Reyer Venezia advance to the Final after squeezing out KSC Szekszard
SZEKSZARD (Hungary) - Italian side Reyer Venezia have advanced to the EuroCup Women Final for a second time after they edged out host club KSC Szekszard 63-58 in a tense Semi-Final match-up.
In an eagerly anticipated meeting, both teams had enjoyed substantial runs during the first three quarters of the game, but it eventually boiled down to a nerve-shredding final conclusion as Reyer Venezia got it done down the stretch.
Turning point: It was a one-shot game at 58-55 in favor of KSC Szekszard with around 90 seconds remaining, but they switched off defensively on the next two Reyer Venezia plays. They firstly allowed Beatrice Attura a poorly contested lay-up and after letting Natasha Howard catch the ball under the hoop, they were duly punished.
Stats don't lie: It was a shocking shooting night for the usually reliable KSC Szekszard duo of DeWanna Bonner and Erica McCall. The sister act went a combined 4-of-27 and that really hurt their team badly. That contributed to the Hungarian club barely breaking 30 percent inside at a disappointing 14-of-45 from two-point range.
Bottom line: It was a game that could have gone either way and that will be bitter-sweet for KSC Szekszard, who did so much right to edge out Reyer Venezia, but they just didn't shoot the ball quite well enough. Meanwhile, Reyer Venezia return to the Final having appeared in 2018, but they will be acutely aware that they dodged a major bullet. They gave up far too many offensive rebounds in the last period and looked disjointed after being disrupted offensively in the fourth quarter. However, the huge positive for them is that they can still play much, much better.
They said: "In the middle part of the game we maybe lost a little bit of control. They were very aggressive and play very physical basketball. We just missed a few open shots at the end and it was just bad luck for us." KSC Szekszard guard, Zala Friskovec.
"It felt good. I am always ready for these type of moments. We did what we had to do at the end. We focused on making sure DeWanna Bonner could not score. The chemistry on our team is phenomenal - both on and off the court." Reyer Venezia forward, Natasha Howard.