Final Four title matchup all set in Sopron
SOPRON (Hungary) - Co-favorites and powerhouse Russian rivals UMMC Ekaterinburg and Dynamo Kursk will fight it out for the EuroLeague Women 2019 title.
The holders had to work hard to see off Sopron Basket 81-59 as UMMC recovered from a challenging opening 20 minutes when they struggled to impose themselves on the hosts.
But the second half was a powerful statement of intent for the Final as they used their depth to take down Sopron. Brittney Griner was a colossus for UMMC as she harvested 19 points, 8 boards and swatted three shots. There was also an influential cameo from Courtney Vandersloot who had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.
Evgeniia Beliakova summarized the contest from a UMMC perspective and stated: "It was a great game for us for a Semi-Final situation and Sopron are a very good team.
"They play with real passion and they can score very quickly. The first half was difficult, but we found a way to show how we can continue to win together. We told each other in those difficult moments that we had to stay together as a team," she stressed.
Meanwhile Dynamo Kursk will appear in their second Final after they rode past ZVVZ USK Praha 84-67 off the back of a big combined show from Sonja Petrovic and Breanna Stewart.
The former brought the spark when needed during the second period when Kursk were looking flat, eventually ending up with 20 points. Meanwhile Stewart also showed her class with a stellar 32 points, as Natasha Howard also joined the party by amassing a nice double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Dynamo Kursk head coach Lucas Mondelo was thrilled with his team, as they threw a defensive blanket on the free-scoring Praha.
He said: "We put a lot of emphasis and focus on their shooters and stopping them from scoring. Our defense was very important and to make a team like them score just 67 points is very difficult.
"We are in the Final and we have to take this short time to enjoy the moment before we focus on the work ahead," insisted Mondelo.