|Candace Parker showed her star quality for UMMC Ekaterinburg with 16 points and 20 rebounds|
A majestic contribution from EuroLeague Women Final Eight MVP Candace Parker helped UMMC dodge a bullet and squeeze out a 57-52 win against Tango Bourges.
A repeat of the semi-final from last season, things were a lot tighter this time as Parker recorded a stellar double-double of 16 points and 20 rebounds.
A late surge based on defence and the return of Diana Taurasi also paved the way for the champions to dig themselves out of a hole.
UMMC scored 11 of the last 13 points of the game and Taurasi added a valuable 15 points to secure a nervy but valuable success.
The hosts struggled all night from the free-throw line and from downtown which almost cost them dearly as the visitors, without the inside presence of Australian national team center Marianna Tolo, threatened to cause a major shock.
Bourges edged the first period 18-15, after some good work by young Romane Bernies and despite trailing 31-27 at the interval, posted a blistering 14-4 start to the second half and eventually went 43-35 ahead.
But, the French side dried up and UMMC turned the screw with a rare three-pointer from the hand of Taurasi levelling matters at 52 to set up a gripping finale, which the Russian club took full advantage of.
Endene Miyem was outstanding for Bourges with 15 points and nine rebounds, but agonisingly could not prevent her team sliding to an 0-2 start to the new season.