|18 March 2013|
|Céline Dumerc needs to keep out of foul trouble on Day 2 to make a bigger impact for Bourges Basket|
EuroLeague Women Final Eight Day 1 told us to throw the form guide out of the window. Here we review what upsets may come along on Day 2.
Bourges vs. Sparta&K MR. Vidnoje
Form Guide: Sparta&K have won seven games in a row and opened up the tournament with an 88-79 win against Famila Schio. Bourges crashed 69-44 to Fenerbahce, their second loss in four games. The duo met each other during the regular season, each winning their respective home game.
Breakdown: Bourges forward Endene Miyem is adamant Bourges will pick themselves up mentally for this second game and was quick to emphasise that her team can't feel sorry for themselves with the statement, "We have confidence and will play with pride. We want to win and know we can win." Meanwhile head coach Valerie Garnier is acutely aware her team needs to overcome their offensive shortcomings from their first game and admitted, "You aren't going to win many games if you only score 44 points in total and only 13 in the whole of the second half." For Bourges to have any chance they have to control the tempo and keep it ugly.
Key Match Up: Celine Dumerc against Becky Hammon is a classic backcourt clash of two great players of the women's game.
Stats Don't Lie: A total of 22 turnovers really hurt Bourges in the first game and made life even more difficult against a deep side like Fenerbahce.
Famila Schio vs. Fenerbahce
Form Guide: Schio have lost five of their last seven games, including their opening contest against Sparta&K. Fenerbahce have won eight of their last nine games and tipped off with the win against Bourges. During the regular season both teams grabbed a home floor win against each other.
Breakdown: Schio head coach Maurizio Lasi is under no illusion as to the size of the task ahead for his team. He said: "My players will have to play almost the perfect game because Fenerbahce are a good team like Sparta&K and they are physical. It will be important for us to find more scorers and also for Giorgia Sottana and Kathy Wambe to control the tempo because Fener love to run the floor. We beat them during the regular season, but of course this is not our home court and it will be a very tough game."
Key Match Up: Giorgia Sottana was wonderful on opening day, despite the loss. She recorded 21 points and ten rebounds, but will have to be on her toes to both guard and dictate the pace of the game against the lightening quick Birsel Vardarli.
Stats Don't Lie: Laura Macchi was zero-for-six for Schio in the first game and this was her worst shooting performance of the season.
|Miljana Bojovic will be hoping tobe celebrating at the end of day 2|
Good Angels Kosice vs. UMMC Ekaterinburg
Form Guide: Kosice have won nine of their last ten games and UMMC have still only lost once all season in the competition and never on Russian soil. Both claimed opening day victories against Galatasaray and CCC Polkowice respectively.
Breakdown: Both rosters are deep with a wide range of scoring options and they each have confidence. Good Angels Kosice have shown they do not fear anybody, although this game could be the ultimate test of their credentials. The Slovak side need to continue being aggressive and especially against a stacked Ekat frontcourt. The worrying factor is that Diana Taurasi was ominously quiet in the game with Polkowice and may be ready to explode.
Key Match Up: Playmaking duo Silvia Dominguez and Miljana Bojovic have each enjoyed excellent seasons with the former dishing up 4.8 assists-per-game for Ekat and Bojovic handing off an average of 5.6 each time she steps out.
Stats Don't Lie: Both clubs are in the top four of the standings for points scored, assists and field goal percentage. UMMC are the best defensive rebounding team in the tournament with 31.4-per-game and Kosice are the best offensive rebounding side with 12.1-per-game.
CCC Polkowice vs. Galatasaray
Form Guide: Both teams head into this game off the back of losses. The defeat to UMMC was only the second time CCC Polkowice have tasted defeat during the calendar year, whilst Gala have now lost three of their last seven games. They matched up during the regular season, with Galatasaray securing 50-48 and then 58-51 victories.
Breakdown: Neither team is shooting the ball anywhere near well enough, although both are capable defensively and on paper at least, it looks set to be a real war of attrition. However, if one team can find some much needed range and make a few triples, this could be decisive. Each will want to bounce back from a disappointing start to the EuroLeague Women Final Eight and so the opening minutes will be even more important than usual, to see who gets their confidence pumping back through their veins.
Key Match Up: After being given a tough time by Candace Parker, there will be a different challenge for Nnemkadi Ogwumike when she faces Ann Wauters and Bahar Caglar at the four spot. She has a great chance to show the kind of form which has won her many plaudits.
Stats Don't Lie: Galatasaray misfired against Kosice, but maybe it wasn't their 16 points at the half which was most disconcerting. Perhaps giving up 46 points was more of a worry, taking into account they usually only give up an average of 56 points per game this year.