Five key factors for the second leg of the EuroCup Women 2019 Final
MONTPELLIER (France) - The second leg of the EuroCup Women 2019 Final between Nadezhda and BLMA will determine who is crowned champions, and will these five key factors come into consideration?
Do BLMA now have the momentum?
For around the last 6-7 minutes of the first meeting, it was Nadezhda who undoubtedly had the momentum. They had trailed heavily on their home court, but had come roaring back and looked set to seal a morale boosting victory. But, in the closing seconds, BLMA may have just wrestled the initiative, and the momentum from their hands as they hit a clutch shot from Sami Whitcomb to take a 75-71 success.
Does history say it will now be BLMA?
Only once in the entire history of the competition has a team won the first leg on the road and not went on to lift the precious silverware. That was four years ago, when Castors Braine won narrowly in Villeneuve and were then crushed at home by ESBVA-LM in the second leg. That's also topical because the winning coach that day, Fred Dusart, has just moved from ESBVA-LM to Castors Braine! Plus, as the embedded tweet suggests, not many teams have come back from even the narrowest of first-leg deficits.
BLMA almost always bring the noise from the bench
The superior offensive options for BLMA coming off the bench could be crucial. They outscored Nadezhda 25-12 in this category last week and this was no coincidence. BLMA have had a better bench scoring number than their opponents in 14 of their 15 games this season - also by some margin, since they average 15 points more. That is something Nadezhda will need to think about and try to close that gap!
Can Nadezhda revive the spirit of a special night in Prague?
To make history and lift the EuroCup Women trophy for the very first time, Nadezhda will have to collect what would be a huge road win. If you need evidence that they are capable of doing it, then look no further than the fact they won in the Czech capital during the EuroLeague Women Regular Season. That was against a ZVVZ USK Praha team who beat UMMC on their own court and will now contest the Final Four.
Nadezhda have the numbers in the paint
While not quite a guarantee, Nadezhda can just about bank on a solid foundation in this game in the paint. They have never been outscored under the basket in any of these five EuroCup Women games they have played and had 20 more in this category than BLMA last week. So conversely, if they can add a few shots from range, it could be the perfect combination that fuels a famous victory.