09 October, 2018
10 April, 2019
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The top 3 reasons Nadezhda can win EuroCup Women

ORENBURG (Russia) - The EuroCup Women race for silverware looks wide open ahead of the Quarter-Finals and we’re assessing the reasons why Nadezhda can end up on the top podium step.

Having just missed out on the last eight of EuroLeague Women, the Russian club now face a tie with Perfumerias Avenida who also endured the same feat recently.

1. Erica Wheeler has a point to prove

Prior to demonstrating her qualities in EuroLeague Women with Nadezhda, where she has earned rave reviews and many plaudits this season, Wheeler was cut by Perfumerias Avenida a few years ago. So, what better motivation to take her game to an even higher level than going up against a club who dispensed with her services? There will also be that Spanish connection as playcaller Victor Lapena goes back to the club he once coached in EuroLeague Women, as does Laura Nicholls who represented Avenida with distinction - while Sandra Ygueravide will get to play in her homeland. All could haunt Avenida, but especially Wheeler, who would also be a major clutch player for the next and the last phase if Nadezhda can progress.

2. Orenburg remains one of the toughest trips of all

It is one of the most difficult places for opposing teams to visit on the European circuit and since Nadezhda's sticky start to the EuroLeague Women season, they have held rival teams to 59, 56, 65, 51 and 49 points across the last five games (going 4-1). How Avenida and then any potential Semi-Final and Final opponents deal with this aspect is likely to be crucial as every club has scored 65 or less in almost four months of games. How much the travel impacts visiting clubs and their energy and rhythm, is open to interpretation. While for those who state that Nadezhda do have to travel the other way - perhaps they just have more practice (every other week) at preparing themselves mentally and physically for this rigor.

3. Brionna Jones

Has there been any player more consistent in EuroLeague Women during the past couple of seasons? Probably not. With 12 double-doubles in 2018-19 and having posted 10 in a row at one juncture, she is a tower of strength in the paint. Another jaw-dropping statistic that highlights her importance, consistency and quality, is that during the last 11 games in EuroLeague Women, Jones only shot below 50 percent on one occasion. Averaging almost 15 points and 11 boards per outing, she is the ideal player to build Nadezhda's challenge around. A perfect anchor under the hoop and a focal point for any offense, you have to back Jones to keep on shining.