|13 March 2013|
|Count on Ivana Matovic to be a key factor for Fenerbahce|
Each weekday in the lead up to the EuroLeague Women Final Eight, fibaeurope.com profiles one of the eight teams who will be appearing in Ekaterinburg. Today we look at Turkish giants Fenerbahce.
Road to Final Eight: The Turkish giants were of the most competitive clubs throughout the regular season, retaining a perfect record at home in Istanbul, whilst only losing three games on the road and never by more than five points. They bring good form to Ekaterinburg, winning their previous three EuroLeague Women games by an average of 15 points, including their play-off successes against Uni Gyor.
Keep an Eye On: Ivana Matovic continues to enjoy one of the best seasons of her career. The Serbian forward has been in scintillating form since the campaign began, exceeding 20 points in both games against Uni Gyor, whilst also averaging 8.5 boards and five assists. Belarus centre Anastasiya Verameyenka has also been excellent alongside Matovic, in one of the most imposing frontcourts anywhere in the competition. She is the leading shot blocker once again, and is also the most clinical finisher in the tournament around the hoop, shooting at 63.7%.
X Factors: Fenerbahce have a balanced team and a particularly in-form frontcourt which bodes well, although they have lost three tight games this year, which perhaps puts a slight question mark against them during crunch time. Of course they have the reigning EuroLeague Women champion coach at the helm in Roberto Iniquez. Iniquez relies on a tight rotation with six players playing over twenty minutes per game, so it will be interesting if injury or serious foul trouble disrupts this and whether the bench players can produce the goods when it matters most.
Number Crunching: Fener have the best field goal percentage of any team in EuroLeague Women - they are shooting 49.2%. Exactly half of the 14 games played by Fenerbahce this season have been decided by six points or less, three in their favour and three not going their way.
Team History: Since becoming a full-time fixture in EuroLeague Women during 2007, Fenerbahce have always completed the season with a positive win/loss ratio. However, this consistency shown through the season has not translated into silverware, with the club failing to finish in the top three in any European tournament since 2005, when they came second in FIBA Europe Cup Women.