Russia Only A Shot Away

21.02.2013

EUROLEAGUE WOMEN

Watch the EuroLeague Women play-offs live on FIBA Europe TV
Watch the EuroLeague Women play-offs live on FIBA Europe TV, as the race for the Final Eight is heating up

There are currently 15 teams remaining in EuroLeague Women but come breakfast on Saturday that number could be down to eight.

For five of the higher seeded teams, everything went to script on Tuesday as they won on their home court, meaning they can now complete their best-of-three play-off series when they play away from home on Friday night.

However, for Polish clubs CCC Polkowice and Wisla Can-Pack Krakow, wins over their higher-seeded opponents on Tuesday means they will now have the chance to complete their series in front of their home fans.

 

Municipal Targoviste (15) vs. Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje (2)

LIVE on FIBA Europe TV at 17:00 CET

Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje lead the series 1-0.

2012 FIBA Europe Women's player of the year nominee Becky Hammon showed on Tuesday that she is a big-game player by delivering her best performance of the season: 24 points and nine assists. This now makes the game plan for the second match-up simple for Municipal Targoviste head coach Florin Nini: neutralise the naturalised Russian. However, execution is never as easy as it looks on paper and another big performance this time round for Hammon could fast-track the Russian club's progress to the Final Eight. Nini is upbeat ahead of Friday's game, joking with media that he has already booked the hotel in Russia for game three.

 

Uni Györ (14) vs. Fenerbahce (3)

LIVE on FIBA Europe TV at 18:00 CET

Fenerbahce lead the series 1-0.

Continuing on the theme of big-game players, Serbian international Ivana Matovic fits the bill, killing off the Hungarians in the first game with 28 points on 13-for-15 shooting. Should Uni Györ shut down Matovic, they will go some way to shutting down Fenerbahce. Rita Rasheed, Zsofia Simon and Györgyi Öri also need to make a bigger contribution for Uni Györ in the second game. The trio only went 2-for-25 from the field in the opening game.

 

ZVVZ Prague (13) vs. Galatasaray (4)

LIVE on FIBA Europe TV at 18:00 CET

Galatasaray lead the series 1-0.

Having only lost the opening game by a solitary point in front of a hostile crowd, the Czechs have every reason to be confident of sending this series to a third and deciding game. The teams failed to produce much of a spectacle with Galatasaray only hitting three treys and Prague, none. The team that rediscovers their long-range shooting first will be in the box seat to take game 2.

 

Perfumerias Avenida (12) vs. Good Angels Kosice (5)

LIVE on FIBA Europe TV at 20:30 CET

Good Angels Kosice lead the series 1-0.

Good Angels Kosice appeared at ease in taking the first game - something that was alluded to by their opponents who admitted following the loss that they had failed to match the desire of their hosts. "The players of Good Angels were angrier than us and that was the key to the game and to victory," said Perfumerias coach Victor Lapena after the game, adding, "we have to show the same desire as Kosice showed today." Should they achieve this they may live to see another day.

 

31. Tina Charles (Wisla Can-Pack)
Wisla will hope for Tina Charles to put up big numbers and her team-mates to step up

Wisla Can-Pack (11) vs. Bourges Basket (6)

LIVE on FIBA Europe TV at 18:00 CET

Wisla Can-Pack lead the series 1-0.

The Poles are in the driving seat in this series, and with a partisan crowd behind them in game 2, Tina Charles and co. will be confident of their spot in Ekaterinburg next month. However, Wisla ran a small rotation in game 1, relying on a core of six players. Should one of their marquee players a la Charles or in-form Paulina Pawlak fail to fire, Bourges could have the opening they are seeking.

 

CCC Polkowice (10) vs. Nadezhda (7)

LIVE on FIBA Europe TV at 17:45 CET

CCC Polkowice lead the series 1-0.

Whatever happens on Friday night, both teams are going to Russia. However, one may be returning home with their tail between their legs whilst the other could be skipping a third game in Orenburg and heading straight for Ekaterinburg. Dewanna Bonner was big for the Russians in game 1 with a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double but her only real support came from Natalia Zhedik. If the Russians are to take this series to a third game, Bonner will need a lot more support come Friday night.

 

Rivas Ecopolis (9) vs. Famila Schio (8)

LIVE on FIBA Europe TV at 20:00 CET

Famila Schio lead the series 1-0.

Famila Schio's win in the opening game was the perfect morale-booster for the Italian club who could be forgiven for allowing self-doubt to creep in following a 1-4 finish to the regular season. On the other side of the ledger, Rivas Ecopolis can take heart from the fact that they pushed their hosts for 40 minutes, and in front of home fans, revenge for the six-point first up loss can be exacted.


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