida and Galatasaray," smiled Torrens.

"But at the same time, when I think back, it makes you realise how difficult it actually is to win the EuroLeague Women title.

"This time I would like to land at Ekaterinburg Airport with the Cup instead of leaving with it, but we are conscious that it will be tough and we will need to show our best level."

The Mallorca native has certainly slipped straight into life with UMMC and was quick to praise everyone for making it easy to adjust to life in Russia.

She revealed, "The adaptation to Ekaterinburg has been easier than what I thought it would be.

"That is thanks to those working at UMMC who have given me all the facilities to adjust - both to to the club and to the city.

"My team-mates and coaches really help me to adjust to the team itself and the (Russian) game."

Standing between Torrens and yet another EuroLeague Women success in the Semi Final are Dynamo Kursk and they are a familiar opponent in more ways than one.

Standing opposite the Spanish ace will be Isil Alben - her former Galatasaray colleague and a player who like Torrens herself, was instrumental in the Istanbul giants climbing to the top of the podium last April.

"Before or during the game, we don't speak to each other very much," laughed Torrens.

"But after the games, we certainly do as it was three years playing together in Istanbul and when we talk about it, we always remember our good times there.

"Any game of a Final Four is always a difficult game and Kursk are a great team who have been playing well all season.

"We know that to achieve this victory, we need to show our best level - both defensively and offensively.

"We're working hard to be ready physically and mentally, and we are looking forward to stepping onto the court in Prague," concluded Torrens.

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