Reyer Venezia or Valencia Basket: Who will lift the EuroCup Women trophy?
SZEKSZARD (Hungary) - History is guaranteed when Reyer Venezia and Valencia Basket step out for the EuroCup Women Final in Szekszard.
Both clubs are now just one win away from being crowned the EuroCup Women champions for the first time in a clash that will see the last two unbeaten teams standing, fighting it out for the silverware.
Reyer Venezia v Valencia Basket
Semi-Final Takeaways: Reyer Venezia managed to dig out a hard-fought 63-58 success against KSC Szekszard in what was something of a war of attrition. They weren't as strong as usual on the boards and were slowed down considerably at the offensive end, so have much to think about. Meanwhile, Valencia raced out of the blocks to take down Carolo Basket 80-68 and they shot the ball magnificently, shared it really well and looked full of confidence. We also saw that teenage forward Raquel Carrera can be the real deal at this level after her scorching display.
Key Matchups: There is a sense of deja vu as far as Reyer Venezia are concerned since they have to probably decide who will largely match up with Valencia standout Bec Allen. They did an excellent job shutting down and making life difficult for DeWanna Bonner in the Semi-Final so a combination of Natasha Howard, Temi Fagbenle and Elisa Penna are likely to be asked to go to work on slowing down Allen. In the backcourt, watch out for combo guard Yvonne Anderson and who Valencia ask to look after her. That could be Queralt Casas for her quickness, or it could end up being the hard-nosed defense of Cristina Ouvina.
Key Questions: While everything seems to be going nicely momentum and performance-wise for Valencia, will they be able to turn up the dial and stand toe-to-toe against the aggression, physicality and frontcourt depth of Reyer Venezia? Can Reyer Venezia disrupt the Valencia sets that get those open looks from outside and chase their opponents off the three-point line?
What They Say: "We rely on our defense and being an aggressive team, which is what we have done all season. We have veterans who are there to help us be calm when things don't go our way. This season has been different for me and an adjustment, but to play with amazing players is the dream - to play on an amazing team like this. This team has been really good at respecting everyone's talent. Our squad is balanced and everyone is cheering for everyone and we all want each other to succeed. That is the beauty of our team." - Reyer Venezia guard, Yvonne Anderson
"For us, we are a really great defensive team. We will come together and it is a game when we need to focus on us. Yes, we know that Venezia have big players, but so do we. As a group, we play really well together and we have to bring it again." Valencia forward, Bec Allen.
Did you know?
- Reyer Venezia will play their second EuroCup Women Final, after finishing as a runner-up in 2017-18 being defeated by Galatasaray with an aggregate score of 155-140.
- Valencia Basket will try to become the first Spanish club to be crowned as the EuroCup Women champions; they are only the second Spanish team to reach the EuroCup Final (CB Islas Canarias in 2003).
- Two Italian teams have won the EuroCup Women title in the past. Phard Napoli was the first team to do it in 2005, while Beretta Famila Schio repeated the feat in 2008.
- Reyer Venezia have scored the most points per game of any team in the EuroCup Women this season, collecting an average of 88.8 points per contest.
- Valencia Basket have made 45.5 percent of their attempted 3-pointers, the highest-scoring ratio from behind the arc in the EuroCup Women.
Third Place Game: KSC Szekszard v Carolo Basket
Even if disappointed they didn't make the Final, there's still history to be made for both KSC Szekszard and Carolo Basket in the Third Place Game. While each club has already attained their highest ever finish in the competition, there is one more step they can proudly climb to make that high tide mark even more impressive.
Did you know?
- KSC Szekszard will face their second French opponent in the EuroCup Women this season, after winning against Saint-Amand Hainaut Basket on March 16 (66-53).
- KSC Szekszard have lost in the Semi-Final (63-58 v Reyer Venezia) but haven't lost consecutive games in the EuroCup Women since January 2018 when they lost two in a row against Hatay BB.
- Carolo Basket will play against a Hungarian team for the eighth time in the EuroCup Women since the start of the 2014-15 season, with the French side winning all their previous seven encounters - five of those wins were by a margin of 10+ points.
- Carolo Basket conceded 80 points in the Semi-Final against Valencia Basket, after conceding an average of 56.8 points per game in their previous five games in the EuroCup Women this season; they have lost eight of the last nine games in which they have conceded 80+ points in the competition.